Mark 10:46-52 has been my time with God this week. I loved reading about Bartimaeus. When I read about these people, I think one of 2 things..”I want to be like him (or her)!” or “They are like me and YET, they follow Jesus.” Either way, it’s spiritual food.
In this text, Jesus comes to Jericho, a city noted for many bible stories. In addition, He is riding into Jerusalem within the week. IMAGINE JESUS -knowing all things -is about to go big! He KNOWS he will be healing people from horrible pain, YET He Himself is on His own journey of pain. He will give His life for ours.
Here comes our boy- BARTIMAEUS! V. 46. “Now, they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, BLIND BARTIMAEUS, THE SON OF TIMAEUS, SAT BY THE ROAD BEGGING. V 47. 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!”
LOOK at these words about Bartimaeus. He is called “blind”. (How long? We don’t know.) He is said to be “begging”. In this culture, blindness means 2 things-the blind person has probably been cursed by God and he (or she) is useless to society. IMAGINE THIS. I’m not a blind beggar, but Bartimaeus’s story can touch us deeply as we consider his status (or lack thereof). WHERE AM I BLIND?
V.48″Then many warned him to be quiet; BUT HE CRIED ALL THE MORE, “SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!”V.49 So, JESUS stood still and commanded him to be called. Then, they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, for He is calling you.”
(Is it just me or does the crowd seem to change like the wind? One minute, telling (“warning”) him to be quiet and the next, helping him up & cheering him on ? I think it’s the presence of Christ. Did the crowd see their hatefulness toward blind beggers or did they just want Jesus to think they were righteous? Either way, this story is not theirs. It’s the story of the man “WHO CRIED ALL THE MORE”!)
V.50 AND THROWING ASIDE HIS GARMENT, HE ROSE TO COME TO JESUS. V.51 SO, JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID TO HIM,'”WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO FOR YOU? THE BLIND MAN SAID TO HIM , “RABBONI (an Aramaic term of endearment!), THAT I MAY RECEIVE MY SIGHT.” V. 52 THEN JESUS SAID TO HIM, “GO YOUR WAY; YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WELL. AND IMMEDIATELY, HE RECEIVED HIS SIGHT AND FOLLOWED JESUS ON THE ROAD.”
Time for me to clean my glasses and SEE.
- Notice the order in which Bartimaeus speaks. BEFORE HE ASKS FOR SOMETHING, he honors JESUS by calling Him His MESSIANIC name “SON OF DAVID.”
- Now, he has publicly shouted out Messiah’s title, he cries for Him to “HAVE MERCY ON ME!” (What can we discern here? Bartimaeus recognizes NOT ONLY his physical disability, but his spiritual NEED.)
- (Sidenote: I LOVE THAT JESUS STOPPED & STOOD STILL TO WAIT FOR BARTIMAEUS! WOW-how can I be like that? I want to STOP for those whom others disregard & I want to “stand still and wait” to show mercy on others. JESUS can do this through us!)
- Bartimaeus throws away his garment (maybe symbolic of his old life?) and comes to JESUS. JESUS knows what he wants and YET, asks him again. “What do you want Me to do for you?’ . Bartimaeus’ gets to affirm his faith again publicly! I imagine Bartimaeus lifting his sightless eyes to Christ and quietly addressing His Messiah….”Rabboni, I want to receive my sight.”
- Finally, JESUS says “Go your way; your faith has made you well. And he (Bartimaeus) immediately received his sight ands followed Him on the road.” Amazing! Jesus heals Bartimaeus and then gives him the freedom “to go your way”. But, Bartimaeus knows the difference between sitting in darkness and walking in light. Bartimaeus “follows Him on the road.”