“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.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.
And many charged him that he should hold his peace: 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.
And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.”Mark 10:46-50
For unfortunate Bartimaeus, it seemed impossible that God would ever consider him like other people in history. Abraham was considered God’s friend because he was obedient, David was God’s favorite because of his soft heart. Solomon received a blank check after a great sacrifice, because he was God’s chosen king.
Bartimaeus’ lot in life was not so.
His Long List of Needs
Bartimaeus was jobless. He was a beggar. The Roman government in all its glory and prosperity could not eliminate poverty. No government ever can. And this man so bound in poverty that he sat by the highway side begging. The Lord had come up with money before, when Peter found it in the fish’s mouth, so would he meet the poor man’s financial need? He will not.
Bartimaeus was homeless. He had no dignity of property or estate. He had sat on the curb, and life passed him by. He had only obtained what he could snatch as time marched on. He had to cry out of complete need to get anything good. But could the Good Master not grace him with his complete attention? He could, but he will not- he just passing by.
Bartimaeus was friendless. At the sound of a desperate cry, most tried to silence him rather than offer any consolation. I’m sure, being blind, he suffered many cruel practical jokes. The only company he would have were the other beggars who chanced to sit by him, and then only to prey on his disablement. Could the Prince of glory take the time to sit and be a friend to this lonely man? The Lord had few friends already, and he did not come to make more.
Bartimaeus was helpless. When the Lord heard the derelict voice over the din of the crowd, he commanded that they bring him. In true form, rather than bring a handicapped man to the Lord, they passed along the order. ‘Be of good cheer!’ They mock. Why, for a man with his sight, walking from here to there is as easy as breathing, but, O, feel for the life shrouded in darkness, as he must feel his way to Christ! Could there not be one to help him? But even the helping hand is folded to the side of the Saviour.
Bartimaeus had little clothing. You see, when he arose in such haste, he left his garment, and came to Jesus. You or I could easily procure another one, but the sightless invalid will search hopelessly forever for the place where he may have left it. And now, no coat for the coming winter, no shade from the burning summer! No cover from the springtime dews, nor shield from autumn’s angry wind. Perhaps for this, he will ask of the Giver of all things? I’m sure that He could’ve given the clothes off His back for this needy one… if He only would.
An Obvious Choice
No one would like to live in the scenario I have described for you. Perhaps you would have treated this blind man differently. You recoil at the coldness of the disciples toward the poor man on the roadside. You wonder, “Why did Jesus not rebuke their attitude, or why did He act so carelessly toward him?” It was because He knew this man’s greatest need:
Bartimaeus was blind.
Few abilities can be compared to the power of sight. This was a far greater need than a job, a house, a help, a friend, or a coat! How obvious it is to you and me, and yet, in the middle of our life, how often do we strive for these things, when our greatest need is to have light?
In Genesis 1:3, on the first day of creation, before plants, animals, dry ground, sun and moon, stars, or even air; God said, “Let there be LIGHT.” Without the Light of the World, there is a darkness so deep it can be felt. The black void you may try to fill up with so many things- but what you really NEED is LIGHT to SEE.
What wilt thou?
If Bartimaeus had asked for anything in this world, Christ would have done it for him. Many people find a momentary relief from suffering when they cry out for God to help them, heal them, send them some money, or bring them through some depression.
Later, they express only frustration over their life, saying,
“Well, I pray EVERY night”
“I asked God to help me do better”
“God kept me from dying, but now I don’t feel like living anymore.”
“Is this all there is to life?”
My friend, you need JESUS, the Light of life, to come into your heart to clean the sin out of you. You need that above all else.
- You do not need a job.
- You do not need pity.
- You do not need friends.
- You do not need ‘helped out’.
- You do not need the clothes on your back!
You need the Light of the world! If you would only accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, everything else will come together. He is not a band-aid for problems; He is the cure for sin. The decision rests with you: “What wilt thou?” He CAN save you, IF you’ll ask Him to.