Jerusalem loomed large in the foreground, the cross-shaped future perched atop the hill rising 3,300ft in front of them. Thirteen miles and a about a week’s worth of time were all that separated Jesus from his destiny, unless you count Bartimaeus, a blind beggar shouting out from the sidelines for help from Jesus. Apparently this embarrassed some people in the crowd who began ‘shushing’ him. Why would it matter to them anyway? Doesn’t he have a right to the miraculous healing power of Jesus as much as anyone else? After all, the way Mark tells the story, Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah and had a vision of what that meant for his life. Perhaps the vision of blind Bartimaeus revealed his heart, and offers a stinging challenge to our own faith when we are tempted to believe only what we can see. Wasn’t it Jesus who said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God”? May God grant us a vision of the future we have in Him.
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“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.