22nd Sunday After Pentecost, October 25, 2015
Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost (Year B)
Scripture Readings*: Job 42:1-6, 10-17; Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22); Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Job’s suffering does not contribute any new awareness of God. It does, however, bring Job to a foolish position of challenging God’s actions. God’s self-revelation deepens Job’s relationship with him. Job’s suffering, and folly of challenging God, becomes the context into which God brings revelation that opens Job to encounter a deeper and more personal experience with God. With this new insight, Job humbly repents, not because of a sin committed before his suffering, but due to his critical and judgmental attitude toward God.
After the Lord evaluates Job and his friends, Job is restored and his righteous behavior is confirmed. The view of Job’s friends—that suffering is always a result of sin—is proven wrong by God’s words. Job is not condemned because he had spoken rightly, however he fully recovers from his affliction and lives out his life in good health.
Aaron’s line of priesthood required many members because death prevented them from continuing in office. Although Jesus died, his priesthood continues because his resurrection allows him to live forever. As our High Priest, Jesus knows and helps his people for eternity. Jesus is the perfect accomplishment of all God requires: He is blameless and pure, set apart from sinners, and is exalted above the heavens.
Aaron’s priesthood sacrificed an animal as a substitute for sin. Jesus offered himself as the once-for-all sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:10).
Mark’s section on discipleship concludes as it begins; with the healing of a blind man (10:46–52; compare 8:22–26). Bartimaeus models true discipleship. His plea for help, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (10:47–48), is the cry of a dependent, childlike spirit (see 10:15). He asks Jesus not for a “glory seat” (see 10:37) but to see, which all disciples need perceptive eyes (see 4:12). Throwing aside his cloak, Bartimaeus demonstrates his readiness for mission (see 6:9). Following Jesus on the way to Jerusalem, he accepts the way of his suffering Lord. Finally, Jesus has a disciple who could see.
As we journey through Ordinary Time, it’s easy to become blinded by the dust, the sweat, and the heat of the day. Our eyes strain to see the destination on the horizon. Our sight grows dim and our souls can despair.
Hope can be found in today’s reading from Mark. Bartimaeus doesn’t let his blindness or the voices of the naysayers keep him from calling out to Jesus. And Jesus doesn’t let Bartimaeus’ affliction keep Him from answering this man’s call. He not only answers, He restores his sight; calling him to renewed action in the simple word, “Go.”
In seasons when our sight grows dim, Jesus is waiting to restore our vision. In the presence of Jesus, we see clearly again. We hear His voice answering our prayer and sending us back on our way with the word, “Go.”
Prayer for Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost – Gracious God, renew in me your gifts of faith and hope, that I may love Your commands and see clearly Your purpose; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
*Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B