When they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “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.”“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked 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.
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.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Lessons from Bartimaeus
Blind. Broke. Begging on the side of the road. What can be learned from a man like this?
Although his circumstances may have looked pitiful, Bartimaeus was no pitiful human being. He was neither frail nor feeble, but a remarkable example of faith and perseverance.
If you could just imagine, for a moment, the level of drive and determination that it took for a blind beggar to have the audacity to shout at the top of his lungs to a man that he could not see, but had only heard about, in an effort to receive his miracle. Just who does this man think he is? Why would Jesus of Nazareth consider stopping for him?
Bartimaeus was rebuked. Discouraged from his desperate cry. Imagine the people around him snickering, Why is he wasting his breath? Jesus is too busy for someone like him. He might as well quit!
Imagine Bartimaeus hearing the mocking. But, still he presses on; "Son of David, Have mercy on me!" he calls.
The result? Jesus stops dead in his tracks. "Call him." he commands.
See, Jesus liked folks who didn't give up easily.
Think about the woman with the issue of blood. The bible says that she had the issue for 12 years and had been under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, but only grew worse. Regardless of all the years of disappointment, after disappointment, after disappointment, she had enough tenacity left in her to say, "If I can just touch the hem of his garment, I shall be made whole!" (Mark 5:25-18)
People like this got Jesus' attention! People like this got what they wanted from the Lord! People like this, with a "I will not be denied!" "I will not be shut up!" "I will not be kept back!" in their soul, pressed on until the Lord gave them what they were looking for!
Jacob wrestled with the angel all night long and said "I will not let you go unless you bless me." (Gen 32)
Joseph was still trying to operate in a gift he felt God gave him by interpreting dreams, although he had been sold as a slave and and had spent years in prison! (Gen 4).
After Jesus had already ignored and denied the Canaan woman whose daughter was vexed with a devil, the woman said, "Truth, Lord; yet even the dogs get of the crumbs which fall from the masters table!" (Matt 15:27)
These people were determined to get something from the Lord! And, guess what? They got it!
There is a saying, "God helps those who help themselves." We may not be able to locate an exact "scripture equivalent" of that phrase, but if we look at the word of God we will see a trend of people like Bartimaeus, who are fiercely determined and willing to put up a fight, consistently getting results from God!
Oh Lord, help me to be one of those people!
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11:6
Then, instead of being lazy, you will imitate those who are inheriting the promises through faith and patience.