Bartimaeus—a blind beggar on the side of the road. His affliction had stripped him of all dignity, leaving him, according to Jewish society, only a few steps above a leper. His self-sufficiency had been replaced with total dependency on human benevolence. It would seem that Bartimaeus had nothing left to lose. Bystanders probably thought that’s why he ignored their rebuke when he called out to Jesus. Rather than being swayed by their demands to be quiet, he shouted all the more. From the top of his lungs he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Unbeknown to the crowd, not all of Bartimaeus’ resources had been depleted. His dismal existence had not extinguished everything. His eyes may have been blind, but he saw what the others did not. He called Jesus the “Son of David”—a term which designated the Messiah. When he heard Jesus was approaching he knew who was really coming and his one precious commodity rose to the top….his faith.
It was a faith that refused to be silenced. A faith that carried the assurance Jesus would heal him. A faith that caused him to yank off the cloak which identified him as a blind beggar. A faith that propelled him to jump to his feet and place before the Son of David his need—without qualifiers, without reasoning, without begging—just a simple, eloquent request—I want to see.
And light shattered the darkness. Bartimaeus was blind no more.
The crowd had wrongly assumed Jesus would have no time for Bartimaeus. Yet when Jesus asked them to call him, they didn’t hesitate. Their new directive drowned out their former mistaken advice: “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you!” Something about those words strike a deep chord in me…
When life gets hard, I don’t want to be so blinded by self-pity that I no longer see the “precious commodity” I’ve been given. Nor do I want to be like the crowd and assume Jesus wouldn’t have time for me. I want to move from begging to believing, and not hesitate a second when I hear those words of life…
Cheer up! He’s calling you!