When a blind-man showed The Way: Part 1

Mark 10:46, 47
Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Most of us are familiar with the story of Jesus healing the blind beggar(s). If not, I request you to go through this link. While Matthew (in 20:29-34) gives an account of not one but two blind men, Luke (in 18:35-43) mentions that Jesus was approaching Jericho (as against Matthew and Mark’s version of Jesus leaving Jericho). According to Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, this ‘discrepancy’ could be because of the presence of two Jerichos – Old and new – during that time, and the writers are narrating from the perspective of their location. To quote, Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, “Possibly it [supposed discrepancy] may arise from the two Jerichos—the old town on the ancient site, and the new semi-Herodian town which had sprung up at a little distance from it.” And so, going by the interpretations and the flow of events by the three writers, it is a safe assumption to make that all three evangelists – Mathew, Mark and Luke – are talking about the same miracle.

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Despite being blind and though only a beggar, this man Bartimaeus gives us few important lessons on faith! Let’s explore:

Revelations birth restorations
When Bartimaeus heard the commotion of a crowd going past him, and possibly a few extra coins falling in his begging bowl, he knew this was not another day in office, or in his case, roadside. Upon enquiry, he was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” [Luke 18:37].

For the crowd, Jesus was just someone from Nazareth, a place where “no good has ever come out.” [John 1:46]. Just because the crowd was walking with Him did not guarantee them a complete knowledge about the One who was with them. But the blind man who had spent a good chunk of his life at the road-side begging to get his daily bread knew Jesus was not an ordinary small-town guy! The fact that he called Jesus the “the Son of David” shows that Bartimaeus had a strong revelation about this Nazarene being no ordinary Nazarene, but the Messiah Himself – the Son of God! In essence, while the ones who wanted to just witness miracles knew him as a miracle-worker and a fellow citizen from a small town, but the one that needed a restoration of the vision had the revelation of a King, a Saviour!

The crowd knew about Him, Bartimaeus knew Him! Are you among the ones who know about Jesus? Or are you that special one who knows Him? Who is He to you? Your revelations about God would be answer to the prayer of restoration over your life. Revelations birth restorations.

Not a personality, but a personal God
“Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Luke 18:39

Those in ‘front’ and walking possibly next to Jesus didn’t want Jesus to be bothered, just like what the disciples did when they stopped little children from coming to Jesus. For them, Jesus was a personality not willing to be bothered by unimportant people. For Bartimaeus, Jesus was a personal God, who was interested in the least among people. For the blind, it was worth suffering some shame of rejection from people, if it meant acceptance from the One that really mattered.

There is no shame when we approach my Lord. Yes, He is to be revered, but He loves His children coming to Him and asking Him. He loves it when His children open their hearts to Him, regardless of the people who try to stop them. Just like Bartimaeus!

Part 2 of this post will be published on 30th March 2015 (next Monday).


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