Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said , “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:46-52 NIV
This passage of Scripture denotes elements that correlate with devastating times in our lives. Times when we desperately need Jesus.
Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, did not possess the appropriate social status to be noticed or acknowledged especially in a large crowd, but he had a pressing need that he knew Jesus could meet. His need created a boldness within that was expressed by shouting “have mercy on me.”
When our circumstances become greater than our ability to fix it, we cry out to Jesus hoping that He will supply. As our need increases, our desperation is more boldly expressed.
The crowd’s reaction though to Bartimaeus’s cries was one of rebuke. It was as if they were saying, “You are not worth being heard. Shhhhhh!!!!” But that did not stop Bartimaeus. He shouted louder trying to get Jesus’ attention.
This kind rebuke often happens to those who turn to the Christian community looking for compassion as they tell the secret of domestic violence that is destroying them and their families. They are told to be quiet and to live in peace, but Jesus is calling them to him for He hears their voice just like He did for Bartimaeus. Jesus values each one of us in spite of our circumstances.
When Jesus acknowledged Bartimaeus’ cry for mercy, the crowd changed their tone and actually told Bartimaeus to cheer up and go to Jesus.
Isn’t that just like us in the Christian community? We don’t apologize for our previous actions or lack of compassion. We change our response to be more “godly” and deny our judgmental attitude. It is interesting that the crowd’s hypocritical response did not deter Bartimaeus from expressing his need. Are we willing to do the same?
When Bartimaeus faced Jesus, Jesus asked what he wanted him to do for him. Bartimaeus’ desire was to see. Because of his faith, he was healed.
When we approach Jesus, do we know what we want Him to do for us? Do we believe He will do it? Or do we timidly fade into the crowd because of fear and shame wanting not to be noticed and resigning ourselves to living out the rest of life in our difficult circumstances?
Circumstances can change, but we need to “speak up boldly’ and not be silenced! Jesus is waiting for us to come!
By Paula Silva
© 2010 FOCUS Newsletter, FOCUS Ministries, Inc., www.focusministries1.org