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. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And 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.” And 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.
Do you sense the desperation in the voice and the words of this hurting blind man? Do you also sense the callousness in the words and voices of those who told him to shut up? And do you begin to cheer for this blind soul as he continues to cry out? Aren't you glad that he would not be silenced? Does it not motivate you to pray all the more? It does me!
I find the Lord's question to Bartimaeus to be a bit puzzling as it seems so obvious that his cries for mercy are all about his blindness. It reminds me of that Sunday in August of 1975 when my wife Ellen (who had been blind for three plus years) raised her hand in church to ask Jesus into her heart. Like Bartimaeus her faith had made her well. It is so amazing.
Help me to not lose heart Lord. Help me to continue to cry out for healing.