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Blind Bartimaeus aka Blind Bart

by Dan Stolebarger

Director of Koinoina Institute

Years ago when I was a relatively new Christian, I was introduced to a small Christian Community that chose as its name The Bartimaeus Fellowship. This name has resonated with me over the years and one day I hope to see a dream fulfilled.

Bartimaeus was a blind beggar who lived somewhere near Jericho. One day when he caught wind that Jesus was in the neighborhood, he began to “cry out.” The impression one gets when reading the Text is that he was causing somewhat of a disruption and those near him began to insist that he “quiet down.”

However, when being confronted with this advice, the Bible says that Bartimaeus “raised his decibel level” and that Jesus heard him. Jesus’ response to Bartimaeus was to ask him what he wanted. Soon our friend had his sight and began to “follow” Jesus on the road. (See Mark 10:36ff.)

I wonder what would have happened if Bartimaeus would have listened to the advice of those around him? There is a spunkiness to Bartimaeus that appeals to me. Unconventional and against the stream-that’s Bart! But because of his gut determination, he was healed and became a talmudim of his Rabbi Jesus.

Sometimes I wonder about how we “do” church. Sometimes I feel like we are the ones in church who are telling Bart to calm down -to be more “religious.” My ambition is to follow in the steps of Bart and maybe even risk being a bit unconventional when it comes to “church.”

I think the time has come for all of us who profess the Name to become a bit more aggressive when it comes to our faith-a time for us all to raise the bar in our personal lives!

As the Director of Koinonia Institute, I want to invite you into the Fellowship. Join the hundreds who have already become part of the KI Commonwealth. We have no intentions of replacing the local church; we just want to provide opportunities for Christians to mature!

KI has three foundational pillars: the first is the Berean track. Here is the meat and potatoes of KI, the place where we study the Word of God. We currently have over fifteen different online classes ranging from six to sixteen weeks long.

The second pillar is that of the Issachar track. Our goal here is to build a Christian Think Tank that will tackle the prophetic times in which we live. The prophecy field sometimes suffers more from its supporters than from its detractors, but the church needs to understand the times that we are living in more than ever before!

Finally, we need to always be sure that our message is seen as well as heard. Our third track is called Koinonos, and here is where we put feet to our faith in the areas of our practicums.

As I come to the end, let me stress the fact that our Institute is for EVERYMAN!

Want in? It is easy…just get behind that loud guy up front that USED to be blind! On a serious note, please go to our website at www.studycenter.com and join the Fellowship as we together challenge one another to follow Jesus on the road and to be covered with the dust of our Rabbi!


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