Summary: Bartimaeus has been born blind. In THOSE earlier times if you were BORN blind, you'll die blind, without the prospect of being cured. The ONLY thing THIS man could do well, was being a beggar. THEN, Jesus walked into his life and changed it forever.
Mark 10:51-52 (NIV)
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Here we have a man who has been born blind, and a prisoner of total darkness. ALL his ideals and ambitions remained locked up deep within his soul. Maybe he ALSO wanted to be SOMEBODY important, be married to a loving wife, have children OR live to his God given talents and potential, but the closest he could come to it, might have been to day-dream about it. He didn’t know when it was night or day, when it was winter OR summer, neither could he appreciate the tapestry of flowers around him during spring time. The closest he could get to appreciate the wonders of life, was to listen to the sounds around him. It must have been VERY frustrating to him to listen to sounds and NOT being able to associate it with faces OR visions. He did NOT know when he was safe OR in danger….could NOT see the expression on people’s faces to know whether they were sincere, honest, happy. sad, a risk to his safety OR angry.
The MOST pathetic of ALL was that he could NOT see his OWN mother and father’s faces. The ONLY memory he had of them was their voices. I imagine over the years he has learnt to associate the tone in his parents’ voices with different conditions….threat, happiness sadness, joy and warning OR grieve. There MUST have been times when he realized just how unfairly he was restricted by his by his blindness, to live a normal life. OFTEN he might have been ignored by people and seen as a burden to others.
He had NOTHING to live for except the pity of people from whom he begged. What WE are taking for granted....the gift of sight, he was yearning for. There was a burning desire in his heart to see. BUT, after ALL said and done, he knew that it would NEVER be. He was destined to go through life carrying this TERRIBLE burden, until the day he died.
While he was sitting by the way side, he OFTEN heard people talking about a man called Jesus. The man who could raise the dead, make the lame walk and make the blind to see. HOW he wished that he could meet THIS Jesus, to tell him about his loneliness and burden.
Over the past years he must OFTEN have heard how people around him spoke about THIS man called Jesus…the miracle performer. What HE could conclude from SUCH public discussions, was that the healing THIS man offered to people was SO advanced, that it was unheard of in HIS time. Doctors SIMPLY were NOT equipped with THIS type of skill OR technology to perform OR equal it. How he wished that he could meet this healer. The MORE he thought about ALL the possibilities SUCH a healing would hold for him, the GREATER the urgency became to meet Jesus.
One day while he was doing the ONLY thing he knew BEST...begging, he heard the excitement in people's voices around him... Jesus was coming his way. I can imagine how anxious he must have become….the healer was passing by SO closely, yet he was unable to get to him. Everybody was forgetting about him, and running to meet the Son of Man....the ONLY one who had the authority to release him from his prison of darkness. As Jesus was getting closer to where HE was, he started shouting to attract the Master's attention. Fear gripped his heart that the Lord would NOT hear him, and pass him by. To make things worse, people around him rebuked him, NOT to trouble the Lord with HIS problems. But THIS did NOT discouraged him, OR make him despondent. He simply HAD to attract Jesus' attention, and shouted even louder: "Jesus, son of David, have mercy upon me." After a while a loving and gentle voice asked him: "What is it that you want?" "That I may see Master," he replied.
He was SO desperate to see, that he did NOT doubt for ONE moment in Jesus' healing powers. The prospect of sight....to SEE the things he have heard ALL his life long....to SEE the raindrops he felt on his body... to SEE the sun he felt on his skin every day..... but above ALL, to receive the gift of a NORMAL life, MUST have driven him to the verge of exhaustion. For a moment that felt like eternity, he felt the gentle touch of the Master's hand on his face, and heard His tender and caring voice: "Go, your faith has healed you." I imagine he must have been VERY unsure of what was awaiting him, as the darkness SLOWLY made way for the light...WONDERFUL but scary images and visions met his sight... ALL new to him. The FIRST face he saw, was the face of mercy...the face of love....the face of the man who would later suffer an agonizing death for him on the OLD rugged cross, to purchase him for EVER from the clutches of darkness. The IMPOSSIBLE happened!! His life changed for EVER. His burden rolled away, because he met Jesus.