By CRAIG HARRIS
Mark 10: 46-52 (NIV): Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the 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.
Bartimaeus didn’t let the noise of the crowd stop him from crying out to Jesus. It was against custom to yell at a rabbi, but he had too so that Jesus could hear him in the din of noise on that busy road that day. And Bartimaeus acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ by calling him “Son of David.” Don’t let the crowd stop you from crying out to God.
Like Bartimaeus, we don’t know how many more chances we have. Jesus was passing through Jericho for the last time, on his way to the cross. When Jesus stopped and called to him, he threw his cloak aside so that it wouldn’t slow him down. That cloak probably held every possession he owned, but he threw it all away to get to Jesus. Don’t let your material possessions come between you and God. Go for broke.
Why did Jesus ask him what he wanted? Wasn’t it obvious? But Jesus wants us to tell him what we want and need. Bartimaeus could have asked for a coin. He showed true faith and asked for what he really needed – his sight. Have faith and tell God what you really need. Don’t cheat yourself.
Finally, after Bartimaeus was healed, he followed Jesus. That’s what we should do too.
Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel The Dead Peasants File are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist Churches.