Being Bartimaeus

In Mark 10:46–52, Mark tells us the story of Bartimaeus’ encounter with Jesus. In Mark’s account, Bartimaeus was a blind roadside beggar in Jericho. Fortunately for Bartimaeus, Jesus was visiting Jericho and a crowd went with him. Bartimaeus was begging on the roadside when he heard Jesus was passing by with the crowd in tow. Immediately, Bartimaeus started crying out and calling on Jesus to have mercy on him. It was a persistent cry for help. The more he cried for help, the more the crowd tried to silence him. But Bartimaeus kept at it.

After a while, Jesus heard his persistent cry for help and called him forward. As Bartimaeus walked to Jesus, he put down his garment or cloak and walked to Jesus. Jesus asked him what he wanted and he asked to be healed and was healed instantly. After he regained his sight, Jesus told him to go his own way as his faith had healed him. However, Bartimaeus refused to go his own way and followed Jesus.

This story resonates with us today. There are a lot of people looking to God, and crying to Jesus for help from life’s troubles and circumstances. Some of us are crying to God and the people around us are mocking our travails, the circumstances, pain, hurt and shame seems to be drowning our voice and cry for help. Some of us have caved into the outward pressure and have lost faith. We are now silent and in pain. Some of us think that our cry and supplication are not heard or have not been heard by Jesus.

Others have been heard and have heard the voice of Jesus calling us to come forth. However, we have not put away the garment, cloak or weight of our past. These weights hinder us from walking in newness of life.

Some others have had their requests met and provided for, and their pains have been taken away by Jesus. However, they have gone their own way. They don’t follow Jesus anymore in their improved situation of life.

Whatever stage of life you’re in right now, this comes as an encouragement to you to cry out to Jesus today. Don’t permit the noise of the crowd, individuals or your circumstances to drown your voice and focus on Jesus. Like Bartimaeus, keep your eyes and focus on Jesus. God’s word teaches us that ‘if our eyes are single, our whole body will be full of light’. We also know that as many as call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Don’t lose heart, hope or faith, call Jesus until your answer comes.

For those who have the doors of their hearts knocked on by Jesus, lay aside every weight and distraction that hinders you. Answer his call. He is asking you like he asked Bartimaeus ‘what do you want me to do for you?’. Respond to Jesus with your requests. Accompany your requests with thanksgiving and see him step into that situation.

Finally, a cry to Jesus comes with a corresponding responsibility to follow his way. It is in Jesus’ way that life and everything about you is secure and illuminated. Always remember that ‘in him is the light and that light is the life of men’. Just like Bartimaeus, after receiving from Jesus, follow his way for eternal salvation and peace.

We encourage you to cry out, receive and follow Jesus today.

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