- Don’t Let Him Pass You By: Walking with God
- Don’t Let Him Pass You By: Blind Bartimaeus
- Don’t Let Him Pass You By: Jesus on the Stormy Sea
- Don’t Let Him Pass You By: A Lowly Shepherd Boy
“And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.” (Mark 10:46)
As we consider the subject matter of walking with the Lord, we are brought to an essential premise: Christ is moving. He is active. He is on the go. In all the Gospel writings, we see Jesus Christ going “…about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Such is the case with Blind Bartimaeus.
In Mark’s Gospel, we have presented to us the story of a man known for his infirmity. We don’t know how long he had been in this condition, but everyone that knew him identified him as Blind Bartimaeus. Whatever other characteristics he may have had were overshadowed by the fact that he was a blind man. This was his condition as he sat by the roadside that day, just like other days, begging for what he could get.
But a curious thing happens in our story. We are told that Jesus went to the City of Jericho with a great crowd of people and, with equal fanfare, the same verse says that He left Jericho (Mark 10:46). We are not told what happened in Jericho, nor how long Jesus stayed there. Apparently, the events inside the city were not as noteworthy as those events outside the city. At any rate, Jesus’ work there was finished, and He was on the move.
I can only speculate about what was on Bartimaeus’ mind that day as he sat by the roadside, asking alms of passers-by. Perhaps the day had begun as any other: as he rose up to prepare for the day ahead, maybe he thanked God for the stale biscuit he had for breakfast and said a prayer for the blessing of his needs. “Have mercy on me, Lord” he may have prayed, just like he did every morning. And then Blind Bartimaeus went about his day as usual; sat in his usual place; said the usual things; expected the usual results.
Except today was not the usual day. Today he heard a great uproar, a commotion, as a great crowd of people – some murmuring, some shouting, some talking, some singing, some crying – came walking by. And with them, as the focal point of their clamor, was Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David.
Bartimaeus had heard about this Jesus. Some said He was a prophet, but Bartimaeus was convinced of greater things. He’d heard of His miracles – these were no less than the Finger of God. And here Jesus was passing right by him! What should he do?
Blind Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus!” He echoed his daily prayer, but with a greater emotion and certainty, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47). But those around him, those familiar with his condition, those who were in a better condition, those who were walking with Jesus, “charged him that he should hold his peace” (verse 48). Yet Bartimaeus was not content to settle with his condition. He knew God was merciful. And he knew he could be healed. And he knew Jesus was passing by. And he knew that he had to catch Him.
“…but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called…” (Mark 10:48-49)
“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” (Mark 10:52)
Although Bartimaeus was physically blind, he was able to see that his condition could stand an improvement. He knew that Jesus would show mercy to him; and he would not allow anyone to deter him from seeking the Lord’s mercy.
As Jesus restored his physical sight, Bartimaeus was brought into a more personal relationship with Christ; and like Enoch, Bartimaeus walked with God.