The Gospels, of course, focus on Jesus, as we discussed in the first part of this series. But the Gospels focus on Jesus on the basis of eyewitness accounts, as Luke says when he explains how he wrote his book: “Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us” (Luke 1:1-2). One of the best avenues to engage people with the Gospels is to tell the story from the perspective of the eyewitnesses who met Jesus. It is their stories which the Gospel writers have compiled to write their accounts. There are many minor characters we meet in the Gospels who have an important story to tell. Quite often they are named, and it may well be that their names are remembered because they were the very ones who shared their eyewitness accounts of meeting Jesus with others. To tell their stories faithfully, we need to look through their eyes. Only when we have seen Jesus as they saw him, can we share their faith and experience of Jesus.

One example is Bartimaeus, the blind beggar who is healed by Jesus near the city of Jericho (Mark 10:46-52). “And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Bartimaeus cannot see with his eyes, but he knows who Jesus is. He recognizes that this Jesus, from Nazareth, is the Son of David – that is, the Messiah. He most likely has in mind the promise made by the prophet Nathan to King David, that God would raise up his descendant after him, who would be God’s Son, and who would rule over an eternal kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12-14). Bartimaeus knows the scripture and sees Jesus as the fulfillment of the promise.

Knowing Jesus to be the Messiah, Bartimaeus calls out for mercy. The crowd sees Jesus but they do not recognize who he is, and keep telling Bartimaeus to be quiet, but he just keeps on shouting. In previous chapters in Mark, we find out that the crowds see Jesus as a prophet (Mark 8:27-28), and as a teacher (Mark 9:17). And of course, he is a prophet and teacher, but he is so much more, and blind Bartimaeus sees that. When Jesus stops and calls for him, he was so eager that he threw off his cloak, jumped up, and went to Jesus. When Jesus asked him what he wanted, he called him “Rabbouni,” meaning “my master,” and asked for his sight. Then Jesus healed him, recognizing his faith: “Your faith has healed you” (Mark 10:52). And he immediately started to follow Jesus.

If we look at Jesus through Bartimaeus’s eyes, we will:

  1. See that he is the Messiah, the Son of David.
  2. Believe in his mercy.
  3. Know we can call on him for help without shame.
  4. Know that he listens to the cries of the needy.
  5. Believe in his healing power.
  6. Understand that following Jesus is the right response to his mercy.

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Declining Religious Affiliation

Dr. Iorg evaluates why churches in the US may be declining and emphasizes that the gospel must take center-stage in the church’s mission.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

Reclaiming Manhood

Dr. Iorg discusses what it means to raise men in today’s society.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

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Lead On Podcast
May 28, 2023

Dealing with Angry People

There is a lot of anger in the world right now and a lot of that anger is spilling over into the church. This week Dr. Iorg discusses different ways to engage with and disciple angry people in your ministry.

Lead On Podcast
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Preventing “Let Down” Sundays

Easter and Christmas are just a few of the major Sundays that demand a lot from leaders and volunteers. How do you prevent burnout or “lagging” Sundays for the week after? 


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Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

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