Summary: Do you think it would take a miracle to get your life back on track again? So did Bartimaeus. But one day he took a chance and all of his dreams came true. The same can happen to you. Let's consider his story.
Have you ever felt as if your life has come to a standstill? As if you have been relegated to the side of the road as the rest of the world passes by? Do you think it would take a miracle to get your life back on track again? So did Bartimaeus. But one day he took a chance and all of his dreams came true. The same can happen to you. Let's consider his story.
It was another beautiful day in Jericho. The sun was shining. The palm trees were blowing in the breeze. The sea air tantalized the nose. And Herod's resort city was bustling with the noise of pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem for the Passover. It was a good day to be alive. Unless you were one of the countless beggars that lined the road that lead out of the city. Then this day was just like the countless others that seemed to stretch to the horizon. If one was lucky they might garner a few coins from the travelers enroute to the grand feast. More than likely they would be overlooked. Left to sit as the rest of the world passed by. Reduced to a few crumbs and a shoddy blanket under the hot sun. It was doubly worse for Bartimaeus. Not only was he destitute - he was blind. Had been since birth. And when his parents had died he was forced to beg along the Jericho road. He could not even enjoy the bright sun or the waving palm trees. His world extended only as far as his hands can reach and his ears can hear. So while others excitedly rushed on to Jerusalem and the celebration - Bartimaeus sat. If he had any hopes or dreams he kept them deep inside - not that anyone would listen to a blind old beggar anyway.
Have you ever felt that way? Perhaps not materially poor - but spiritually? Your hopes and dreams shelved away in some deep recess of your soul? Perhaps you wanted to share them - but someone cut you off or sold you short. Now your eyes have grown dim and your vision for better days has darkened. So you sit as others march by busy with lives you can only envy.
But today there are big doings in Jericho. The town is abuzz. It seems yesterday the prophet from Nazareth on his way to the Passover feast came and invited himself to a dinner party with the local tax man Zacchaeus. And now the little man has become a big man in the eyes of God. And rumor has it that Jesus and his men are marching on Jerusalem to usher in the kingdom. And even now the crowds are gathering to make this a victory parade. The news spreads out to the beggars at the city gates. Did you hear? Did you hear? Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming. The atmosphere is charged with excitement. Perhaps there will be a few more coins today. Perhaps this Jesus will open his coffers and spread a little gold and silver around to the less fortunate in his coming kingdom.
Bartimaeus sits and ponders the news. Jesus. Jesus. Where has he heard that name before? Wait that's it. He had heard it in the excited conversations of travelers from Galilee. Is this the man who people say can heal the sick? Make the lame to walk? The dumb to talk? The blind to see?... The blind to see? Slowly the cold embers of a dead dream begin to warm. A small spark flashes across the soul of one man. Oh to see. To get up from this dusty roadside and walk into a life like other men. To see the face of a wife - a child. To see a sunset. A wildflower. A myriad of colors and shapes and sizes. To see...could it be? Faith begins with just such a question.
The parade has reached the city gates. The crowd noisily pushes forward to catch a glimpse of this man Jesus. He is trying to teach above the roar of the people, but it seems a lost cause. They go forward carried by the overwhelming flood of enthusiasm. Then above the tumult - a voice cries out. "Son of David! Have mercy on me!" Some turn to look and see the silly old man on his knees. "Son of David have mercy on me!" "Shut-up old man! Cannot you see that Jesus has no time for a blind beggar like you?" Yet he is not silenced. Now is his one chance and he must see it through. "Son of David! Please! Have mercy on me!"
Have you ever cried out to the Lord? Have you ever wanted something so bad that you would risk ridicule and rebuke? Have you had a dream so powerful that not even the world itself could stop you from calling out? If you haven't then you aren't quite ready for what happens next. For only those who are willing to persevere in the face of obstacles can make their voices be heard above the din of this world. Only one willing to expend to the end their resources will ever find renewed strength. If faith begins with a question - it grows with a cry for mercy.