Bartimaeus; August 7, 2020

Mark 10:51-52 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
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.

Several things are interesting about this story. For one, it’s very unusual for the name of a person Jesus healed to be recorded. To me that indicates that Bartimaeus remained part of the group of disciples, probably all the way through Pentecost and after. Something that strengthens that impression for me is the way he sought help, calling Jesus “Son of David.” He was clearly addressing Jesus as the prophesied Messiah, and with that conviction it is hardly surprising that once healed, you couldn’t get him away from Jesus. Probably many of the people who followed Jesus thought He was a great teacher, and may have suspected that He was the Messiah, but they didn’t proclaim it openly the way Bartimaeus did. That is another unique thing about this healing: most people didn’t physically follow Jesus after their healing (though some wanted to). It is also indicative of his focus on Jesus that, though a beggar, when he heard that Jesus was calling him, he discarded his cloak, which might have been the most valuable thing he owned. Compared to meeting the Messiah, it had no value to him. There is a powerful parable there, of discarding what we have held dear in order to follow Jesus. All in all, I find Bartimaeus very impressive, and consider him a worthy example of a faithful follower of Jesus.

From time to time I am challenged by the faith of others, either meeting them in person or reading about them, and Bartimaeus is one of those. I have far more advantages than he did, but his commitment to Jesus appears to have been total, and that is what counts. I have experienced Jesus’ power many times in many ways, and I honestly desire that my commitment, my obedience to Him be total, but from my perspective my performance has been spotty. Various things distract me, and I lose focus too easily. Like Bartimaeus, I need to be willing to leave everything behind in order to be close to my Lord. The time will come when I do that, leaving even this physical body behind, but that will be no loss at all compared to being with Christ, just as Paul realized. (Philippians 3:7-14)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the various training You are giving me in priorities and trusting You. Help me receive the lessons You give me and grow as You intend, so that Your will may be done more and more fully in and through me, drawing many more into Your kingdom, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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