Jesus, with his disciples, had reached Jericho on their way to Jerusalem for the last time. A large crowd were on the road making their pilgrimage to the temple for the Passover. Sat beside the road was a blind man begging. It was not an unusual sight, beggars were used to being ignored, then as now they ranked very low in the social strata. Mark has taken the trouble to record his name, Bartimaeus, a man named after his father Timaeus. The reason Mark has done that is because what happened when Jesus passed is of great significance. Jesus had healed very many people, including the blind, very few are recorded by name. It is quite probable that Bartimaeus became well known to the disciples but at the time he was just another beggar by the roadside.
Bartimaeus though was gifted with sight not previously known outside of Jesus’ intimate circle. ‘When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”’v47 His cry of, “Son of David” was the first public confession that Jesus was the longed for Messiah. Bartimaeus was repeatedly told to quieten down but he refused. He had insight the sighted crowd did not have. Jesus’ attitude was different. He did not ignore the beggar. By calling Bartimaeus to him he affirmed the cry that he was the Messiah. Throwing his cloak (probably his most valuable possession) to one side Bartimaeus eagerly went to Jesus. Bartimaeus in leaving all behind, imitates the disciples and does what the rich man found he could not do. Jesus asks Bartimaeus a question he has asked before in various ways, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ v51 It is a fundamental question and one to be asked one to one. Bartimaeus answers, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.” It is an honest answer and addressed his most immediate and basic need.
Jesus says, ‘Go, your faith has healed you.’ vv52Immediately he received his sight but he did not go except in the sense that he went with Jesus. The man who was blind, least among men, has gained sight twice, spiritual sight to see Jesus for who he was and physical sight so he can follow him along the road, casting off his old life.
It was faith that enabled Bartimaeus to see. Have we prayed for the faith of Bartimaeus?
Are you blessed with Bartimaeus’ “double vision”?
Having been healed or saved by Jesus have we cast off our old life to follow him or was that moment of salvation just a feel good moment and now we following other agendas?
How much do you want to shout, Jesus you are the Messiah?
I Know That My Redeemer Liveth