Subject 21 : The Gospel According to MARK

[Chapter 10-4] The Faith of Bartimaeus The Blind Beggar (Mark 10:46-52)

The Faith of Bartimaeus The Blind Beggar
(Mark 10:46-52)
“Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’ And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”
Warm greetings to you all! A revival meeting was held in this City with the Lord’s blessings in September 21-24 under the following theme: “The Remission of Sins That’s Received Only through the Word.” Among those present in that meeting amid God’s grace were Sister Hyesook Heo, her mother and sister, and brother Sungrok Hong. Although some of their family members probably have not received the remission of sins yet, God had still given us an opportunity to preach His gospel to these four people. Sister Heo could not be with us today at this hour, but I was pleased to see her rejoicing over the gospel of the Lord, and I shared her joy when she said, “I now know what it really means to believe in Jesus.” As she is still young in her faith, she probably does not have the full, detailed spiritual understanding of the salvation that God has fulfilled with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. She did however realize clearly that she no longer had any sins, and so I am sure that her mind will soon reach this understanding thoroughly. Although she said that she will continue to attend her present church for now, if she comes here even just once a month, she will realize what the true Word of God really is. The Holy Spirit who dwells in her heart will teach her clearly that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the real gospel.

It Is Always Great to Hold Revival Meetings That Preach the True Gospel

As the revival meeting was held over several days, it was physically hard and tiring for us to prepare for it, but the work of God that arose on this occasion made our labor all the worthwhile. Many souls came to these meetings from seeing the pamphlets that we had distributed and the posters we had put up. And these people heard the gospel of the Lord and many of them received the true remission of sins into their hearts. I am sure that God will hold them steadfast to our Church. That’s because those who have received the remission of sins know that their own wisdom is completely useless before God no matter how wise they may be, and therefore ultimately, they cannot help but abide in God’s Church by faith. I admonish you to ask God to lead all these new believers to the right path so that they may stand firm on the gospel of the water and the Spirit as soon as possible.
We plan to continue to hold such revival meetings in the future. They will be held under various themes. Other churches that hold only one or two revival meetings a year may wonder why we are holding so many, but we will continue to hold them as many times as we can until the Lord returns to this earth. To every corner of each city and town, we will let everyone know that we are indeed preaching God’s Word. To our critics and enemies alike, we will do our utmost to make sure that everyone hears the gospel Word of the Lord.
To this end, we need to make several purchases next week. As it takes financial resources to hold revival meetings, such as paying for winter heating, I would like to ask you to pray diligently about this during this week to see what you could do for the Lord, and consider the possibility of making a financial pledge. It would be good if you could find it in your heart to give willingly to the Lord’s ministry. So I ask you to resolve yourself to serve the Lord faithfully and preach His gospel diligently, and to join us in making a pledge next week.
On a different note, the sermons preached during this past revival meeting have been recorded on tapes. As the theme of the meeting has been the gospel, the sermons don’t really address the issues that arise in the saints’ everyday lives, but anyone who wants the tapes should ask for them from Brother Wongi Choi, a student at our Mission School. He will then give them to you for free. In addition, before this year is over, we are scheduled to establish churches in various regions in Korea, including Wonjoo, and so I also ask you to pray for this as much as possible.
I spent the whole day yesterday resting. I think it’s safe to say that all of us at the revival meeting were quite worn out by the end of these meetings. During the revival meeting, I didn’t feel tired at all, but once it was over, I felt so exhausted that I could hardly get up, and so I lied down and got some much needed rest. The meeting was over on Thursday, and I took two days off on Friday and Saturday to rest. Perhaps it was too long, as my routine seems to have been broken. This morning, while copying church newsletter, I made some careless mistakes and ended up wasting several papers. But once I am back to my routine, I am sure that everything will return to normal.
In our Church, every sermon is transcribed word by word by Brother Jaedong Park rather than just summarizing it, and in about a month’s time, there should be enough sermons compiled to put into another book. There is a huge difference between listening to a sermon just once and reading it carefully in writing. Although it may be boring if you listen or read a sermon that you just heard, if you come across it after some time, when your heart is weary, you will see for yourself how the sermon strengthens your heart and leads your minds to God.

We Are All Fragile Beings before the Lord

This world constantly tries to steal our hearts, but if we wage our spiritual battle for the Lord, we can still abide in the Lord. If, however, we don’t fight our spiritual battles, then our flesh will weaken and then we cannot help but fall into the world. That’s why we hold revival meetings continuously, so that we may give people spiritual strength. I ask you to pray for this. This last revival meeting was attended by relatively few people, including our newly redeemed brothers and sisters and the students at the Mission School, but I admonish you not to miss any church gatherings in the future. Our Church is such that if you miss just a week, you might as well be a stranger. It makes a huge difference. It doesn’t matter whether you are ahead or behind now. It only takes a few weeks of missed gatherings for you to trail behind everyone way in the back. That is how much difference it makes on your heart’s desire to run towards the Lord and live for Him.
Let me take this opportunity to introduce to you a new member of our Church. Please welcome her with warm applause. She recently moved to the nearby apartment complex, and as someone who has received the remission of sins, she is your own sister. When this sister moved, she exchanged her TV/VCR combo with the television at my home. I plan to use it when video revival meetings are held in the Church. Until now, there really wasn’t any use for a video camera even if we had it, but when I look at how God has given us this television with a video player attached to it, I think He is telling us to use it for our revival meetings. I also believe that the fact that God gave us a copier indicates that He wants us to work even more diligently on our literature ministry. So we will hold our revival meetings in various formats.
As mentioned, next week we will ask you to make pledging offerings for revival meetings. In this week to come, let’s all pray hard and serve the Lord diligently. We need various equipment and supplies to hold revival meetings, including heating equipment and ink toners for the copier. Nothing is more tragic than not being able to do what we must do to serve the Lord just because we don’t have enough financial resources.
Recently, while reading Romans 11:36, I prayed to God as the following: “Lord, fill our coffer with hundreds of millions of dollars to carry out Your work, so that we may never find ourselves unable to serve You because of any lack of resources.” Since everything in the world belongs to the Lord, I have every confidence that if financial resources are needed to spread the gospel, God will provide them to us. I am sure that the Lord will solve everything so that we would never be unable to spread His gospel just because of we don’t have enough financial resources. It’s already 11:30am. I will end my lengthy preface here and delve into today’s Scripture passage.

Bartimaeus the Blind Beggar

It is written in Mark 10:46-47, “Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’”
A blind man named Bartimaeus appears in this passage. In this world there are many blind people like Bartimaeus. How are their lives? First of all, they cannot see the natural beauty of this world. They are not capable of appreciating the intricate beauty of the wonderful natural dominion that God created, from the deep blue autumn sky to the green pines, the splashing seas, and the wild flowers blossoming in the field, nor can they praise God for this beauty. They are also living a very uncomfortable and inconvenient life.
As the blind can’t see, they rely on their sense of touch, and their touch is so sensitive that just by relying on a cane, they can tell the difference between a sidewalk and a roadway. Some of them can even ride a bicycle just like us. They know how to get around in a bicycle by the feeling, calculating how many times they have to pedal before turning which way; of course, there is a limit to how far they can go on a bicycle. Despite the heightened sense of touch, not being able to see with one’s own eyes is still indescribably inconvenient and unfortunate. The blind could be better prepared for what lies ahead if they could see, but since they have only the sense of touch to rely on, it’s unavoidable for them to make mistakes when there are even slightest changes in their surroundings.
For those of us who have a pair of working eyes, it may actually be hard to sympathize with the story of blind Bartimaeus. We may just think that it’s a story about some blind man who opened his eyes. However, in this story God is telling us a great deal. First of all, we ought to be grateful that we are able to see, and that we can use our perception to discern, realize, and prepare beforehand. Considering that some people are born blind, the very fact that we have both our eyes working is itself a great blessing. Of course, there also are spiritually blind people, but before anything else we were not born physically blind is itself something for which we should be extremely grateful to the Lord.
Let’s imagine that you were really born physically blind. If you were sitting here as a blind person, then you would be listening to this sermon with utmost attention. You’d be all ears, hoping for a small miracle, and thinking that perhaps you could open your eyes if you listened attentively. It may be hard for you to really appreciate this as your eyes are actually open, but whenever this passage is preached to the blind, they show tremendous interest. We too need to pay close attention to it, for this passage is not spoken to just those who are physically blind.

The Blind Man Called Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David”

The events described in today’s Scripture passage occurred when Jesus and His disciples made a short stop at Jericho while on their way to Jerusalem. Let’s quickly go back a little and see what was said in verses 33 and 34: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” The Lord told the disciples something extremely important—namely, that He would go Jerusalem, be crucified to death, and rise from the dead on the third day.
But how did the disciples react at that time? It’s written: “Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, ‘Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.’” They also said, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.” Even though the Lord was telling them about the sacrificial death He would suffer to fulfill the work of salvation and to give everlasting life, the disciples were only interested in reaching positions of power, saying to Him, “Allow us to seat in Your glory. In Your sight, who is greater between us two?” Despite the fact they were walking with Jesus their Savior, their hearts were not set on the same thing as the Lord’s. So you can imagine just how sad our Lord must have been in His heart.
The two disciples who asked Jesus to allow one of them to sit at His right hand and the other on His left were none other than James and John. These were two of the best disciples of Jesus often considered to be men of good faith. Along with Peter and Andrew, they were particularly cherished by Jesus. The only consolation is that Peter didn’t get into this fray, but he probably was thinking the same also. James and John just beat him to it and spoke to Jesus before he did, thinking, “Let’s be the first to ask Jesus to appoint us to some powerful positions when His Kingdom is fulfilled.”
After this episode, Jesus and the disciples reached Jericho. Do you remember what happened in Jericho in Old Testament times? Are you familiar with the city of Jericho? Who received the remission of sins here in this city? Jericho is the place where Rehab the harlot received the remission of sins. The word Jericho means aroma, fragrance, or the world, and it’s a city located below Jerusalem, which is up in the mountains.
Jesus was passing through this city to go to Jerusalem, and there in this city was a beggar named Bartimaeus. He was sitting and begging by the same road that the Lord was traveling on. Then Bartimaeus the beggar heard that Jesus was passing by. To see what he did when he heard this, let’s turn to Mark 10:47 in today’s Scripture passage: “And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’” As it’s written here, Bartimaeus shouted out to the Lord. If he had not cried out and asked Jesus to have mercy on him, Jesus would have just passed him by, and the Bible would have just recorded, “Bartimaeus then spent the rest of his life begging until his death.” But Bartimaeus cried out to the Lord and found His audience, and as a result his eyesight was restored.
This account of how Bartimaeus was able to open his eyes has a profound meaning for all of us. Would Bartimaeus the beggar been able to open his eyes if he were to be too reserved? No, of course not! He paid no attention to what others might think, and he shouted out loudly, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Was Bartimaeus an educated man? It’s highly unlikely, since there was no special school for the blind, and so it’s very likely that he eschewed any formalities and cried out for help out of his desperate heart. Those who considered themselves educated at that time usually called Jesus “Jesus of Nazareth” in reference to His hometown, but Bartimaeus left out Nazareth and just called Him “Jesus, Son of David.” He didn’t know that Jesus had grown up in a small town called Nazareth, but he had heard over his shoulders that the Savior would be born from the lineage of David.
This was in fact correct. As it is written, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah” (Genesis 49:10), God indeed said that of the twelve sons of Jacob, kings would continue to be born from the house of Judah. So the descendants of Judah formed the most important tribe of the people of Israel. It’s from this lineage that David was born, and Jesus Himself was born as a Descendant of this David. God had promised through the prophets that the Savior would be born from this royal lineage, and Bartimaeus, having heard about it, had thus believed in it. And having kept this faith all his life, one day he heard that Jesus was actually passing nearby him.
As Bartimaeus believed in his heart that Jesus Christ, who had come as a Descendant of David, was the Messiah, he mustered enough courage to call His name, and through this Jesus he was able to open his eyes. When he called out for Jesus so loudly, the disciples probably told him “Be quiet! Who do you think you are, shouting out so loudly like this? You are just a mere beggar! What do you think you will do if you meet Jesus? Silence! Jesus already has plenty of other people to meet. Don’t try anything funny; just get out of here!” But what did Bartimaeus actually do? The Bible says that he cried out all the more. He had remarkable courage. If you really want help, you have to be at least as bold as Bartimaeus. If you fall back intimated by what others say to you, then you have no prospect of finding Jesus. So Bartimaeus shouted out even louder. “Who are you to stop me? I want to see the Son of David! Why are you blocking me? Get away from me!”
As Bartimaeus was blind, he couldn’t see anything, but he still tried to make his way through to Jesus unabashedly. Jesus then heard his voice, stood still, and told His disciples to call him. When the disciples came to bring the blind man, he threw aside his garment, jumped up, and dashed to Jesus. Jesus then said to him, “What is your wish? Do you want your eyesight restored? Your faith has saved you.” The result of all this is just as it’s written in the Bible: Bartimaeus was finally able to see.
For a blind beggar like Bartimaeus, his garment is his most important possession. To a beggar, his money collection can is also a precious possession, though to us it makes no difference whether we have it or not. Without the can the beggar can’t obtain any food, and so for him it is a means of survival. A beggar also needs a garment to protect himself from the elements, and yet when Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was calling for him, he threw everything aside including his garment, his can, and whatever little money he had, and he ran to Jesus.
He was a remarkable man. If you really want to find Jesus, you must have as much passion as this man. Without that kind of courage and decisiveness that Bartimaeus had, you cannot really find Jesus. Countless people today also desire to meet Jesus. But if they really want to meet Jesus, then they must first deal with those who are preventing them from meeting Him, just as Bartimaeus cried out to the Lord even more loudly when he was told to be quiet.
Elsewhere in Mark chapter 2, there is a similar account of four men who tried to bring a paralytic to Jesus but were blocked by the surrounding crowd. There were so many people that there was hardly any place to set a foot down, but if the paralytic and the four men carrying him had given up right there, he would have never been cured and remained paralyzed for the rest of his life until he died. However, the four men carrying the paralytic went over this pressing crowd, climbed up onto the roof, uncovered it, and lowered the paralytic down in his bed to Jesus so that he would be able to meet Him. And as a result of this, he was cured from his disability.
The same persistence is also found in today’s Scripture passage. When Bartimaeus called out Jesus’ name, not only did the ordinary people but even the disciples of Jesus told Bartimaeus to settle down. They said to him, “Be quiet! You are just a beggar; how dare you be so loud!” But he cried out all the more. Then Jesus saw him, and He became aware that many people were blocking him from coming to Him. When the Lord told the disciples to bring him to Him, Bartimaeus threw aside his garment, his can, his everything, and ran to Jesus.
The Lord then asked him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man answered by saying, “I want my eyesight restored.” When Bartimaeus stood before Jesus, he did not ask for money, nor for any expensive garment, far less for a house. His only true wish was to open his eyes in the presence of Jesus, the Son of David.
Compared to the wishes of the disciples who just wanted power and high positions for themselves, Bartimaeus’ request was truly honorable. What a blessing is it for a blind man to open his eyes, see this beautiful world of God’s creation, and then go to His Kingdom? Bartimaeus wanted nothing else from Jesus but his eyes opened. Even though this man was a beggar and blind, he did everything possible to meet Jesus Christ. If he had given up trying to meet Jesus just because many people were blocking him, or if he had made some other request before Jesus, he would never have opened his eyes. However, he told Jesus that he wanted to open his eyes, and Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” Jesus had opened his eyes for his courage and faith.

Were Those with Two Working Eyes Better Than Bartimaeus the Blind Beggar?

The people at that time had two perfectly working eyes. And with these eyes they had seen Jesus passing by. However, it was the blind man who ran to Jesus and asked Him to open his eyes, and it was his wish that was granted. The blind man Bartimaeus refers to every sinner who is born spiritually blind. Therefore, the real lesson of this story is that every sinner can receive the remission of sins by the Word of power that Jesus has given. You need to grasp here that no one today has any sin, whether he believes in Jesus or not.
Many cannot understand when I say this, but I can proclaim it by faith. People have no sin. Just as they were born with open eyes, they were also born with their sins already remitted away. However, many people live in a spiritually blind state, as though they have sin when in fact they are sinless. Those who don’t know the dominion of God think that there are only sinners in this world. If there are such people among us, they must have courage like Bartimaeus and receive the remission of sins from the Lord.
All the sins in this world have disappeared thanks to Jesus. We are living in a bright world in this sinless state. However, countless people are still living in their sinful state unable to open their eyes, in their depressed state. Since they believe that they have sin, just how dark, gloomy, and restless must they be? How frustrated must they be to live thinking that there are sins in this world?
There is a huge difference between those living with their eyes opened and those living with their eyes closed. Those who have opened their eyes think that this world is a bright and beautiful place. They know that this world that God made is beautiful and good. In contrast, those who have not opened their eyes think the very opposite. For them, this world is nothing but a wearisome, frustrating, and depressing place.
Those who have opened their spiritual eyes believe that Jesus Christ has blotted out all their sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and they confirm in their hearts that they are indeed sinless. They are then able to live in this world in joy and happiness, for all their sins have disappeared. In contrast, those who believe that there is still sin in their hearts cannot help but live in frustration, suffering and darkness. However, mankind truly has no sin. There is no sin in this world. As we are living in a sinless world, we ourselves are also sinless.
Whenever anyone asks me, “Pastor, do you have no sin?” I answer confidently, “Yes, of course I have no sin.” Because my response comes so naturally, some people react adversely sometimes. That I have no sin does not mean that I don’t commit sin anymore. Rather, it means that regardless of whether I commit sin or not, the Lord bore all my sins and was condemned for them, and therefore I have no sin. And because I am sinless, I can laugh and praise the Lord even in my most difficult circumstances. That is how I lead my life.
When Bartimaeus the beggar was blind—that is, when he was sinful—how miserable must his life have been? The routine things that we take for granted must have been a constant struggle for him, even such mundane things as going to the bathroom and trying to eat his meals. However, once he met the Lord, opened his eyes, and received the remission of his sins unto salvation, there was no need for him to put up with such hassles anymore.
The same is true for us as well. Once we receive the remission of sins, all the hassles and sufferings of the past are gone. Of course, there still are times in our lives when we feel depressed, gloomy, dark, and frustrated. But is this what our lives are really about? Must our souls really suffer like this? No, of course not! As those who have received the remission of sins through the Lord, we are not such people. We need to realize here that whenever we feel that this world is depressing and dark, this is not real, but it’s just the Devil deceiving us. We are those who have opened the eyes of the soul. We are the righteous. It’s so wonderful to live in this world with our eyes open, to walk with the Lord, and to lead our lives for Him. I am sure that Bartimaeus, who was saved by the Lord, also lived the rest of his life in happiness with his eyes open.

That We Have Opened Our Spiritual Eyes Does Not Mean That the Circumstances of Our Remaining Lives Have Changed Suddenly and Entirely

It’s just that the angle of our view has changed. Before, we could tell a flower only by touching it, but now, we can find it out with our eyes. My fellow believers, if one receives the remission of sins and completely opens his spiritual eyes through the Lord, then his heart will change profoundly, even though his natural surroundings made by God remain unchanged, as his outside appearance also remains unchanged. Because this person has opened his eyes, if he just gives some effort, he will be more than able to live a wonderful life in this dark world, lead countless people to Jesus Christ, and make the rest of his life worthwhile. I believe that just as such a life was granted to the beggar Bartimaeus, it is also granted to you and me.
While living in this world, if we believe unwaveringly with our hearts that there is no sin in this world, then we can all live happily in bright and shining light. When we realize and believe that there is no sin, this world turns into a truly beautiful and spotlessly clean place. However, if we think that this world is filled with sin, then it is a dark, depressing, filthy, and all around unlivable world. Our hearts’ faith makes such a huge difference. This world is often a wearisome and depressing place for not only those who have not received the remission of sins, but also for those who have. However, those who have received the remission of sins through the Lord, those who have opened their spiritual eyes, know that there is no sin in this world, and therefore they see this world as a beautiful place. Think about it. Think about the blue sky, the brilliant stars all the creatures teeming with life, the beautiful flowers that blossom in time without anyone telling them, and the abundant harvest in the fall. Can’t you see just how wonderful this world is? Our view of the world ought to change in this way.
Among those who insist that they have received the remission of their sins, there are some who still lead a pathetic life in this world. It’s because they still think that there are sins in this world. Even after opening their spiritual eyes through the Lord, they judge the world with the same touch that they had when they were blind, and so they cannot see the true beauty of this world. In other words, they are unable to live in a spiritually bright world. You and I should realize what a beautiful and wonderful world we are living in.
However, if there were still sins, how filthy and dirty would this world be? One would be hopeless in such a world, since he sees everyone, including himself, as nothing more than a pile of sin. We need to have the right view of the world. There is no sin anymore. There is no sin in this world. If you think there is sin, it is not real, but you are just being deceived by the Devil. It means that you have the Devil’s eyes and remain spiritually blind, even though there is no sin. There is a huge difference between remaining spiritually blind and opening your spiritual eyes to see that there is no sin in this world. For those who know and believe that there is no sin in this world, the condition of their hearts is completely different from those who believe that this world is filled with sins. My fellow believers, I admonish you all to realize that there is a huge gap between those who live by faith and those who don’t, and those who live with their spiritual eyes opened and those who live with their spiritual eyes closed.
How wretched was Bartimaeus’ life when he was blind? And how depressed are the lives of today’s people who still have not opened their spiritual eyes? They are just interested in how to make money and live a comfortable life. And whatever they do, there is no beauty in their hearts. The only joy of their lives is to fill their own stomach, and to gossip about others. There is no eye in their hearts to see the world clearly. They see no beauty.
But in reality, how wonderful is this world? Just how beautiful has our Lord made it? How happy has He made us and blessed us? God made both this world and the next world beautiful. He made the whole universe beautiful, both the heavens and the earth. Bartimaeus had been living in a depressing and dark world, but when he found the Truth, he opened his eyes and saw the beautiful world of God’s creation. Likewise, rather than looking at the world pessimistically, we should also have spiritual eyes and see the true beauty of the world.
Though we were blind, we have now opened our eyes—this is the truth. To believe that we have no sin is to believe in the truth. Despite having the eyes of the flesh, we were all spiritually blind. But now that we have opened our eyes through the Lord, we should not look at this world in the same way we did when we were blind. Once our spiritual eyes are opened, we must see the world as a beautiful and wonderful place. Similarly, when we deal with other people, we should believe that they have no sin, and we should shine the light of this faith on them. Believe from the depth of your heart that you and I are both clean and spotless, and that there is no sin in this world.
You and I have received the remission of sins. However, sometimes we still get depressed. Other times we feel unhappy. Why are we unable to live happily in this beautiful world? Why do we stumble as though we were going through a dark tunnel, instead of building our happiness? Why are we walking on a dark road when there clearly is a bright road ahead of us? As spiritually born-again people, we must open the eyes of our hearts once again. Just as Bartimaeus opened his eyes, so must we also open our spiritual eyes completely, and only then can we realize that this world is indeed beautiful. Otherwise we will live like a blind person who can’t see ahead, trapped in a dark and frustrating world of pessimism.
The same goes when we bear witness of the gospel to others. Whenever you approach people, you should never see any of them in a negative or dark light. Don’t think pessimistically, “How could this person ever receive the remission of sins?” Cast aside all such cynical thoughts. They are clean, sinless people. No matter what anyone says, you should approach them boldly and lift up the scale covering their eyes. You have to thus open their spiritual eyes and make it possible for them to receive the remission of sins. For those who have opened their spiritual eyes, there is a breathtakingly beautiful and expansive world before them. In their lives there is neither any curse nor any darkness. There is only wonderful happiness waiting them.
If you see this world through your eyes of faith in bright light, you will see that the world is indeed filled with blessings. Of course, even among those who have received the remission of sins, there are some who live in darkness as if their eyes were still tightly closed. But this is wrong. We the redeemed should never live like this. If there are any such people among the saints gathered here, they must escape from this flawed thinking as soon as possible.
Countless people have received the remission of sins since we began our literature ministry. Myriads of people are coming into the light of the Lord, and His Church is becoming evermore beautiful. We must believe with our hearts that all our past sins have disappeared from our lives, and that we have now begun to lead a new, happy, and joyful life in the Lord.
It’s precisely for this reason that the Lord has saved us, and so it is completely foolish for any of us to lead a miserable life bound by our past sins even after receiving the remission of sins. No beautiful flower can blossom in our lives if we live like this. That’s the same as living in the past mindset as slaves in Egypt and trembling in fear, unable to take the expansive land of Canaan that the Lord has opened up for us, the wonderful world that the Lord has given us. We must escape from this mindset. Just as Bartimaeus the beggar escaped from darkness, so must we also shake it off and set ourselves free.
It’s now time for me to bring this sermon to its conclusion. All of us need to realize how God has made our lives so blessed, and abiding by this faith in the Lord, we also need to think about whether there really is any sin in this world or not. I admonish you to believe from the depth of your heart that there is no sin in this world, and to live and work in this sinless world as its light, both at your home and your workplace. I ask you to abide by your faith in the Lord, who has illuminated the world, to give thanks to Him for what He has already given you, and to bear witness of the Light before God. This beautiful world that God has given us is so large that our entire lifetime would still not be long enough for us to enjoy it all. All that remains for us to do is to just enjoy it by faith and take what God has given us.
My fellow believers, we can never become blind again. If we have indeed opened our spiritual eyes through the Lord, then all of us must live a new life. Bartimaeus had lived in misery begging in the dirty and grimy street all his life, but once he opened both his eyes, he saw this beautiful world and truly came to appreciate all its beauty. So we must also live like him. So let us not bind our lives in our past. The Bible says, “Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Just like this passage, God has indeed opened our world anew, so that we may live in all its expanses, blessings, and beauty.
Do you believe in this? Then live by this faith. The flowers of happiness will then blossom in your home, the flowers of the Truth in the Church, and the flowers of blessings in our lives.
God has blessed us to enjoy everything in the world. I hope and pray that you will enjoy it all in the Light, bear even more fruits before God, and give all the more glory to Him.
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