“Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Then many warned him to be quiet, but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’ And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I might receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him,’Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”
Bartimaeus had a need that only Jesus could fulfill.
So he was bold.
He was persistent.
And he put the past behind him so he could go forward as a new man.
I love this story.
Bartimaeus was a blind beggar who sat by the road begging and, most probably, listening. He had not seen Jesus, but He had heard about this amazing man who called Himself the Son of God.
And Bartimaeus chose to believe that nothing was too difficult for Jesus.
Jesus was in the midst of a multitude. Everyone was talking and walking along the Jericho road. But above the noise, Jesus heard someone call His name, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Bartimaeus was proclaiming quite a bit in this sentence. He called Him by name, “Jesus”, but also recognized Him as the Messiah by the use of the title, “Son of David” – a messianic term.
And then he said, “have mercy on me.”
Have mercy is a term meaning “to have an active desire to remove the cause of distress from someone”(commentary, Spirit Filled Life Bible). “Jesus, will you remove the cause of my distress?” Bartimaeus called.
Oh, there were obstacles. The crowd tried to shush him, but Bartimaeus paid them no attention. He just cried out louder. He knew his cry would not fall on deaf ears.
Then Bartimaeus did something very important. He threw off his garment. Then he rose and went to Jesus.
Bartimaeus knew a change was coming!
He knew his present was about to become his past.
And he took the first step by throwing off the garment that marked him as a beggar.
Jesus removed this beggar’s distress – his blindness – and replaced his old garment with the garment of praise and the robe of righteousness. Jesus was everything Bartimaeus believed He would be.
What do you have need of today? What is causing you distress? Nothing is too difficult for Jesus.
And take off the garment of the past and get ready for something new.
I’ve heard the garment of praise is very popular.
Father, Teach us to be bold and persistent and active in our faith as we cry out in our distress. Have mercy on us, Lord. We need You and we trust You and we desire to be all that You created us to be. We give You glory, honor and praise for You alone are worthy. Bless You, Father!