Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
(Matthew 20.29-34; Luke 18.35-43)
46Jesus and his disciples went to Jericho. And as they were leaving, they were followed by a large crowd. A blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting beside the road. 47When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth, he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” 48Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, have pity on me!”
49Jesus stopped and said, “Call him over!”
They called out to the blind man and said, “Don't be afraid! Come on! He is calling for you.” 50The man threw off his coat as he jumped up and ran to Jesus.
51Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man answered, “Master, I want to see!”
52Jesus told him, “You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith.”
At once the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus.
Jericho symbolized victory to the people of Israel. But not everyone felt victorious. Blind Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, forced to earn his keep by begging on the street, heard that Jesus of Nazareth, was in town. A crowd followed Jesus as he made his way down the street. Bartimaeus tried to attract the attention of Jesus by calling out. Some tried to hush up the loud, obnoxious cries of the blind man.
“Son of David, have pity on me!” Bartimaeus cried out again (v 48). He had obviously heard about Jesus as he referred to his lineage and anticipated a victory through healing. He had hope in this man from Nazareth. If only he could make Jesus hear.
Bartimaeus’s pleading did not go unheeded. As soon as Jesus heard him cry out, he stopped and told those around him to bring the man over (v 49).
With unbridled joy Bartimaeus tossed his coat aside and ran as best as he could to Jesus. All he wanted from him was to be healed. He knew Jesus could do that for him. The intimate dialogue between Bartimaeus and Jesus likely caused a hush over the crowd. There was no dramatic moment where Bartimaeus lay writhing in anticipation on the ground. Jesus quietly did another miracle (v 52). Bartimaeus could see. Jesus told him his faith had made him well (v 52).
This scripture speaks not only about the miraculous power of Christ, but also about his magnetic appeal. Not only could Bartimaeus see the world around him, but also his spiritual eyes were opened and we witness how he followed Jesus after he was healed.
God of miracles,We know your healing power is magnificent and miraculous. Remind us this day to depend on you for all our needs. Open our spiritual eyes so that we may see and no longer be blinded by this world. Thank you, Jesus. In your name we pray. Amen.