Bible Text: Mark 10:46-52 (E.S.V.)
46 And they came to Jericho, And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 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.” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out ALL THE MORE, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus, 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want of me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed Him on the way.
A BLIND MAN’S CRY –
JESUS and His disciples are on the way to Jerusalem, passing through Jericho, where we are introduced to a BLIND BEGGAR. His name, for me at least, is one of the strange moments in the Gospel of Mark.
BARTIMAEUS, which is sometimes seen as his given name, is actually the man’s “last name.” BARTIMAEUS is an Aramaic phrase: bar timaeus, where “bar” means “son.” [*[i] footnote].
If you are perceptive here, and notice that if you take away the “bar,” you’ve got “Timaeus.” So for those of you who don’t speak Aramaic (including myself), what Mark is telling us is that BARTIMAEUS is Aramaic for “Son of Timaeus.”
Also worth noting, “timaios”, the Greek word, means “honorable.”
Sitting on the roadside, passing time away…
While on their way to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover, JESUS and His followers were enjoying perhaps, a Carnival-like atmosphere: Vendors had booths set up along the roadway trying to attract business from people passing by. Shouting to the people as they passed by.
Reminded me of our little County Fair held in August of every year where vendor’s booths are selling everything from Wood Burning/Pellet stoves, to Poffertjes, a Dutch dessert desired by all the community residents. People come for miles for this Dutch Treat.
BARTIMAEUS was sitting beside the roadway, begging. He was BLIND; He didn’t have anything to sell, he was just CALLING OUT FOR MERCY from those who walked by.
In that society, there was no welfare or social security; if you couldn’t work or didn’t have someone to take care of you, then you begged for money or food to eat. It was a very sad situation for this blind man, and little sympathy to boot!
When BARTIMAEUS heard of JESUS walking in front of him, he began to CRY OUT LOUD to Him, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
CRY OUT TO GOD–BE BOLD!
The Bible says that as soon as the blind man heard about JESUS, he began “cryin out loud!”
BARTIMAEUS could have just wished in his heart that JESUS would touch him. He could have just asked someone to go and talk to JESUS about his disability, but Bartimaeus knew his healing depended on a close encounter of himself and JESUS.
Blind people don’t like to be helped unless it’s their last resource. So, he took matters into his own hands and just started to CRY FOR MERCY louder, and louder.
Are you in need of a MIRACLE where you are sitting?
How hard do you need it?
How desperate are you?
Maybe, just maybe, it is time for you to do Something Bold and drastic.
“This blind man threw off his coat, jumped up, and went to Jesus.”
Doing Something Different…
Sometimes, we just need to do something out of the ordinary; doing the same old thing over and over…
Television host, Dr. Phil, often asking his guests who seem to be in a quandary over failing to obtain desired results from the dilemma; “So how’s that working for you?” he would ask.
A blank stare was the answer. The TV psychologist would then explain, they needed to do some different things to achieve the results.
BARTIMAEUS’ COAT –
Bartimaeus’ coat in this story represented his old way of life. It was his “beggar uniform.”
He was dressed for begging.
Hebrews 12:1 says; “…let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance and that sin which so readily clings to and entangles us…”
It says to lay aside every burden and every sin; WHATEVER it is that is keeping JESUS first in your life. WHATEVER is holding you back from surrendering your life to JESUS.
BARTIMAEUS took off his coat to run to Jesus. He did something bold, dramatic, and different.
How many times have you heard people say,
“When I get older”; “When I get more time”; “When I get the chance”; “After I get past this test, or this meeting, or this problem, or this trouble.”
TODAY is your day to RUN to JESUS…lay aside your prejudice against the Lord!
JESUS is passing by this very place and there is no greater opportunity to accept Him as your LORD AND SAVIOR!
Our Current Values…
Our current values may be blinding you, and holding you back.
Bartimaeus was the son of Timaeus=”highly prized” (of great value). He was a blind man who Jesus healed that day. It was significant that he was the son of a highly prized man.
Our HERITAGE in life often determines the VALUES we receive from our parents and our traditions which may blind us to the TRUTH of the Gospel message.
How many times over the years have I heard people saying “I was raised Catholic” or “I’m a Jew by birth.” People link who they are with family beliefs and some are strong in those beliefs, while others chose to reject their parent’s beliefs.
You know one day you’ll be confronted with the Gospel Truth and you may resist what has been presented and written in the Bible all because it may go against your beliefs or the beliefs of your family.
God does everything for a reason…
I know BARTIMAEUS wasn’t blind because of his father, but I want to mention the fact that he was the descendant of an important man. His family was known by the religious community and his father’s name deserved to be mentioned in the Bible. Not only the Bible documents who this man was so the fact that he was healed could be confirmed.
But the fact that he was the son of a highly prized man didn’t allow him to have VISION, he was blind!
There are two kinds of BLINDNESS: Physical Blindness and Spiritual Blindness.
Bartimaeus was physically blind but he had enough spiritual vision to break with his past and embrace the POWER of Jesus Christ.
JESUS IS ASKING, “What do you want me to do for you?”
JESUS is still asking the same question today to all those who call on His name.
Joel 2:32: “And whoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered and saved.”
What does it mean to “call on” someone? Let me give you one example:
When a doctor goes to the hospital to “call on” some of his patients, he doesn’t merely walk into the room and say, “I just wanted to come by and say, ‘Hello’. I wish you the best. Now pay me!”
On the contrary, he involves himself in a SERVICE: He examines the patient, listens to the patient’s concerns, gives further instructions regarding the patient’s hopeful recovery.
Then often times prescribes medication. ALL of these elements may be involved in a doctor “calling upon” a patient.
When we call upon the LORD, it shouldn’t be just a matter of doing a request. God is not just interested in answering our requests.
JESUS is here to ask you “What do you want Me to do for you?” but there’s a CATCH!
ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST–ACTS 2:
PETER preached about this important subject. He quoted from the prophecy of Joel and told those in Jerusalem on Pentecost “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be SAVED” (Acts 2:21). He told them how to go about “calling on the name of JESUS.”
The people gathered in the crowd in Acts 2, didn’t understand Peter’s reference to the prophet Joel, so in Acts 2:37, we see bewilderment on the faces of the first Church ask “Brethren, what shall we do?”
And we see that Peter responded to their question and told them what they must do to be SAVED; he didn’t say, “I’ve already told you once what to do!”
You can be SAVED by PetitIoning God for SALVATION through PRAYER–
JUST “CALL ON HIS NAME”
Peter needed to give a clear explanation to them what it meant by “calling on the name of the LORD.”
Instead of repeating this statement–one more time–Peter commanded them saying,
“Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
So there are RULES…
I don’t know about you, but I hate rules: wear a bicycle helmet, buckle your seat belt, don’t use your cell phone while driving, Speed Limit signs…
But sometimes, the RULES we face are put in place for our benefit–to give us protection from the hazards ahead.
The RULE that Peter gives to us is to call upon the LORD for a petition of healing or to ask JESUS a miracle. You need to REPENT from your sins including any unconfessed sin; sin that you were unaware of at the time.
There you can expect the LORD to ask this amazing question, “what do you want Me to do for you?”
GOD is calling…will you answer?
JESUS is waiting for your decision. He is expecting you to get rid of the “beggar’s” cloak and call on His name.
Are you going to get attached to the past and reject Him, or, can you make a bold move and just begin cryin out loud for the Lord?
GOD is waiting on you!
And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way (Mark 10:52 ESV).
CREDITS: Mark 10:46-52 – Commentary by Karl Jacobson; The Blind Bartimaeus from The Journal of Biblical Accuracy.
PHOTOS: Google Search Images; Photo Pin.
Bible Translations: Amplified Bible, except where noted.