Throw Off Your Cloak That Encumbers
“Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’ Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.” Mark 10:49-50 NIV
Life has a way of making you feel bound up and ineffective. Once one or two things start to go awry, we become encumbered with fear and doubt. If you are feeling constrained by life, it is important to realize that God set us free of all these things, if we let him.
Recall the story of the blind beggar Bartimaeus, from Mark chapter 10. He calls to Jesus who is passing by and the crowds try to quiet him. This makes him call for Jesus’ mercy all the louder.
Jesus responded to this by calling Bartimaeus to Him. Then in verse 50, we see Bartimaeus do something that we tend just to read over and pay little attention to. It says, “Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.” This is important if we realize that at that time and in that place beggars wore a certain garb that identified them to others as beggars. By casting aside the cloak he was doing two things.
First, it represented his throwing aside all and any things that would hinder him from receiving all that the Lord had for him. Anything that would slow him down or impede his progress was released. Examine your own life and find out what things impede your walking in the full blessings of Jesus. It can be anything that takes priority over Jesus and the Word daily.
The second thing Bartimaeus did by casting off the beggar’s clothing was to demonstrate his desire to leave the past behind him! The cloak was symbolic of his social status. By discarding this he left it behind. People gave to him because of what the cloak represented. By casting it aside he said that there was no going back for him. He would either be healed or have no means of support. Too often we get a hindering comfort from the very things that bind us.
It is time to step forward and receive the things of God with that same boldness. At the same time we need to shed the inappropriate comforts and securities we cling too, leaving ourselves no options except God. In so doing we put ourselves, like Bartimaeus, in a position to receive God’s best!
J Todd Hostetler