46 Jesus and his disciples came to Jericho. They were leaving the city. A large crowd was with them. A blind man was sitting by the side of the road begging. His name was Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus means Son of Timaeus. 47 He heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. So he began to shout, “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!” 48 Many people commanded him to stop. They told him to be quiet. But he shouted even louder, “Son of David! Have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call for him.” So they called out to the blind man, “Cheer up! Get up on your feet! Jesus is calling for you.” 50 He threw his coat to one side. Then he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to be able to see.” 52 “Go,” said Jesus. “Your faith has healed you.” Right away he could see. And he followed Jesus along the road.
I admire the persistence of Bartimaeus in this passage. Here was a desperate man. We do not know the source, or for how long he had suffered blindness, but what a horrible disability in these times, thus the destitution and need to beg. News of Jesus had travelled to many corners, and Bartimaeus had heard of Jesus. But he also had a belief, maybe a desperate belief, but enough of a belief to call out for Jesus to have mercy.
In other accounts of healing by Jesus, friends brought the sick to him, but in this passage, we see people only irritated by Bartimaeus calling out for Jesus. No one was prepared to lead him to Jesus.
He did not care what the others thought. He continued to shout out for Jesus’ attention. He knew Jesus could heal him. He may have been blind physically, but maybe he had more spiritual sight than those around him. And of course, in His mercy, Jesus did heal him.
There are times when I too am spiritually blind, and I need to call out to Jesus, to have mercy, to give me spiritual insight, and to have greater understanding of His perspective.
Father, as I journey today, I pray for your mercy, and that the eyes of my heart will be opened more, so that I may see what you desire me to see, that I can be your hands and voice for your glory. Amen
Written by Steve Fell