Helen Keller famously said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
Bartimaeus was a blind man; we were not told for how long he had been in this state but his story starts with him being blind. Yet, this was not his only problem.
Bartimaeus had two problems: he was blind and he was poor. The first begat the latter. The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius observed that in a well-governed country, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a badly governed country, wealth is something to be ashamed of. In this case, poverty was nothing Bartimaeus should have been ashamed of. He was not a beggar because of his unwillingness to work but because of his inability to see. Many at times we find ourselves in desperate situations because of some unpredictable predicaments.
He was therefore relegated to a life that was dependent and humiliating.
This became an indignity Bartimaeus no longer wanted to bear.
Unless, you get tired of the situation you are in, you will remain in it. Although he was physically blind, his heart (spiritual vision) could see well enough to recognize God when Jesus showed up.
You must refuse to allow your predicament to blind you from identifying and receiving help when it comes. Many people have allowed themselves to get so overwhelmed with their desperate situations that when their solution was staring them in the face they couldn’t recognise it.
Bartimaeus had heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. The fact that this man could not use his eyes did not stop him from using his voice. God will never leave you hopeless and helpless.
God always leaves us with something. The woman with the pot of oil had lost everything but still had a pot of oil (2 Kings 4:2)
Your feet may not work, but maybe your hands do. You may not have been born rich, but you were born able to work. You may not have had many people ask you out, but you don’t need a lot, only the right one. We don’t always have all that we desire, but if we will work with what we have, we will be amazed at what we can do.
It is interesting to note that Bartimaeus called Jesus the Son of David. This was a messianic title taken from the Old Testament that foretold the kingdom that Jesus would initiate. While Bartimaeus may not have had extensive knowledge of God’s Word due to his blindness, he knew enough Scripture to recognize Jesus as the Son of David and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. We don’t have to be scholars to recognize God. If by nature a sheep can distinguish and identify the voice of its shepherd, surely we have adequate innate wiring to recognize the voice of our Shepherd.
The crowd did not think this beggar was worthy of Jesus’ time and attention. They tried to stop him from shouting but Bartimaeus was relentless (Mark 10:48). He knew what he wanted and he was not about to allow anyone make him miss his miracle. Some people may feel the same way about you and I, thinking we should not be candidates for that blessing or breakthrough that God has in store for us.
You must refuse to allow their words or actions to deter you. You must be tenacious and keep reaching, keep asking, keep seeking (Matthew 7:7) and refuse to give up.
Obstacles are put in our paths to determine how much we want what’s on the other side of them. Bartimaeus had heard about the many things Jesus did. He was not going to let anything get in the way of his once-in-a-lifetime moment with Jesus, and you shouldn’t either! The Red Sea could not stop the Israelites. The wall of Jericho couldn’t stop them either. Who art thou, O great mountain? (Zech 4:7).
He was willing to face whatever ridicule and humiliation he had to face to get to Jesus. We must be willing to set aside our egos. Look away from naysayers and mockers. Let their words glide, like water off a duck’s back.
Blind Bartimaeus cried to Jesus based on the Lord’s goodness, kindness, and mercy, not his own. He did not compare himself to anyone else to qualify for Jesus’ attention. Putting someone else down never makes you any taller. Start crying out to God based on His merits and not your own. Then watch Him do for you what He did for Bartimaeus.
Jesus did not answer Bartimaeus immediately. Most people today would have given up and retreated back to the side of the road, saying to themselves, “I give up”, “nobody understands me”, “nobody loves me”, and “everybody is out to get me.” Not Bartimaeus, he only yelled louder. If you fuel your journey with the opinions of others, you are going to run out of gas.Stay focused on God, He always come through
We all have opportunities to encounter God, but the greatest opportunities tend to require us to exhibit high levels of humility before we can fully experience Him.
What is so amazing in this story is not that this man cried out to Jesus for help; that is what we expect beggars to do.
What’s mind-blowing is the fact that Jesus stopped for him.
Jesus was on His way to the most important event in human history, His crucifixion, and yet He stopped for this man. A poor, blind man armed with only heartfelt hope and faith made the Creator of the universe stop. The New Testament teaches that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This means if He did it then, He will do it again!
Refuse to be silenced! Ask! Seek! Knock!