Bartimaeus sat on the side of the road begging for anything that someone could spare. He was known as the bling beggar. Outcast, unwanted, and often rebuked. He begged and begged as people walked by him as though they were blind too and didn’t see him.
Until one day, as He left Jericho, Jesus walked passed Bartimaeus. He began to hear whispers as Jesus approached and when He realized who was coming, Bartimaeus began to call out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”
As he called out for Jesus, many around him shushed him and rebuked him but he called even louder for the Messiah. When Jesus heard her calling, he called him over. Immediately, Bartimaeus sprang up and threw off his cloak and came to Jesus. Immediately. Jesus asked him what he needed, and after Bartimaeus told Jesus he wanted his sight back, Jesus said that his faith had made him well. Instantly, Bartimaeus was healed and began to follow Jesus alone the way.
46 And they came to Jericho. And 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. 47 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!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 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.” 52 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.
Mark 10:46-52 ESV
When I was reading this story, I knew immediately that I needed to share it with everyone. Have you ever just read some scripture and all the sudden something just jumps out to you? Today I want to point out a few things about Bartimaeus’ character.
First off, He didn’t care what others were saying to him or let it stop him. The scripture even states that the people around him rebuked him for hollering and calling out to Jesus. He was an outcast, a beggar and I’m sure not very liked by the crowds. They wanted him to hush, maybe they thought their lives were more important to Jesus but that didn’t stop Bartimaeus. The scripture even said that after they rebuked him and told him to be quiet that he then called out to Jesus even louder.
At a point where he could have allowed other people to keep him from trying to find Jesus, he didn’t let those people stop him. He didn’t care what they said to him…he wanted Jesus to hear him. The thought of meeting Jesus and being healed mattered more than anyone’s perception of him.
Today’s society is full of people who care considerably more about what others tell them to say and do than what God wants from us. I do it too. I was so encouraged by Bartimaeus’ confidence in Christ and his willingness to break the norm.
Secondly, I want to point out his immediate obedience and his eagerness to get to Jesus. The scripture literally say that Bartimaeus threw off his cloak and SPRANG up from his seat on the side of the road and went to Jesus. He didn’t hesitate, he didn’t make Jesus come to him, he sprang to his feet and got to Jesus as fast as possible. Not only was his obedience immediate but it was joyful.
How often do we just expect Jesus to come to us? How often do we have delayed disobedience or no obedience at all? I was so touched by this miracle because it really made me stop and look inward. Jesus is right there, and sometimes we have to get up from our seats and run to Him. And the scripture says that after he could see followed him on the way. Now, I’m no scholar but the way I read that is that Bartimaeus became one that followed Jesus as He taught, who walked with Him as he continued His ministry. He saw what Jesus could do and was so thankful that he continued to follow Jesus as he preached and ministered.
Bartimaeus’ faith, obedience, and eagerness is something we could all take a lesson from in our own walks of faith. I pray that I would be quick to obey and to spring to action when Jesus calls me. As well as focusing on what God says and not what the world tells you to do or say.