Throwing aside garments

So Jesus stood still and commanded him (Bartimaeus) 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.  (Mark 10:49-50)

I recently participated in a great Bible study with Super Men, young men and a few dads who have teamed together to read through the New Testament this year, journaling about a topic of their individual choices.  It was one of the most remarkable Bible studies I’ve been in lately.

During some lighthearted moments of the study, I related a few stories about my skinny dipping experiences (yes, it’s a wholesome and holistic activity so just keep your shirt on, no pun intended).  But when I related a serious matter of Job’s naked experience scraping sores with a piece of pottery, it was no laughing matter.  There are times when one needs, or even wants, to be naked before his Creator.

The blind man, Bartimaeus, threw off his garment when Jesus called him to come.  Whether or not he had on any clothing underneath is not known.  But this is known:  Bartimaeus came to Jesus raw, hurt, and totally exposed to the Master – not caring what others thought (10:48), wanting Jesus just as he was – no worldly sight, no selfish pride, and no personal shame.

When Jesus healed him, it’s certain that Bartimaeus discovered some degree of his nakedness, clearly seeing people around him with their garments on.  He surely looked different standing there naked, or practically so, but there’s no mention of him covering up.  He was now gladly wrapped in the righteousness and justice of Jesus, just as Job described:  I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and turban (Job 29:14); and David sang about:  …You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness (Psalm 30:11b).

And, although Jesus told him to “go your way,” Bartimaeus chose to follow Jesus (10:52), for JESUS WAS HIS WAY.

Bartimaeus is the believer’s picture of how we must stand in the world, wearing nothing but the righteousness and justice and gladness of Jesus.  We’re naked as far as the world is concerned, because we no longer wear their stinking clothes, coverings Paul described as:

…adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like…  (Galatians 5:19-21)

All these things are the clothing of disgrace and humiliation that King David wrote about, too, in Psalm 109…  garments that must be flung aside if one is to walk with Jesus down the causeway of eternal life.  Instead, may we be found wearing nothing but the clothing of saints:  righteousness, justice, and gladness.

Choosing as our clothes, His clothes; and our way, His way.

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