Ask the Blind Man—He Saw It All
"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."1
Down the long, dusty road on their way from Jericho to Jerusalem, some two thousand years ago, trod Jesus with His motley band of twelve disciples, followed by a huge crowd.
They were probably already hot and sweaty. The dust clung to them, but, because Jesus was at the height of His popularity, the great crowd of people pressed close to Him. They were jabbering endlessly. Asking questions. Seeking favors. They could be heard a mile away.
"Hey, what's all the noise?" blind Bartimaeus asked his friend as they sat by the roadside begging.
"I don't know," answered his friend with a puzzled tone in his voice.
"Let's ask somebody else," they agreed.
"It's Jesus," a passer-by informed them.
"You mean Jesus of Nazareth, the fellow they claim can heal the sick and the blind?" Bartimaeus excitedly asked.
"That's the One," he replied, "and I'm not going to miss seeing him for anything."
The crowd came closer and closer. Excitement filled the air. The noise became intense. "I can't believe it," shouted Bartimaeus to his friend. "This just has to be my lucky day. I've got to get to Jesus. I know He can heal me."
"Hey, Bart, there He is," cried Bartimaeus's friend, "but how will you ever get his attention?"
"This is it," said Bartimaeus. "I may never come close to Jesus again. I want to be healed."
With dignity dismissed, Bartimaeus, seeking to be heard above the rowdy crowd, yelled at the top of his voice, "Jesus, have mercy on me! O Lord, son of David, have mercy on me!"
"Cool it, man! Calm down! Shut up!" retorted some of the crowd to Bartimaeus. "You're making a fool of yourself. There are so many others here you don't stand a chance of getting to Jesus, so just relax and keep quiet!"
But Bartimaeus was all the more determined to get to Jesus. He couldn't see with his eyes but he sure could with his heart … and he could yell. He cried out all the louder. Hear his voice rise above the din of the crowd. It rang out like a great clarion call. "Jesus, O Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus, O Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
And Jesus stood still.
And the crowds stood still.
And a great calm settled down over them all.
Imagine it. The winds and the waves couldn't stop the Savior. Neither could angry mobs. Crowds of people couldn't stop him either. But the call of one lone, blind beggar did.
And Jesus with his great heart of compassion called for Bartimaeus to be brought to him. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked.
"Lord," Bartimaeus replied, "please give me my sight."
And Jesus did. "Go your way," He said, "your faith has made you whole."
Immediately Bartimaeus could see and he followed Jesus along the way.2
Most of us are not physically blind, but many of us suffer from spiritual blindness. If we are as determined as Bartimaeus was to reach the Savior, Jesus will stand still for us too-when we call upon him from a determined heart-and our spiritual eyes will be opened.3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a determination such as blind Bartimaeus had and open the eyes of my understanding so that I will know and understand your Truth and, as a result, become a genuine follower of you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Mark 10:51 (NIV).
2. Mark 10:46-52.
3. Adapted from I Hate Witnessing by Dick Innes. Can be purchased online at www.actscom.com/store.