The contrasts in Mark chapter 10 are instructive.
In verse 35 of this chapter is the request from James and John, the sons of Zebedee, the sons of thunder, who ask Jesus for positions of authority and power in the kingdom. How little attention had these apostles paid to recent events! Jesus had taught earlier in the chapter that to even enter the kingdom, one must become humble and unassuming as a little child. They had failed to understand the truth that Jesus had taught!
Finally, to cap all of this as a living object lesson is poor, blind Bartemaeus. Jesus and the apostles had been in Jericho where large crowds followed him from the city. The blind man was sitting begging alms when Jesus came and began calling out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The people in the crowd told him to keep quiet, but he called to the Master even more loudly. Jesus called the blind man to him.
Bartemaeus had only one request: “…that I might receive my sight.”
What a contrast! THIS was the attitude Jesus had been teaching about all along. The Jews needed this attitude to understand how to rid themselves of a hardened heart. The children were characteristic of the kingdom because of their willingness to come to Jesus humbly and unassumingly. And, in contrast to James and John, blind Bartemaeus asked for mercy to receive his sight.
May we all learn the lesson of Mark 10, that we might have the same attitude in the kingdom of our Lord and Master.