“Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus” by Johann Heinrich Stöver, 1861. St John’s Church, Hesse, Germany
Not long ago we looked at Jesus’ time in the city of Jericho as He made His way to Jerusalem to be crucified. Luke chose to focus on Christ’s encounter with Zacchaeus, while Mark told of an equally amazing interaction Jesus had with another man, Bartimaeus.
As the story goes, Bartimaeus was sitting along the roadside begging when he heard that Jesus was coming. With no concern for what others might think, Bartimaeus began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). But the crowd rebuked him. In their minds one such as Bartimaeus didn’t deserve the time, or the mercy, of Jesus. You see, Bartimaeus was blind, and to them, blindness was the result of sin (John 9:2).
Bartimaeus likely knew the hearts of his countrymen toward him, but he hoped the heart of Jesus would be different; so he called out all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:48). Two things then happened that would have amazed the crowd that day. First, Jesus stopped and called for the man to come to Him. Jesus demonstrated yet again that He desired the ones the world tossed aside. He cared for people who others shunned as “sinners.” When the crowd heard Jesus’ invitation, they told Bartimaeus, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you” (v.49).
Next, Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted from Him, to which came the reply, “Rabbi, I want to see” (v.51) – and Jesus healed him on the spot!
Friends, we’re not told that God will heal all of our diseases, or remove all of our struggles here and now. However, we do know that Jesus will stop for anybody who calls His name in faith.
Even if all others have given up on you – Jesus never will. So cheer up! On your feet! Jesus is still calling you! –Dave
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