By Gladys McElmore
The Lord Jesus does not make following Him a prerequisite for His mercy. He blesses everyone. Bartimaeus surely realized that following Jesus was definitely the best way to express his gratitude for what Jesus had done! As Scriptures for this story are read, let us think through given opportunities to thank the Lord for His many acts of mercy that are done daily in our behalf. Let us continue to follow our positive ideas to pray and thank Him joyfully as He awakens us each day.
How did Bartimaeus make his problem known to Jesus? Did he just sit by the road watching the crowd? Bartimaeus had a visible handicap of being blind. Were people in the crowd helpful? Did anyone understand or care about his problem? A blind beggar was probably considered low on a socioeconomic status scale. What did Bartimaeus do to attract Jesus’ attention? To the crowd pressing around Jesus, Bartimaeus seemed to have been a nuisance or maybe even a pest. The roads were reported to have been lined with several people who were lamed, sick, poor and also begging for help. Bartimaeus, being bold was yelling for healing. As he was repeatedly told to be quiet, he became even louder than others who needed help! He did not cooperate with the demands of the crowd to keep quiet. In this case, the blind beggar made himself known at a critical point in his life. He kept shouting “Jesus, Son of David have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:4). Let us flashback and remember occasions of desperation in our own lives and we have known only that the mercy of the Lord saved us and made us whole again. It is also good for us to continue to thank the Lord as often as possible for all blessings.
Was Bartimaeus a chronic nuisance or just persistent as he sought recognition from the Lord? Without resources to make himself known, he used his voice which was his only means of boldness. In our time, it is also good to make known our problems and needs. When nothing else works, we can keep calling to Jesus, the Son of David, to hear our prayers. Here we read about a blind beggar of Jericho who received his sight at the word of Jesus! Bartimaeus kept calling out to Jesus as he left Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. In following the examples in this story, we too can keep crying out to the Lord with faith and boldness. Jesus sent him on his way with the assurance that his faith had resulted in his healing. He did not abandon Jesus, but followed Him after becoming strong in faith. What a significant event it was to have had his sight restored!
What happened when Jesus acknowledged Bartimaeus? The blind man leaped to his feet. In response to Jesus’ question, He requested that this blind beggar be brought to Him. When he was present Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus’ response was “Lord, I want to see.” With only the spoken words “Receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” Seeing Bartimaeus’ faith, Jesus healed his blindness. Immediately he was able to see. How did he show his gratitude to the Lord? He began to follow Jesus and also praised God. How did others in the crowd react? They too praised God.
Handicapped believers sought Jesus’ mercy years ago. Why not boldly seek Him now? He is the same saving grace to us today as he was on that Jericho Road many years ago. May our faith continue to increase allowing us to follow Jesus and to persuade others to do likewise!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.