The healing of Bartimaeus is unique in the synoptic gospels because he is the only person named whose healing is mentioned in Matthew, Mark and Luke. On the final part of His journey to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through Jericho. He was accompanied by the disciples and a large crowd. Bartimaeus, also named as “Son of Timaeus,” was a blind beggar sitting by the side of the road. Along with the other beggars, Bartimaeus would call out for help and beg for life’s necessities by the road side. When Bartimaeus heard Jesus was coming, he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” It’s interesting to note how one son (son of Timaeus) calls for help from another son (Son of David).
For the first time in Mark, the crowd tried to silence someone. Perhaps they believed a blind beggar was not worth the time or effort of Jesus. Jesus had more important things to do than spend time with an outcast. Whatever the reason, the crowd tried to keep Bartimaeus away from Jesus. No crowd could silence Bartimaeus from shouting to Jesus. He was desperate, and his desperation was the determining factor for his faith.
Jesus stopped dead in His tracks. Imagine the Lord walking by the crowded roadside, deafened by cries and shouting people, and hearing Bartimaeus. How wonderful it is that Christ allowed the cry of a poor, blind, powerless beggar to stop Him and turn Him toward Bartimaeus.
Then Jesus told the crowd to summon Bartimaeus. The same crowd that tried to stop Bartimaeus then told to start Bartimaeus on his way to Jesus. It’s amazing what the changing power of Christ can do from one minute to the next with the same crowd. The crowd told Bartimaeus to take heart and get up because Jesus wanted to see him. These same words, “take heart,” were used earlier when Jesus called out to the frightened disciples on the sea (
“What do you want Me to do for you?” asked Jesus. This is the same question He asked James and John earlier. The Sons of Thunder wanted fame and to sit with Jesus in glory. Bartimaeus wanted faith and to follow Jesus on the way. James and John asked for an extraordinary part of Jesus’ kingdom while Bartimaeus asked for ordinary sight.
Bartimaeus answered Jesus, “My Teacher, let me see again.” He did not ask for power, wealth, fame or glory; but only for common eyesight. He did not want to be superhuman, only simply human. Jesus responded, “Go; your faith has made you well.” To be well is to be saved physically and spiritually. Bartimaeus suddenly could see and follow Jesus. He received sight and insight. “Immediately, he regained his sight and followed Him on the way.”
Imagine you are able to stop Jesus in His tracks. What did you say to catch Christ’s attention? What did you do when He looked at you? What did you request of Him? If you were blind, would you be as courageous as Bartimaeus? How would you grope your way to Jesus?
What kind of sight would you desire: physical, spiritual or other? Above all, never forget or disbelieve the good news: Jesus Christ has stopped dead in His tracks for you on top of a hill called Calvary. Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, your cries by the side of the road have been heard and answered; “Your faith has made you well.”