Mark 10:46-52 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and His disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
1. SOMETIMES IT MAY FEEL AS IF JESUS IS BEYOND YOUR REACH
Mark 10:46 They came to Jericho. As Jesus and His disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. Here we see the story of blind Bartimaeus. He was a blind beggar from the town of Jericho. Due to his disability he was unable to work and had to beg for a living. He, in all probability, had heard about Jesus and the miracles He was doing. It is unusual that we know the name of this man, because of all the people that Jesus healed, very few of them do we know by name. Bartimaeus was one of a very few who are actually named, who were miraculously healed by Jesus. The healing of blind Bartimaeus is also the final healing recorded in the book of Mark. The problem was that by this time Jesus was well known and was always followed by a crowd of people. They may not have had radio, television or the internet, but the message would travel fast and people would surround Jesus. Here we see a typical situation with Jesus, His disciples and a large crowd. How does anyone get access to Jesus under these circumstances, especially someone with the disability of blindness? Sometimes we can feel like this as well. Perhaps we feel that Jesus is too busy and too consumed with the greater good or the affairs of the world, why would He stop for ‘little old me’! Perhaps we wonder how we will get through the crowd ourselves, how will we get close to Him? This story reminds us that regardless of the crowds, HE is willing and waiting to respond to our callings! HE is not beyond your reach. Call out to Him and just as He responded to blind Bartimaeus so you can expect that HE will respond to your callings.
2. HE IS READY TO MEET OUR DEEP-SEATED LONGINGS
Mark 10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Perhaps blind Bartimaeus had hoped and longed that he too could meet Jesus. I can only imagine that he had visualized the unlikely possibility that somehow, some way, he could make contact and meet Jesus. Now circumstances had developed with Jesus and the most unlikely thing was happening – Jesus was passing by and He was passing by the very spot where Bartimaeus was. You may think this was a simple co-incidence, but perhaps it was a divine appointment. But, I believe we catch the longing of his heart in the words: ‘When he heard…..’! It came to his attention that it was Jesus passing by. I imagine he could hardly believe what he was hearing. The very person he had hoped to meet was right there, close to him, within his reach. He just lets rip and starts to scream. The story does not tell us that he first asked for confirmation. He just took the window of opportunity and grabbed it with all he had. A window of opportunity is a short time period during which an otherwise unattainable opportunity exists. After the window of opportunity closes, the opportunity ceases to exist. Bartimaeus took advantage of the ‘window of opportunity’ that opened up right in front of him. I believe that many people have got ‘windows of opportunity’ right in front of them right now. If only they would grab them and take advantage of them! A window of opportunity requires some effort. But that effort will be rewarded. Bartimaeus may not have been able to see, but he sure made good use of his hearing. HE is ready to meet your deep-seated longings.
3. DON'T ALLOW ANYTHING TO GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR PURSUIT OF GOD
Mark 10:48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” It is interesting to note that it says MANY rebuked him. When he started calling out and using his window of opportunity, he got opposition. The scripture says that many rebuked him and told him to be quiet. They probably did it in undiplomatic ways. The opposition was in all likelihood ugly. His response to this deluge of hostile opposition is interesting. He shouted even louder. It was only at this point that it got the attention of Jesus. Perhaps he had even thought that Jesus was ignoring him? But he did not give up. Don’t allow anyone or anything to get in your way. Pursue God with all you have got. If the opposition is strong, press on with even greater conviction. Bartimaeus may not have had sight, but he sure had insight. We know this because he called Jesus the ‘Son of David!’ Up until this stage Jesus may have been known as the ‘Son of Joseph’. It is generally accepted that the term ‘Son of David’ was only used after the crucifixion. So this blind beggar knew something that was not a generally known fact. Why he used this term, we do not really know. But it is generally agreed upon that it was a prophetic proclamation. Even in his desperation, God was using him. Somehow, out of his poverty and darkness, he was convinced that Jesus was the Son of David. This man had conviction and determination, and he was rewarded for this.
4. JESUS WILL STOP FOR YOU!
Mark 10:49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” This is for me the most intriguing element of this great story. In the midst of the bustling crowds and the noisy activity and with Bartimaeus shouting louder and louder, JESUS STOPS! Jesus did not overlook his callings, but Jesus stops. Jesus will stop for you too. He is not too busy to stop when you call on Him. That Jesus was willing and prepared to stop all the activity, to stop His plans and agenda to deal with this blind beggar man should be an encouragement to all of us. Jesus does not just stop, but He goes further and He ‘calls him!’ Perhaps there are those today that God is calling. We speak about being ‘CALLED’ into the ministry. When God stops to help us with the issues we are facing, it is always with the greater knowledge that He wants to use our lives for His purposes.
5. GET RID OF EVERY HINDRANCE
Mark 10:50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. The cloak speaks of the things that we have clothed ourselves with. A beggar will usually clothe himself with shame. Here we see Bartimaeus throwing aside his cloak. He did not gently fold it up and place it to one side! He disposed of it! Perhaps you are walking around with some kind of cloak? It could be a blanket of heaviness, it could be a habit or sin, it could be a covering of some sort of shame because of something you have done or something that has been done to you? Throw it off today. The next thing he did was to jump to his feet. He gave up his begging position and got up. Sometimes we resort to something that we were never destined for. Perhaps it is time for you to give up your beggar status and stand tall in what God has prepared for you! He may not have been able to see, but he used what he had (his hearing) and followed the voice of the Master and made it to Jesus. Jesus will stop for you, He will call you and He will change your status as you call and come to Him!
6. WHAT DO YOU WANT HIM TO DO FOR YOU?
Mark 10:51 “What do you want Me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. It seems to be strange that God would ask a blind man what he would want Him to do. Surely it is obvious that he wanted to see. I have often thought about this. I have developed my own idea on this question. I believe that God knows what the root problem is. He knows the story behind the story. Often our requests are a cover-up for something deeper. God knows what is at the heart of our requests. But He wants us to come to the same realization. The question we must ask ourselves is ‘What is the real issue?’ Blind Bartimaeus responds and says: ‘I want to see!’ He did not say I want to have sight. He said he wanted to see. There is a difference between having sight and actually seeing! I have met some people who have perfect sight but they are unable to actually see what is right in front of them. What do YOU want Him to do for you? Have you ever given this serious thought? It is worth thinking about.
7. HE IS READY TO MEET YOUR NEED
Mark 10:51-52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. The response from Jesus is interesting! He says to the blind man ‘GO”! It is often only in the ‘going’ that the miracle happens. Sometimes we want to stay and have everything change, but we must go and then see the change. As a result he was immediately healed. And it is interesting to note where he went. He did not go back to his things or perhaps his beggar’s takings that he had left with his cloak. He did not go to his family or friends. It says he followed Jesus down the road. This shows us that he really did see and what he saw he would not give up. The older translations say that he followed Jesus ‘in the way’! This indicates more than just down the road, but rather he became a follower or a disciple of Jesus. For each one of us, that is our destination! Wherever you may have been, whatever you may have experienced or gone through, the goal is that you and I would become a follower and a disciple of Jesus. When we get the attention of God, we become His disciple. I mentioned earlier that it was unusual in the New Testament to be given the name of someone who has been healed by Jesus. But in this specific case we do have the name and even more we have his father’s name, Timaeus. It is interesting to note what his father’s name means. Timaeus = it comes from ancient Greek and it means ‘HONOUR’! He became the son of honour, and his honour was restored. He moved from a beggar to a disciple of Jesus. What an honour! He will do the same for you, He will restore you!