I have never been blind. My eyesight is poor but I am definitely not blind. I can’t imagine the thoughts that went through Bartimaeus’s head day after day.
There he sat. The blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, listening to the people pass by. Maybe they talked about him the way we tend to talk about people who are a little bit different than the rest of us. Could he hear their whispers?
Day after day he sat. Day after day he begged. Day after day he listened.
Then one day he heard that Jesus was passing by. The man whom he had heard them talk about. The man who had given other blind men their sight. The man who must be more than a man.
“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (Mark 10:47)
Bartimaeus cried out. The others tried to silence him, so he cried out even louder.
“Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Then Jesus stopped. He called for Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus jumped up, threw off his cloak and went to Jesus.
There was no hesitation. When Jesus called, Bartimaeus went.
Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Bartimaeus answered, “Let me recover my sight.”
It was the most basic thing that Bartimaeus needed. Sight. I think he may have already seen much better than I do.
Jesus said, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”
There are too many times when my crying out isn’t to Jesus but to the things that I think will save me. I cry out to the idols in my life that might just be the answer I am looking for. I cry out to what I hope will save me for a lifetime, knowing that it will only save me for a moment.
Bartimaeus understood that the only answer to his blindness was Jesus. He imagined a life of sight and cried out to the one who could give it to him. When people told him to be quiet he cried out all the more.
I wish I could say that I cry out to Jesus like that. I want to. There are times when I have. There are also other times when I want to fix the problem myself. Times when faith doesn’t seem to be enough.
Faith is always enough. In my deepest need Jesus is enough. In your deepest need Jesus is enough.
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 ESV)
The end of the story is that Bartimaeus recovers his sight. Of course he did! Jesus healed him because of his faith.
Bartimaeus’s response is amazing. Instead of going on his way he decided to follow Jesus.
Too often I find the answer in Jesus and then go on my own way.
I want to be more like Bartimaeus who continued to follow the one who met his need.
I want to see Jesus like Bartimaeus saw him. What about you?