The story of blind Bartimaeus (Mk 10:46-52) not only displays traits that are unusual for a synoptic healing miracle, it also shows almost all features of a call story. The genesis of the narration can account for this combination of two genres: a story about the call of the blind beggar Bartimaeus has been expanded with a story about the healing of the blind man, in which Jesus focusses attention on his faith. Next, the crowd has been introduced to have Bartimaeus’ faith stand out more strongly, and finally, Mark has slightly adapted the pericope to fit it into his Gospel. The editorial contribution of the evangelist is to be found mainly in his contextualizing of the scene. He has placed it at the end of the section 8:27-10:52, which deals with Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem, that is, to suffering and death; Bartimaeus is called by Jesus to follow him on this way. Mark has also given significance to the story by putting Bartimaeus in contrast to some other characters, especially to Peter, James and John as the three foremost disciples. This contrast may imply some criticism of leadership in the Markan community.
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