(Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43)
Bartimaeus was sitting beside the road begging. The sun was shining, the birds were flying, and the dusty road stretched back towards Jericho. But Bartimaeus could see none of this because he was blind.
Off in the distance Bartimaeus heard a crowd coming. When they drew closer, he cried out to the nearest passer-by, “What’s happening?”
“Everyone’s out here to see Jesus of Nazareth,” the reply came.
As soon as Bartimaeus heard who it was, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Again and again he shouted until the people near him told him to be quiet, yet he continued to shout as loud as he could, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Suddenly Jesus stopped walking. He had heard the desperate plea for help. Jesus looked around and seeing the blind man, He called out to him, “Come.”
The same people who had been commanding Bartimaeus to be quiet moments before now told him, “Cheer up! Get on your feet. Jesus is calling for you.”
Bartimaeus threw his cloak aside, jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.
“Teacher, I want to see” the blind man replied.
“Go, your faith has healed you,” Jesus said. Immediately, blind Bartimaeus was no longer blind. He could see!
Healing Power Points
- Where did Bartimaeus hear about Jesus’ ability to heal blind people? In Luke 18:35‑43, we find a story about a blind man who Jesus healed when going into Jericho. The story about Bartimaeus happens when Jesus is leaving Jericho. In all other details, both stories are very similar. Some scholars think both stories are about the same miracle and that the Gospel writers were confused about whether Jesus was coming or going.
But I think the Gospel writers were both correct. I believe the day before Jesus healed Bartimaeus, He healed another blind man as He entered Jericho. This man who was healed returned to the beggar’s colony and told everyone about his healing. The next day when Bartimaeus heard Jesus was passing by, he knew it was his opportunity for a miracle.
Bartimaeus received his miracle because his faith had been built up by the other man’s testimony. This shows us how important it is for us to share our testimony with others.
- Jesus asked Bartimaeus a question, “What do you want me to do for you?” Now Bartimaeus could have asked for some money, or an autograph, or a touch from the hand of Jesus, but the blind man knew exactly what he wanted. He said, “Teacher, I want to see.”
In response Jesus gave him what he asked for. This means we need to be specific in our prayer requests. Tell God precisely what you desire. You will receive exactly what you believe for.
- When Bartimaeus stood up to go to Jesus, he threw his coat aside. Why is this important? Well, in those days, beggars wore a special color of cloak which identified them as professional beggars. When others saw that type of cloak, they would throw money. By leaving his cloak behind, Bartimaeus was abandoning his livelihood. He was blind and the crowd was huge; there was no way he was going to find his cloak again. He had such complete faith that Jesus was going to heal him that he knew he would never need his begging cloak again.
I heard a joke about a man who fell off the edge of a cliff and was hanging by his fingertips from a rock hundreds of feet above the hard ground below. He began crying for help when suddenly he heard a voice say, “This is God. What can I do for you?”
“What a relief,” he exclaimed, “Please, reach your mighty hand down here, pick me up, and place me back on top of the cliff.”
In reply, God said, “Let go of the rock you are hanging onto and I will catch you.”
The man thought about it for a moment, then yelled towards the top of the cliff, “Is there anyone else up there?” The man was not willing to put his complete faith in God.
Just as Bartimaeus left his cloak behind, we should let go of our past and trust God for our future. Leave your cloak behind; burn your bridges; drop the crutch of yesterday’s failures; let go of your rope and put all your faith in God’s ability to catch you.
- The crowd told Bartimaeus to be quiet but he continued to call out to Jesus. Even when others are telling you to give up hope, keep crying out persistently until you receive an answer from Jesus.
Do You Need Healing? Be Healed in Jesus Name!
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