Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.
But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”
So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.
“My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”
And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road." -Mark 10:46-52
This miracle story is full of beautiful metaphor on the act of petition, action of faith, and actualization of hope.
Petition is asking of God. Here the blind man begins by asking Jesus not for healing but for mercy. He humbles himself before the Lord knowing anything he receives is undeserved. The posture in which he approaches his healer is inspiring.
Next, is faith called into action. Jesus doesn’t come over to the blind man. Instead he calls him to Himself. “Tell him to come here,” Jesus says. And those around encourage him, “come, he is calling you.” The man has to literally step out in faith. With intention, he draws near to Jesus.
And now the story is at a suspenseful moment. The blind man stands before Jesus with all his faith on the line. Is this the healer he believes him to be, or will he continue through life unseeing? Jesus asks, “what do you want me to do for you?” The question contains the relationship words “me” and “you”, and also the reminder that He does things “for us”, acts of love that we are dependent upon, those we have no power to do for ourselves. The man responds, “I want to see!” —physically of course, but more than that, what will he see when his eyes are open to God? Then that suspenseful moment is over and Jesus says, “go, for your faith has healed you.” The man can see. How nice that his first sight is the Lord. What was once just hope has been actualized into reality. And the faith he already had has become strengthened through this interaction of asking and receiving. As Jesus commanded, the man goes — away from his begging spot. Now that he sees, he goes— and follows Jesus.
Lord, when I come to you in petition and prayer, let me be like the man in this story, stepping out intentionally in faith, humbled before you, and full of hope that you will turn that hope into reality. And Lord, even if your answer is “no” or “not yet”, may I open my eyes to see that you are still in front of me, nearer than ever, calling me to come.