Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.-

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Spring 1978
The Beggars Garment
Edgar F. Parkyns
Pinecrest Faculty

It was ragged, dirty, old, that woolen ‘abaye’ that covered Bartimaeus as he sat by the busy road. Well-meaning people had given him better ones for which he had been grateful, but he kept those at home or passed them on.

This was his beggar’s robe. Its warm, personal smell was pleasant to him; its tattered fringes semaphored additional appeals to passers by, as, lifting sightless eyes, he begged for a mite. Foreigners would sometimes drop a whole denarius into his upturned palm. He had found long ago that returns were better when he was wrapped in that worn-out garment. It was the badge of his trade.

Jericho was a comfortable place for beggars. Warm all the year, hot and dry most of the time, with sycamore and fig trees, palms and balsam trees for shade, and Herod’s winter palace attracting the rich visitors, it was far better than Jerusalem for those of his profession.

Although shut in to sound and touch, smell and taste, without vision natural or spiritual, with little concept of the glory of the Creator’s handiwork, or of those subtle warnings written by sin and greed and cunning on the countenances of men, he had to catch the almost imperceptible inflection, the smothered word, the perfume and perspiration, the gait shuffling or striding, to teach him what others might learn more easily. He was not unhappy: all men had their allotted tasks: his was to give to others the chance of earning dividends in Paradise. So he begged without shame, and loved his threadbare garment.

Then Jesus came. There was a new excitement in the air, a breath of life stirring through the gossip; there were stories of mighty healings, of vast crowds, hopes of a new kingdom at hand.

This Jesus of Nazareth—could He be the expected Messiah? Was He the true scion of David’s line? Would He bring deliverance in this urgent hour to Israel?

He had arrived at Jericho. He was passing through. He was drawing near. The excited crowd was surging past the beggar’s shady corner to line the road. Bartimaeus was no longer begging; he was questioning, eagerly, pathetically, and received the answer that changed this life.

As the crowd stilled to observe Jesus of Nazareth passing by, the beggar’s whine changed to an urgent cry: “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Louder and more impassioned sounded the repeated, desperate appeal. He was told by orthodox citizens to be quiet. He shouted the louder.

A quite word was spoken: someone said: “Rise. He calleth thee!”

Leaping up, he cast aside his garment, and was brought to Jesus.

He cast it aside; the very symbol of his profession, the familiar accompaniment of his way of life, and with that gesture he was giving a joyous farewell to the past. He would never beg again!

What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?

What did he really want? Some beggars love their life pattern and do not desire anything more strenuous.

“Lord, that I might receive my sight.”

It was his true heart’s desire, deeply stirred, defined in hope, and uttered in the presence of the Son of David, Messiah, the Son of God. And the declaration of that desire, that hope, in the presence of Jesus, transmuted hope into invincible faith.

“Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”

And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Young Mark, writer of the Gospel knew him and his father very well and no doubt heard his testimony in the church at Jerusalem. He could perceive with others that desperation plus the presence of Jesus had produced a heart cry that would not be denied. That cry in that Presence had become faith by that grace that Jesus gives. That faith had made Bartimaeus whole. If you have a heart cry like that in His presence you can have faith like that, for although God resists the proud He gives grace to the humble.

But Mark noted something else. The beggar had cast aside his garment while still blind, as though to say: “Be gone, beggar’s garb! You shall not earn a mite more for me!” It was probably trodden underfoot by the crowd. And Bartimaeus was a new creature by faith in Christ Jesus. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Do you keep a beggar’s garment in your drawer? Do you make provision for the flesh just in case following Christ should demand too much? Or have all things become new?

Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. It is good to know that He is near. Good that hope should arise in your heart to oust your secret despair. Good for a cry to formulate your inmost heart’s desire. Better to know that He invites you to come and receive.

It is better still to fling aside the garment of reserve; to say farewell to past limitation and assets and to venture into Christ’s fullness. Better yet to define your heart’s desire in His presence.

And is receiving that heart’s desire the best of all?

The best is to see His face . . . and to follow Him on the uphill road to Calvary.


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