35 – Calling out to Jesus
And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 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!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
- Mercy: In this passage -compassion, pity
- Rebuke: Sharp disapproval
- Rabbi: Teacher
Why, in your opinion, is Bartimaeus so keen to come to Jesus?
Why do you think Bartimaeus follows Jesus at the end of the story?
Often in the book of Mark it appears that the people who see things most clearly are the blind people! This is true again here. Bartimaeus was unable to see anything and because of this he wasn’t able to work. The only way he succeeded in staying alive was through asking other people for things. When he hears that Jesus is passing by, he begins to shout with all his might for help. When Jesus calls him over, his answer is so enthusiastic. Firstly, he flings his coat away. Remember, this man was extremely poor and therefore his coat was unbelievably valuable to him and important for keeping him warm. Then he jumps to his feet and goes to Jesus immediately. This time, Bartimaeus isn’t asking for money or food. He knew that Jesus was different. Other people could give him money and food, but Jesus had the power to heal him. He had faith that Jesus was able to give him his sight back. But how could he be so certain?
Bartimaeus uses a name that we haven’t heard before when he calls out to Jesus, that is Son of David. God had promised in the Old Testament that he would send another King who would come from the family of the most famous leader of Israel, that is King David. Blind Bartimaeus had seen quite clearly that Jesus was the Messiah, the one whom God had promised to be King over the people of God. He saw that God had sent Jesus to destroy sin, and to bring a new kingdom about.
Once again, these verses call on us to search our own hearts. Have we accepted that Jesus Christ is the King from the line of David? Have we left the things that used to be important to us and have we run to Jesus as he calls us? Has Jesus dealt with our sin, and freed us to follow him?
Having seen Bartimaeus’ persistence in calling out to Jesus, how ought this to affect our prayers?
Is there a danger that we are using Jesus just to get what we want, and then we stop following him?
thanking God for sending his Son, the King, to deal with the problem of sin.