And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many warned him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, “Have mercy on me, Son of David!”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up; he’s calling for you.” He threw off his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.
Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Rabboni,” the blind man said to him, “I want to see.”
Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has saved you.” Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road. (Mark 10)
I have always loved this story from the gospel of Mark. It is short and to the point, and yet it marks a huge turning point in Bartimaeus’ life. Isn’t it funny how something so huge and life-altering can happen so quickly, almost before we even realize what’s happening.
Although the Bible doesn’t give us a whole lot of follow-up, I’m sure that it took some time for it to fully sink in, for Bartimaeus to adjust to the new normal. Things that once were impossible for him were suddenly available options. I don’t know about you, but I would love to have God bless me in such a way that a whole new world of opportunity opened up in front of me!
However, before Bartimaeus could receive his blessing there were a few prerequisites that had to be in place:
- He was humble — Bartimaeus realized that he was literally helpless. There was nothing he could do to restore his own sight. He recognized that he needed a miracle and cried out to Jesus for mercy. He placed himself fully in God’s hands.
- He was persistent — When others tried to quiet him, he just increased his volume. He didn’t care if it annoyed them or made them uncomfortable. All he knew was that he had an opportunity to have an encounter with God, and he was not going to miss his chance. Nothing was going to stand between him and his blessing.
- He was ready — When Jesus called for him, Bartimaeus threw off his coat and jumped up. It didn’t take him long to respond when Jesus called for him, because he was anticipating a response from God.
- He knew what he needed — When Jesus asked him what he wanted, Bartimaeus didn’t have to think about it or check his wishlist. He knew what his greatest need was and he brought it before the Lord with a clear and direct request.
- He had faith — His faith was the open door that allowed God to not only restore his physical sight but also save his soul! In one life-changing instant, Bartimaeus’ physical AND spiritual needs were met, but it would not have been possible without faith.
What is your greatest need? Have you made it a matter of humble, persistent prayer? Are you ready and anticipating a response from God? Do you trust that his answer, positive or negative, is perfect and the best outcome for you?
PRAYER: Father, have mercy on us! Thank you for your gracious and merciful provision in our times of need. You have been so good to us, and your promises have never failed. For our current and future needs, we trust and rely on you! In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.