". . .Take heart. Rise; He's calling you." Mark 10:49
Here the expression is used by the people in the crowd. It was a common phrase that meant "good luck with that," followed by a slap on the back. For the multitude, it was nothing more than a casual wishing someone well.
But, with Jesus, it meant infinitely more. “Take heart” goes far deeper. It means that, in every situation, the resources of Heaven are available, there is power to change whatever is wrong. This is more than positive thinking; it signals the presence of God is near.
The significance of "take heart" is, it's spoken to a blind man on the side of the road. It is the last recorded miracle in Mark. Spoken at a time when Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem. He's fifteen miles from His goal. The miracle of Bartimaeus could make no difference to the great end Jesus had set His face towards. Bartimaeus was nothing but a person and a need. His healing was nothing but a work of love and mercy to be done. And Jesus did it.
It's the meanwhile mercy ministry on the roadside we are prone to forget. We can be so absorbed with the "work" of ministry that we overlook other opportunities because they don't contribute to moving our ministry forward. The greatest ministry opportunities are packaged in the trivial. It's easy to excuse ourselves from time consuming detours which seem only to slow us from reaching some goal.
The tendency is to dislike moments of meanwhile mercy simply because they are not accompanied with a sense of the heroic. Jesus never missed the opportunity to care, to connect, show compassion and clearly share truth. Jesus never reasoned away meanwhile ministry, saying "what difference would healing one more blind man make to life and the cross?" It made all the difference to Bartimaeus.
A work of love was never a small thing to Jesus, who looked on people with the compassion of God. The mercy we show to others in the meanwhile, is only a drop in the bucket. But, Jesus put a high value on drops in the bucket.
Will you make time to demonstrate meanwhile mercy? Every person you meet today needs to experience the love of God. Are you paying attention?