Bible Reading: Mark 10:32-52
Some people suggest that because the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) don’t all have the exact same information…that there are errors and mistakes in the Bible. That’s just not true. In this story about Bartimaeus we find a good example of what I am talking about. It has nothing to do with mistakes. In fact, it is just the opposite. God used different men to record different facts about the same event…just from their individual perspective and with their personal emphasis. It’s kind of like shining a light through a prism. The light goes in white…and comes out in rainbow colors. It’s all the same light…just different spectrums. God speaks the same truth into the hearts of men…and it comes out in different personalities.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Several years ago, Austin and Bradyn were riding down the highway with their father, David. All of a sudden, a man pulled out from a side street right in front of them and they crashed into his car. Their car spun around and flipped over onto the roof. When it finally slid to a stop…they were hanging upside down in their car seats. That was just weird! David jumped out of the car and quickly got them out of their seats. Nobody was hurt…but it was pretty scary stuff.
I want you to use your imagination for a minute. Imagine another accident scene with me. You are standing on a street corner where two four-lane roads cross each other. You are waiting for the light to change so that you can walk across. A city garbage truck pulls up in front of you and stops. Now you cannot see across the street in front of you. All of a sudden, you hear the sound of tires screeching. Then, you hear a loud crashing sound. You look around the garbage truck and there in the middle of the intersection is a truck and a car. Steam is coming out of the hood of the truck. The side of the car is all smashed in. The driver of the car is still just sitting there. The truck driver is walking towards the car. And the clown…the clown? Where did he come from? Anyway, the clown is talking to someone on his cell phone. Within minutes a Police car arrives and the Policeman starts asking people what they had seen. Here is what he was told…
- The woman driving the car said that as she got to the middle of the intersection, “Bam!”…their vehicles crashed into each other.
- The guy in the truck said that the woman in the car came flying out of nowhere and she ran into him.
- Then there was the bus driver. He was sitting in the turn lane of the road that the truck was driving on. He was watching the clown and looked up when he heard the crash and saw the car and truck spinning around. He wasn’t sure where they had come from.
- Then there is you. You couldn’t see the car coming because of the garbage truck. And, you couldn’t see the truck coming because of the bus. All you heard was the crash. Then you saw the clown.
- Finally, there was the clown. He was an off-duty Policeman who was performing at a Community Benefit at a park on the opposite corner of the intersection from you. He had a clear view of everything. He saw the woman run a red light. He also saw the driver of the truck get out and change places with a passenger in the truck with him. Then the passenger walked over to the car. He was on his phone calling the Police Station.
Now, here is my question. Who got the story right…the woman driving the car, the man driving the truck, the garbage truck driver, the bus driver, you, or the clown? Answer: They all did. Each person told about the wreck from their own perspective. While not everyone had all of the facts…the facts that each one gave were correct.
Does this story in Mark about a blind man sound familiar? It should, we have already read about it in Matthew (20:29-34). And yet, there is a difference. Matthew told us that there were two blind men. Mark says that there was one blind man and that his name was Bartimaeus. Who was right. Both were. Mark didn’t say that there wasn’t another man. He just focused on the one man. It was a matter of perspective…just like the people at the accident scene.
And then sometimes, a writer might be making a point…so he just includes the information that helps him to do so. For instance, if I went fishing and caught 10 fish and later I told you about it and said that I caught…
- 10 fish
- or, a stringer full of fish
- or, I told you about one big fish
…which one would be right? All three. I could choose to tell you the entire story, or just part of the story…and they would all be correct and true. It was just a matter of what I wanted to emphasize.
So, why would God use different people to tell the same story in different ways? For one reason, while God leads the writers of the Bible to say exactly what He wants them to say (that means there are no errors or mistakes in the Bible), he allows their different personalities to be a part of the writing process. Why? Because the people reading the Bible have different personalities, as well. Some may read Matthew and identify with him. Some may read Mark and identify with him. And the same is true of Luke and John. Which Gospel writer would you identify with the most?
- Matthew…he was always quoting passages from the Old Testament and pointing out how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah
- Mark…he wrote the shortest Gospel and often said, “immediately”…it was almost if he was saying, “Give me facts and nothing but the facts.”
- Luke…he was a doctor…he went to many other people and carefully put together a timeline of the life of Jesus
- John…he was called the “beloved” and was maybe the best friend of Jesus…he wasn’t so concerned with the timeline of Jesus’ life as he was with the meaning of His life and the purpose of His ministry.
On top of that, when you put the four Gospels together…with each adding its own information and written from its own unique perspective…you get a bigger, better understanding than you would if you only had one Gospel, or if they were all written exactly alike. How boring that would be!
Bottom line. God led four men to each write about the life and ministry of Jesus. Each one adds some things that the others don’t include. Each one is written from a unique perspective and by an individual personality. Who got the story right? They all did. And, God did all that…because He loves you and wants you to really know about Jesus. How cool is that!
Love you more than bunches and bunches,