Mark 10:46-11:11 – Blind Bartimaeus and the Triumphal Entry


Mark 10:46-11:11


A blind man on the road to Jericho provides a model of faith in Jesus, while the crowds that follow him demonstrate their misunderstanding of his ministry.


The story of Bartimaeus provides a contrast to the story of the triumphal entry that follows immediately afterward. There are several points of contrast between the two stories that serve to highlight Bartimaeus as an example of discipleship. First of all, though Bartimaeus and the crowd address Jesus with language related to the Davidic monarchy, only Bartimaeus specifically references Jesus with that language. He names Jesus as the “Son of David” (10:48) and begs him for mercy. The crowds that greet Jesus as he enters Jerusalem address him indirectly and with reference to themselves. They proclaim David as their father also, rather than giving Jesus his due as the son of David (11:9). Bartimaeus must persist despite efforts to silence him and as a result, he has a face-to-face interaction with Jesus. In response to Jesus’ question, Bartimaeus relates to him personally, calling Jesus “Rabbuni,” which means “My master” in Aramaic. This contrasts with the crowds who praise Jesus, but do not admit any allegiance to him.

Before healing Bartimaeus, Jesus commends his faith, as he has in other healing episodes (see Mark 5:21-43 Two Nested Miracles). That faith continues after the healing, as Bartimaeus follows Jesus along the road. In contrast, though the crowds have enthusiasm for Jesus, they leave him at the end of the day. Mark makes explicit that Jesus left Jerusalem and went back to Bethany with the twelve (11:11).