“Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. The come, follow Me.” At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions….Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus..”
Mark 10:21b-22, 50
Why did Mark see it fit to include the portion of the story where Bartimaeus threw his coat aside before coming to Jesus? Is it relevant to his healing or to the power of this story? Well, if compared with the earlier story of the rich man, then absolutely. If we look again at the story of the rich man, asking what he should do to get eternal life, Jesus, having compassion on him, noticed an area of his life he was not willing to give up or to give to Jesus; the area of wealth. He was a very rich man, and Jesus saw that the love of wealth was the hinderance of their relationship. Quite simply, his wealth meant more to him than his relationship with Christ. Bartimaeus on the other hand, freely threw aside the only thing he had of value, his coat, when Jesus called him.
We too, have a choice. Do we give up what we hold valuable, and fall at the feet of Jesus, or do we allow it to become a roadblock in our relationship with Jesus? Notice Jesus’ words to the rich man, ‘go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN.’ God never asks us to give up something to make us poor or to suffer unnecessarily. He is our provider, protector and shepherd. Yet He does challenge the things in our lives that take His place. We are promised that if we give up our life for His sake and for the sake of the Good News, we will be saved (Mark 8:35 paraphrased). Whatever we give up on this earth, we will be rewarded with so much more in Heaven, here on this earth and most importantly, an uninterrupted and unhindered life and relationship with Jesus Christ. Will you throw your coat aside or cling on to your wealth?