“Then they came to Jericho. And 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.” (Mark 10:46-47)
Bartimaeus was a desperate, blind, beggar in Jericho. He could not see on many levels. Everyday he went to the same location and sat on the same corner begging and calling out to the same people, hoping for someone to give him something. No doubt everyone knew him. He had a reputation. He was called “Blind Bartimaeus”.
Desperation & Hearing:
Now it happened on a certain day that a large crowd entered Jericho. Blind Bartimaeus could hear it, a commotion along the road and excitement in the air, there was a spiritual shift in the atmosphere. It was Jesus passing through town… and the road was going to bring him right by where he sat. He had heard about Jesus. The stories of people being healed. Lame men walking. Deaf ears hearing. Mouths that never knew how to talk, speaking the praises of God. Lepers made clean. And He was passing this way!
Desperation & Hope:
I believe it was at that moment that hope arose in the heart of Bartimaeus. He was quick to make up his mind that He was not going to let Jesus pass without touching him. Hope is like that, its the platform for which faith is birthed (Heb. 11:1). The desperate move quickly, because they have an unusual sensitivity to hope. In a desperate cry this blind, beggar began to call out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Desperation & Our Voice:
Blindness is no reason for shame. He was not ashamed. Desperate people will do desperate things, but only if shame is dealt with first. Shame silences the desperate, but hope opens the mouth! Hear the words of Bartimaeus, “Have mercy on me” and then ask yourself – how often is this your plea? Nothing was going to stop him from getting the Lord’s attention. How often are we too ashamed to speak up? Jesus was passing through and there was no way that Bartimaeus was going to let Him pass without making his need known.