The story of the healing of Bartimaeus at Jericho, on the banks of the Jordon River, is a chapter marker in Mark’s Gospel and a summation of all the teaching about discipleship that has been presented since the story of Peter’s Confession that we read at the beginning of this summer.
Mark’s Gospel is a complexly written and theologically dense account of Jesus’ life and ministry. The story this week serves to delineate the structure of the larger account of Jesus’ life and presents a summary of a major section of the Gospel.
The Gospel, as Mark recounts it, asks us to make a response to what is being presented. Who do we say Jesus is? What do we want from him? What will we do in response?