Today's verses are Mark 10:48,49: "And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' And Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him.' And they called the blind man, saying to him, 'Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.'" Blind Bartimaeus was a beggar on the road leaving Jericho. His only way to live was to beg. He heard that the miracle man Jesus was passing by. More than money, he wanted his sight! So he proclaimed the prayer that God will always hear, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me."
Many rebuked him for crying out to Jesus in this way. Jesus had become extremely popular with the masses. Given his popularity, many thought it to be socially improper for a social outcast like Bartimaeus to call out to Jesus. Marginalized people simply didn't interrupt important people!
But Bartimaeus didn't listen to the rebukes. He continued his persistent prayer. He cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Jesus loves persistent prayer. For example, in Luke 18, Jesus told a parable of a persistent widow banging on the door of an unjust judge. We don't know what injustice had occurred to her. We only know that her only recourse was to keep banging on the door until she got what she wanted. Luke 18:1 begins this way, from the words of Jesus: "I'm telling you this parable so you won't give up and keep on praying." Again, Jesus obviously loves persistent prayer!
Jesus finally paid attention to Bartimaeus, most certainly because of his persistent prayers. The crowd's attitude toward him changed from rebuke to encouragement: "Take heart! Get up! Jesus is calling for you."
Don't give up on your prayers to Jesus. He loves persistent prayer. Somehow, Jesus uses them to forge spiritual strength in our soul. Bartimaeus is a prime example of this fact.
But there's one other significant insight into these verses today. Notice that Jesus is going to Jerusalem, having passed through Jericho, knowing he is going to face extreme suffering. Surely that was his focus. Yet he allowed his focus on Jerusalem to be interrupted by the cries of someone marginalized by society.
Jesus was never too busy to have a divine interruption occur in his day to care for another person, especially an outcast of society. As he passed through his day, he saw a hurting person not as an annoyance but a divine interruption, a sanctified serendipity, a God-authored opportunity to serve his Father in heaven by caring for someone else in need.
Today, as your day may be interrupted by a human need, don't become irritated. Look at it as a divine interruption, an opportunity to serve Jesus--especially if it's someone who is powerless and marginalized!
Persistent prayer and divine interruptions are two significant, spiritual truths from these two verses.