BE of Good Cheer!
Be of good cheer!
This phrase commands us to have courage; to stand and have confidence in God.
In Mark 10:46-52 we encounter Jesus as He exits Jericho. Jericho, the very place where Joshua faces his first test as a leader (Joshua 5). Joshua, arguably a novice leader assumed this position based on relationship and loyalty. Life is about relationships. Position is not as significant as relationship. God looked favorably upon Joshua because of his loyalty and commitment to Moses. (Numbers 27:18) The people you relate with can make or unmake you. Your relationships have a bearing on your character.
After leading Israel out of Egypt, Joshua now confronts the fortified city of Jericho. Like many of the problems and challenges we face, Jericho impeded Israel’s ability to acquire what God had promised. In obedience to the instruction the angel of the Lord gave Joshua, Israel walked around their problem - i.e. Jericho. You must come to the point of letting your problem know that your God is bigger than the problem.
We encounter Jericho again in 2 Kings when Elisha receives anointing after the ascension of Elijah. Twice salvation (Joshua & Elisha) is tested at Jericho.
In Mark 10:46, Jesus arrives in Jericho, but unlike his predecessors, Jericho was not a problem to Him. As Mark 10:46 notes, And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples… The place of trials and testing of faith, was the very place Jesus went through. Don’t stay in Jericho; don’t dwell in your problem, go through it.
On His journey, Jesus encounters blind Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus; the son of honor. Bartimaeus was destined to live in honor; but his productivity was limited by his lack of vision. The man born with a great destiny is trapped in the place where faith is tried.
Bartimaeus cries out with desperation and anguish to Jesus. (Mark 10:47) Effective prayer is birthed out of a place of passion. (James 5:16) Fruit must be born out of genuine need. Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus as the “Son of David” suggesting that he referred to Him beyond the divinity of Christ; he referred to Jesus as a product of grace. Hearing the cry of Bartimaeus, Jesus -- the embodiment of grace, the descendant of David, stood still and commanded him to come. For to whom grace has been extended, grace must be released.
Bartimaeus’ interaction with Jesus is akin to the process of prayer. Bartimaeus cries out to Jesus as he passes; reflective of prayer. Jesus beckons him to come; symbolic of a deeper dimension of prayer. Jesus then inquired of him -- “What do you want me to do for you?” Be specific as you enter into a deeper dimension of prayer. Know what you’re seeking.
Despite their initial reluctance, the disciples permit Bartimaeus access to Jesus saying, “be of good cheer”. Mark 10:49 Be of good cheer; that is change your attitude, step away from the crying. As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states, Rejoice always! Rejoicing is a choice. Change your countenance, and pray without ceasing. At the pinnacle of praying, remember to give thanks.
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. Psalm 91:3 Have confidence in God that your present predicament is not your future destiny. You may be in Jericho today, but you’re headed to Jerusalem -- a better place.
Be of good cheer! Shalom.