Summary: The actions of Bartimaeus provide wonderful examples of how God would have us live.
In our text today, we read of an individual who, by our standards, was encumbered with serious limitations. Bartimaeus, as Scripture teaches, was physically blind and financially strapped. But he did not allow his limitations to conquer his ambition.
Likewise, we all suffer from various limitations in our lives. They could be similar to Bartimaeus’ limitations, physical or financial. They could be emotional or spiritual. However, Scripture teaches us that we are more than conquerers through Christ. Today, I want us to take a look into the actions and ambitions of Bartimaeus and allow what is revealed to be birthed into reality for our lives. We may have various limitations, but by following the example of Bartimaeus, we can rise above our limitations and be all that God will have us to be.
I. He Took Personal Initiative (v. 46-47)
Bartimaeus took it upon himself to call upon Jesus. The Bible says, "And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out..." He possibly could have waited for a more convenient opportunity. He could have waited for a more appropriate time. The problem, however, was that his sight wasn’t getting any better.
Likewise, spiritual blindness will never improve until one has an encounter with Jesus. Bartimaeus had heard that Jesus was near. Undoubtedly, he had heard previously of the miracles and abilities of Jesus. However, only hearing about Jesus is not enough. James 2:19 states, "Thou believest there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." Even though the demons of hell believe in Jesus and know that He is God, it is not enough. Having a personal encounter with Jesus was Bartimaeus’ only hope of being set free from his blindness, and if not now, there was not going to be another time for Jesus never returned again to Jericho.
So what did Bartimaeus do? He did the only thing that he could do. He called upon Jesus. Rom. 10:13 states, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Friend, the only hope we have is in Jesus. Only when we call upon Jesus in true faith and repentance can we receive the marvelous blessing of God’s touch on our lives.
But notice who’s responsibility it is to call. Jesus was near, but He didn’t come until Bartimaeus called. Likewise, only those who call upon God will be saved. We must realize our helpless state. We must recognize our only remedy. We must respond to our responsibility and take the initiative to call upon God.
As in Bartimaeus’ situation, God may choose to provide a physical healing for us. But again, the responsibility to initiate physical healing rests with us. James 5:14 states, "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." Sadly, God’s people many times do not receive all that God has for them, because they refuse to accept their responsibility and take the initiative to call upon the Lord - "...call ye upon him while he is near." (Isaiah 55:6).