46 A blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting beside the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth, he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, [i] have pity on me!” 48 Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, have pity on me!”
Imagine depending on others for sustenance by begging by the side of the road, and to add to that, you are blind. That was the reality that Bartimaeus lived in, a blind beggar depending on handouts from others. It’s one thing to depend on others for sustenance, but being blind also makes you depend on others for guidance and direction. I am sure to many he was a bother, the kind of person you see from a distance, and you cross over to the other side of the street.
Though Bartimaeus could not see, he could hear and that he did pretty well, and what he heard caused faith to arise in him and his life was forever changed.
Bartimaeus must have heard a lot about Jesus and how he was going about healing the sick and proclaiming about the kingdom of God. There he was by the roadside, just another regular day, but on this day there was some commotion, some excitement was apparent, and he heard that Jesus was passing by. The same Jesus he had heard so much about was passing by, he could not see him, there was a massive crowd, and he had no one to hold his hand to take him to Jesus.
Bartimaeus did not focus on his limitations, but in faith he gave it his all and shouted. Though he was unable to see, he could hear, and he could speak, and speaking he did. As you would expect, the people around him tried to hush him. Who was this blind beggar to think that Jesus would give him attention? Who was he to interrupt Jesus? He was a nobody, and the crowd was quick to remind him so.
Bartimaeus carried out and Jesus stopped! He had got his attention, and now it was no longer Bartimaeus calling out to Jesus, but Jesus was calling out to him. The same people who were telling him to hush up were now asking him to cheer up and get on his feet because Jesus was calling. How people change and if Bartimaeus had hushed up because the crowd had told him to do so, he would have missed out on his miracle.
He throws aside his cloak which was his identity as a beggar and in faith walks to Jesus ready for a new identity.
Interestingly, Jesus asks him “What do you want me to do for you?” You would think it’s rather obvious, the man is blind, he wants to see, right? Well, not really.
Bartimaeus had been vague, he asked Jesus to have mercy on Him that could mean many things. Jesus asks him to be specific, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus gets specific and says he would like to see, and he gets what he asks for.
Just like with Zachaeus and the unclean woman, the crowds were out to see, but none wanted to get personal with Jesus. Bartimaeus by his faith grabbed the attention of Jesus who was passing by, and he was healed.
Jesus is passing by, what will you do?
What is one thing you consider a limitation in your life?
Has the voice of others killed the passion you had for something in your life? What is it?
Just because Bartimaeus was blind, Jesus did not assume that he wanted to see. Jesus is still asking you the same question; “What do you want me to do for you?”