Mark 10:46–52 (NKJV)
Blind Bartimaeus is a powerful story of healing, but of so much more. Jesus, in the act of healing his eyes, also transformed his life.
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 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!”Mark 10:46-52
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.
Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
This story begins with Jesus coming into Jericho. This city had been destroyed in the Israelites conquest of Canaan hundreds of years before, and was now part of the Roman Empire, as was all of Israel. Jesus obviously made a short visit, and–as He was leaving–He passed by a blind man named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus). When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by, he began to call out for Him. The crowds ordered him to be silent, but He was determined to be heard. Jesus did hear him and called for him. The people around him then changed their message and encouraged him that Jesus wanted to see him.
At this point, the story and the life of Bartimaeus take a sharp turn. The blind man threw aside his garment. This may not seem very significant on its surface, but the garment had a particular meaning. Much like a permit, the garment allowed Bartimaeus to ask for alms. It also identified him as a beggar, from a lower social caste, poor and needy. When he cast aside this garment, it signified his faith that Jesus would transform his existence from that of a beggar, to that of a fully-functioning member of society. He had faith in Christ to do that for him, and–in that faith–shrugged off the negative label society had given him in anticipation of the new life Christ would give him. Jesus healed him and he followed Jesus from that time forward.
What do you need to shrug off today? From what can Jesus deliver you? How can you be transformed in this moment of your life? Seek Him, call on Him, and be changed today. Jesus loves you just as much as He loved Bartimaeus. Jesus cares about your struggle. He knows your handicap or station in life. He will hear your cry and transformation will come if you have faith. Believe in Him and be changed!