The story of Bartimaeus is echoed in both Matthew and Luke’s Gospel. This image of Jesus healing a blind man (or in Matthew’s case two blind men) is of critical importance for the early disciples of Jesus. When John the Baptist sent his followers to Jesus to ask if he was the Messiah, Jesus asks them to consider what they have seen: “the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them” (Matthew 11:5). Jesus is referencing prophecies from the Book of Isaiah about the coming of the Messiah.
In today’s world, we are blessed with medicine and technology that would have seemed more than miraculous to a First Century person. People born with disabilities can be helped, children born deaf can be given the gift of hearing, a person who is blind can be taught to read and write. These are miraculous things, which we so often take for granted.
The lesson I found myself gravitating to as I pondered this passage was that Bartimaeus, while being blind, had found a way to keep his eye on the prize. He did not waver in his attempts to reach Jesus. Even when the crowd tried to discourage him, to belittle him, he did not waver. The Gospel writer tells us this discouragement actually provided fuel for his fervor and he cried out all the louder.
Bartimaeus knew how he could be healed. He knew Jesus was the one to give him that gift. He relentlessly pursued Jesus with all of his strength. He did not let his blindness stop him. He did not allow the crowd to cause him to pause, to doubt himself or what he knew to be true. What things we could accomplish if we could focus on them the way that Bartimaeus focused on Jesus. Now, stop and think of what God could accomplish in us if we did not pursue “things” but rather, pursued Him.
Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at DailyGraces.net.
Feature Image Credit: jacksonDavid, https://pixabay.com/photos/hand-reach-reaching-fingers-5961660/