Mercy for the Blind
Blind Bartimaeus sat in complete blackness. He could hear the crowd, the movement, the jibber-jabber of people speaking. He could hear the hullabaloo that signaled that Jesus of Nazareth was somewhere out there in the darkness, but he was unable to see Him. Recognizing that this might be his only chance to get Jesus’ attention, in desperation he shouted out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
The simplicity and clarity of Bartimaeus’ request was a testimony to his faith; it indicated that he actually believed that Jesus was able to do what he was asking. By God’s grace, blind Bartimaeus saw what countless others had missed: he saw that in Jesus he could find God’s mercy. And when Jesus then addressed his need, Bartimaeus and all who observed the encounter understood that his faith was the reason for his cure. But Bartimaeus never made the mistake of thinking that all he really needed was his physical sight. That is why, as soon as he received his sight from Jesus, he “followed him on the way” (Mark 10:52).
In this encounter we see a microcosm of the whole gospel. The Bible often uses blindness as a metaphor for the predicament of men and women. For example, the apostle Paul says, “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 4:4); and Jesus Himself said, “I came into this world, that those who do not see may see” (John 9:39). And earlier in Mark’s Gospel, we read that even though the disciples were following Jesus, they still did not see and understand all that He was teaching them, so He asked, “Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?” (Mark 8:18).
How, then, are the blind made to see? Just as Bartimaeus was: by going to Jesus and calling out to Him for mercy, asking for the loving forgiveness and new life that only He can provide. You will never know Jesus Christ as a reality in your life until you know Him as a necessity. That is a truth we needed to grasp in order to enjoy the first day of our new life following Him; but it is also a truth we need to remember in order to go on through our lives still following Him. In whatever way you require mercy right now, look at Him with the God-given eyes of faith and simply ask. The good news is that Jesus still hears, Jesus still cares, Jesus still stops, Jesus still listens, and Jesus still saves.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
46And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
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