Weekly Sabbath Survey
Blind Bartimaeus — 2-5-2015
Bartimaeus is an obscure character. BUT He is a true Bible hero. He merits our admiration. We can learn from him. He was a Jewish professional beggar. He was blind. Begging was part of the welfare system during the time of Jesus. It was a good deed to give to a beggar. (Sort of like us helping the homeless.) To avoid those who would fake a disability, the priests devised a way to identify the truly needy. They made cloaks with a unique woven pattern. Only beggars could legally own one.
One day, Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was nearby, he began to yell out and say ‘the magic words.’ Not “please” but “Yeshua, you Son of David, have mercy on me.” He obviously he had heard that Jesus was a healer and the longed for Messiah. “Son of David” is code for the Messiah, the Anointed One. Asking for mercy was saying “Forgive me” because it was believed then that sin caused blindness and other afflictions. Bart was acknowledging Jesus had the power to forgive, which of course, is true!
As Bartimaeus was literally hollering this over and over, people told him to shut up! But he kept on hollering even louder. Jesus was walking along, heard him and stopped still. He called for the blind man, and the others told Bartimaeus, “Cheer up, He’s calling for you.” Bart immediately threw off his beggar’s robe, jumped up and started toward Jesus. He KNEW his life was about to change. That robe/cloak was the symbol of making a living the only way he could, but he was through with all that now! You can guess how this small incident ended. The blind man was healed, but there was more. See the Scripture passage below indicating that Bartimaeus didn’t just say thanks and run off to claim his new life. He became a Believer in The Way. And, like so many of the people Jesus touched in a short three years of ministry, Bartimaeus disappeared into his destiny in the Lord. His name is never mentioned again.
His story leaves us with an excellent example of great faith and persistence to have what we ask of God. When Jesus said “What can I do for you?” Bart didn’t hesitate, he knew exactly what to ask for and wasn’t timid about it. It is written in the imperative like “You must have mercy on me right now!” The next thing he exhibited for us to remember was he attached himself to the source of all life. I have seen many people have a tremendous experience in the Lord, salvation, healing. Later they drop away, like they forgot what had happened to them. It’s because they didn’t throw off the beggar’s coat to put on their garment of salvation and praise. They just went back to their old life, sitting by the roadside hoping a little something good might come their way. I was one of those for a long time. Saved at age 13, but without much instruction, I didn’t know what to do next. Twenty years later, I heard someone say the equivalent of “Jesus is coming this way.” I got up from my situation of living ‘less than’ and ran to find Him. It was glorious. My spiritual blindness was cured, and my life has never been the same.
If you are sitting by life’s roadside with some illness or other situation, or maybe in church meetings, wondering (as I was) “Is this all there is, Lord?” The answer is a resounding “NO! it isn’t all there is. There is MORE.” And once you get to ‘more’ there is no end to its supply. Every day there is more to be gained and obtained in Jesus. My advice for you is throw off the beggar clothes. Scout around among your family and friends. Find that one oddball who is excited about life and praising the Lord, talking about the Bible and exuding a JOY that is hard to quantify and even a bit contagious. Investigate the source of the excitement and see if it is something that is ‘of God.’ Jesus may be passing by. Don’t miss Him! There are counterfeits, so be choosy, ask the Lord to give you discernment to show you where to find the real thing.
Jesus and His followers came to Jericho, followed by a large crowd. A blind beggar, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the road. When he heard it was Jesus, he began to cry out, “You Son of David, Yeshua, have mercy on me.” The crowd rebuked him so he would be silent, but he shouted even more. Jesus stopped and said “Call him,” They said to him, “Be cheerful. Rise up. He is calling for you.” He threw off his coat, jumped up and came to Jesus. Jesus said, “What can I do for you?” The blind man said, “My Rabbi, that I could regain my sight.” And Jesus said, “You must go now, your faith has delivered you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed Jesus in the way. Mark 10:46-52
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright September 2015