ESV - 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.
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There is probably a lot that could be said about Bartimaeus' act of throwing away his cloak, but I'll stick to what I see as most important. First of all, when Jesus calls us, He asks us to throw off our old lives and anything that might keep us from serving Him wholeheartedly, so that we're unencumbered by our former lives. In this sense, throwing the cloak away was symbolic of Bartimaeus' desire to present himself to Jesus with an expectation of giving himself completely to his Lord and Savior. Hebrews 12 says, 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Second, throwing aside the cloak was a literal decision to no longer rely on anything he may have relied on before coming face-to-face with Jesus. As a blind beggar, the cloak was quite likely one of very few material possessions, and probably essential to him for many reasons. The cloak may have been his sole source of shelter and warmth, and the most valuable item he owned. He may have also used the cloak to collect money as potential alms-givers passed by him. Law-keeping Jews were not supposed to touch him, so it was likely he spread out his cloak on the ground or over his lap to receive coins as passers by either tossed them to him or dropped them into his lap. His not being able to see would have made it difficult to catch these gifts, so the cloak would have played an important role in his being able to collect whatever was tossed to him by others who were moved to take pity on him as they beheld his humble and desperate state. In this sense, throwing aside the cloak meant that he was choosing to trust Jesus to give him a better future, so much so that he was willing to part with his most valuable asset--his only means of collecting alms to provide for his most basic needs--as he responded to the voice of Christ. Third, it was an act of faith. Bartimaeus believed that he would no longer need his cloak to collect alms and trusted that Jesus was going to heal him. His faith was such that with seemingly very little hesitancy he easily discarded the cloak--his constant companion and his closest tie to any hope of survival--as he went to Jesus, confident in the healing that was to come. I'm convinced that there is much we can learn from this passage and Bartimaeus' undaunted faith for healing, his willingness to trust Jesus for a better future, and his choice to completely throw away something that had been most valuable and necessary to him up to that point in his life. May we endeavor to value Jesus enough to do the same with anything that might distract us from complete trust in and devotion to our incredible friend and savior, Jesus.
`And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus'. (Mark.10:50). This verse gives us a lot to study and meditate. Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus although he was warned by the crowd to keep quiet. But he cried out all the more to have mercy on him. Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. He heard the crowd asking him to rise and informing that Jesus was calling him. The moment he heard this, he immediately threw his cloak, rose and came to Jesus. Bartimaeus began to shout, “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me!” (v. 47) The title “Son of David” was a Messianic term. In fact, it was the most common Messianic term of the day. The Messiah who would come would be the one who would sit on the throne of his father David. Bartimaeus recognizes that the Messiah is this Jesus of Nazareth. Even though he can’t see, he recognizes Jesus by what he’s heard about him. Only the Messiah does these things. And he’s coming down his street. And Bartimaeus begins to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy.” The crowd tries to quiet him down (v. 48), but he shouts all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” The crowd shouted down to keep quiet. But he’s adamant, “Jesus, Son of David…have mercy on me!” He’s blind, he doesn’t know where to look, so he shouts this way and that, hoping his cry reaches the Savior's ears. “Jesus…Son of David…have mercy on me!” He’s persistent. And he’s persistent because he’s desperate. And that desperation, gets the Savior’s attention. His persistent cry reveals his desperate need of coming out from his physical blindness to see light of the world. This gives us a lesson for us to throw away the old nature of darkness and come to Jesus, the light, as a new creation. Once you are in Christ, you are a new creation (2Cor.5:17). The blind man wanted his eye sight desperately and he had faith in Jesus, though the crowd shouted to him to be quiet. He never bothered about their shouting. Mark’s Gospel, in which Jesus confronts not only physical blindness but, more significantly, the spiritual blindness of His closest followers who have failed to fully grasp the kingdom, Christ has brought near to the world. Bartimaeus must have accompanied Jesus on the way. Having been granted sight, Bartimaeus could do nothing but follow the Messiah who has brought the Good News of God’s kingdom to bear in such a substantial way. There is something every Christian must experience that is found in the story of Bartimaeus. Much of the world is still living in some sort of darkness due to spiritual blindness. Jesus came to give sight to the blind, but more so to the spiritually blind. This section of Mark’s Gospel reveals our spiritual blindness, which Jesus came to cure.
I believe the only reason he would toss his garment aside would be his urgent desire to come to Jesus. I picture this man jumping up and running to Him, tossing whatever he was carrying aside in haste for the only One that matters.
Great question, Adewale Ademola! Here's an overview of the miracle of giving sight to Bartimaeus: Blind Bartimaeus: 1 His Condition—Blind and Begging Mark 10:46 2 His Conviction—Heard of Jesus, and cried for mercy Mark 10:47 3 His Call—Jesus called him Mark 10:49 4 His Conversion—He came to Jesus Mark 10:50 5 His Consecration—He followed Jesus Mark 10:52 In response to the message that Jesus was calling for him, Bartimaeus cast aside his cloak and came to Jesus. This (action) shows his eagerness (as per Adrian Burgess) and his faith; normally, a blind man would want to keep his cloak within reach for easy retrieval. But coming to Christ took priority. And when he came, Christ made him articulate that faith by asking what he wanted Him to do. He threw it off, full of joy at the prospect of being healed, and that he might run without impediment to Jesus. This may be used to illustrate - though it had no such original reference - how a sinner should come to Jesus. He should throw away the garments of his righteousness (Isa 64:6; 61:10)- he should rise speedily - should run with joy - should have full faith in the power of Jesus, and cast himself entirely upon his mercy. And he casting away his garment,.... His upper garment, and which no doubt was little worth; though this he did, that he might make the hustle to Christ: Those who would come to Jesus must cast away the garment of their sufficiency, must free themselves from every weight, and the sin that, like long garments, most easily besets them, Heb 12:1. -(as per Kelli Hamann, see above). Watch "The Perfect Race" movie (DVD) -- https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6923892/ for another possible answer to your question.
Many who sit and beg in the streets today wrap themselves in a blanket and pull the hood of their jacket down to cover their faces. They sit cross-legged and lean forward looking down at the ground. In front of them is a cardboard sign and a vessel to collect donations. If they had a reason to have to get up and move quickly, they would have to shrug off these enveloping garments. Bartimaeus only had a brief moment when Jesus was close by. He needed to be unencumbered to move quickly into Jesus' presence. The verse does not say he discarded his cloak permanently, only that he threw it off so as have freedom of movement when Jesus called.
Bartimeus proved he was a believer for the words he shouted and the great confidence behind his thinking and his desire which were reflected his words. In the Greek, Bartimeus was not making a request of Jesus for help. He was commanding Jesus to pardon him and show gracious favor! He had a life before he lost his sight. His father's name in two languages indicates the man was a notorious sinner. More likely than not, Bartimeus, after having become a believer, had sinned so grievously that God blinded him. There is Biblical precedent for this! Being a blind Gentile in Judea and gathering alms was no doubt a dangerous practice! It is my belief he threw his cloak away to create a distraction so as to clear his path to Jesus, surrounded as he was by people who at first had tried to bar his way by attempting to intimidate him and shout him into silence. Otherwise, if he had attempted to hang on to it, for who among the great crowd did not know this was Bartimeus' bank vault, he might have been tripped, lost his way, stripped of the cloak, robbed and beaten. This was not an uncommon occurrence! His cloak was unclean for belonging to a Gentile. The Jewish crowd would have shied away from it. Tossing aside his upper garment would have scattered the alms he had been collecting. This would also have had the effect of creating a distraction. More, it was more than a bit of an expression of, "In your face, you who would have kept me from my Lord and King! And take back your money, you greedy vultures! You can have this! I want Jesus! This money will not forgive me, nor will it restore my eyesight, and I do not want Jesus to think that by hanging on to the alms in His presence I would dare be attempting to bribe Him or pay Him for what I want Him to do. I do not want anyone saying that of me, and especially, I do not want anyone saying that of Jesus my Savior. I am not a Pharisee! I will not be seen attempting to buy a miracle!" Following Bartimeus' miraculously having his sight restored, the Bible in various English texts indicates that Jesus basically told Bartimeus to go away and have a nice day. However, in the Greek we have this: "And Jesus said to Bartimeus, ‘You are commanded to go forth and lead and guide and bring people to Me!’”Jesus on the near eve of Calvary has commissioned the first-ever official Gentile evangelist! How does Bartimeus respond to this? The English indicates Bartimeus only took to the road, following Jesus to Jerusalem. However, the Greek yields this: "And he kept on following Jesus as a disciple in the way of faith". In other words, he kept up the faith he possessed before his healing miracle, after his healing miracle. This was another indication of Bartimeus' motivation and his top priority. That faith he kept up with after the healing miracle would be the faith he received before becoming blind, which he had exercised according to Ephesians 2:8-9 after the manner of Abraham, so as to have become a believer, Genesis 15:6. Would Jesus have given him his commission before Bartimeus became a believer? I think not. Here, then, is Jesus on the near eve of Calvary taking the torch from Israel and publicly passing it to a Gentile believer, in the presence of a large, rowdy crowd of Jewish unbelievers. Why do we know they were unbelievers? Scripture indicates by its silence that this large crowd of Jews did not react with so much as praise to God, let alone the scriptures as they do in some places indicating that the witnesses of a miracle of Jesus became believers. More, not only did this large crowd of unbelieving Jews have no reaction to Jesus having showed magnificent grace to a Gentile, which grace was meant to motivate them and to which they utterly failed to respond, they were equally unmoved by Jesus having taken from them the sacred message given to Israel and guarded by her in the Sacred Scrolls: the message of the promised and promised Messiah, and giving this message to a Gentile believer!
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