Blind Bartimaeus

Chronicled in Matthew, Mark, and Luke

      Persistence pays off. If you’ve ever had an opportunity for something big in your life and knew that it might not come around again, you’d move Heaven and earth to make it happen. That’s sort of the boat Bartimaeus was in. He was blind, presumably since birth; perhaps not, but let’s not split hairs. Sufficed to say, the guy couldn’t see a thing. He had no visual contact with the world around him. Of all the senses to do without, sight loss could be the most debilitating.

      Since he could not work a traditional job with his impairment, Bartimaeus was forced to live the life of a beggar. This man had to humble himself day after day, pleading with passers-by to spare some change for “a poor blind man.” To say it was a humiliating existence is like saying the Grand Canyon is a pretty big hole. If Bartimaeus had any pride before, it was surely gone by the time we read about him. As the sting of shame dripped off each word that proceeded from his mouth, Bartimaeus became less hopeful that anything would ever change. Then, he heard about Jesus.

      “This Jesus has opened blinded eyes! He could open mine if I could only meet Him! Will He ever come this way? Please Jesus, come my way!” Finally, it happened. Bartimaeus was at his usual spot begging. There was a commotion. He heard voices and felt the collective cadence of many footsteps. “What’s the clamor? Something’s different. This is no ordinary group walking along the road today. I can feel it. This is something special. But, what? Wait. It’s Jesus! He’s here! This is it!”

      Bartimaeus knew it was now or never. This chance might never come around again. If he didn’t get to Jesus right then, he would never see the light of day. “I will not let Him pass me by,” he must have thought. So, Bartimaeus did the only thing he could do. He started shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” When the crowd warned him to quiet down, he became louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” This determined soul had gotten Jesus’ attention; so much so, that the Son of God stopped dead in His tracks and called Bartimaeus out.

      Bartimaeus threw aside his garment, arose, and came to Jesus. The Savior asked him what he wanted. Now, that’s the $64,000.00 question if I ever heard it. Bartimaeus had dreamed he’d hear this question. He had been planning his answer for as long as he could remember. He didn’t sputter, stammer, or pause. “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Jesus didn’t waste any breath either. “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” Immediately, he could see. How’s that for prompt service?!

      And, just think. If Bartimaeus had not made himself known, if he had not persisted, he never would have left the roadside. Because he wouldn’t back down, he was healed.

So, how do we triumph in the midst of trial? Get God’s attention and you’ll get your miracle.


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