In Mark 10:46-52 we learn of begging, blind Bartimaeus. He sat by the road waiting for the kindness of others to help him survive. One day he heard Jesus was coming and cried out. Those around him rebuked him; telling him to be quiet. Undeterred, Bartimaeus persisted. He gained Jesus’ attention and was asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Bartimaeus asked for his sight. Jesus complied and he immediately received his sight.
This account is full of many lessons.
First, Bartimaeus’ blindness was not used as an excuse. He did not allow his handicap to keep him from doing what was necessary to receive a blessing from the Lord. Sometimes we look at ourselves as being incapable or unworthy of seeking God’s blessings. We might feel we are too sinful to appeal to the Lord. We may believe our sins are too great for God to forgive. However, God desires us to seek Him and His mercy, no matter our condition.
Similarly, we see that Bartimaeus was diligent and unshaken by those who would hold him back. When we seek Christ, there will be those who want to hold us back. When we “cry out” for mercy, others will tell us to be quiet. Satan is behind this. He does not want us to call on the name of the Lord. He would rather we sit and wallow in our spiritual blindness. He wants us to think it’s not worth the effort, nothing is going to change anyway.
Further, Bartimaeus threw off that which could encumber him, his garment. If we hope to come to Christ and receive blessings from Him, we must cast off that which may hold us back. The Hebrew writer said, “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). It would be sad to know that our blindness could be cured, but we were held back by something as worthless as a garment—any material or worldly possession, any habit or recreation.
Finally, we have mentioned, but not made special note of, Christ’s compassion. He listened to Bartimaeus’ plea and responded in love. Our petitions do not fall on deaf ears. We are to cast all our cares on the Lord (1 Pet. 5:7). He desires, even requires, that we pray (Heb. 4:15, 16; 1 Thes. 5:17). And, just as Bartimaeus received a reply, so will we. We may not always get what we ask for, or in the way we ask for it, but the Lord will respond—in our best interest.