Lord, that I might, etc. - The Codex Bezae, and some copies of the Itala, have, Κυριε ῥαββει, O Lord, my teacher.
See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 20:29-34.
Blind Bartimeus - Matthew says there were two. Mark mentions but one, though he does not deny that there was another. He mentions this man because he was well known - Bartimeus, the “blind man.”
Casting away his garment - That is, his outer garment - the one that was thrown loosely over him. See the notes at Matthew 5:40. He threw it off, full of joy at the prospect of being healed, and that he might run without impediment to Jesus. This may be used to illustrate - though it had no such original reference - the manner in which a sinner should come to Jesus. He should throw away the garments of his own righteousness - he should rise speedily - should run with joy - should have full faith in the power of Jesus, and cast himself entirely upon his mercy.
God does not send messengers to flatter the sinner. He delivers no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security. He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrongdoer, and pierces the soul with arrows of conviction. The ministering angels present to him the fearful judgments of God to deepen the sense of need, and prompt the cry, “What must I do to be saved?” Then the hand that has humbled in the dust, lifts up the penitent. The voice that has rebuked sin, and put to shame pride and ambition, inquires with tenderest sympathy, “What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?” DA 104.1
When the ministry of John began, the nation was in a state of excitement and discontent verging on revolution. At the removal of Archelaus, Judea had been brought directly under the control of Rome. The tyranny and extortion of the Roman governors, and their determined efforts to introduce the heathen symbols and customs, kindled revolt, which had been quenched in the blood of thousands of the bravest of Israel. All this intensified the national hatred against Rome, and increased the longing to be freed from her power. DA 104.2
Amid discord and strife, a voice was heard from the wilderness, a voice startling and stern, yet full of hope: “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” With a new, strange power it moved the people. Prophets had foretold the coming of Christ as an event far in the future; but here was an announcement that it was at hand. John's singular appearance carried the minds of his hearers back to the ancient seers. In his manner and dress he resembled the prophet Elijah. With the spirit and power of Elijah he denounced the national corruption, and rebuked the prevailing sins. His words were plain, pointed, and convincing. Many believed him to be one of the prophets risen from the dead. The whole nation was stirred. Multitudes flocked to the wilderness. DA 104.3Read in context »
In all the highways of life there are souls to be saved. The blind are groping in darkness. Give them the light, and God will bless you as His laborers.—Letter 60, 1903. Ev 553.1
Plans for the High Classes Will Reach All—Bring your minds up to the greatness of the work. Your narrow plans, your limited ideas, are not to come into your methods of working. There must be reform on this point, and there will be more means brought in to enable the work to be brought up to the high and exalted position it should ever occupy. There will be men who have means who will discern something of the character of the work, although they have not the courage to lift the cross and to bear the reproach that attends unpopular truth. First reach the high classes if possible, but there should be no neglect of the lower classes. Ev 553.2
But it has been the case that the plans and the efforts have been so shaped in many fields that the lower classes only are the ones who can be reached. But methods may be devised to reach the higher classes who need the light of truth as well as the lower classes. These see the truth, but they are, as it were, in the slavery of poverty, and see starvation before them should they accept the truth. Plan to reach the best classes, and you will not fail to reach the lower classes. Letter 14, 1887. Ev 553.3Read in context »