Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43
In Jesus’ day blindness was not spoken about in polite terms. It was not a ‘challenge,’ it was a ‘curse.’ If a blind man was not born to wealth, he was destined to beggary.Bartimaeus did what poor blind men do. He sat and begged from passers-by. When something happened in his part of Jericho, he simply asked the nearest person what was going on. He saw much of life through the eyes of strangers and by the keenness of his hearing. The excited crowd coming towards him on that fine day was in for a rude awaking. When ascertaining that Jesus was the reason for the moving crowd, Bartimaeus started yelling at the top of his voice.When Jesus spoke, people listened. Any hope of catching a word of wisdom from the master as they passed that spot was overridden by a screaming beggar crying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” This lack of social grace was met with stern orders to ‘be quiet.’ If we are to take away anything from Bartimaeus it is this: He knew who Jesus was, he knew what Jesus could do for him, and he, as much as he was able, was not going to let Jesus pass by without Jesus knowing what he wanted.It was not for his sake that Jesus asked him, “What can I do for you?” He already knew that. It was for the sake of all who were about to witness a miracle. Jesus knew that this was not a ‘blind’ man. This man saw in technicolour that Jesus was Messiah. Bartimaeus knew that what he wanted could only be given to him by the hand of God. And was not about to allow anyone to get between him and the source of all goodness—the God of Mercy! In receiving the blessing of physical sight, he did what any thankful man would do – He followed Jesus praising God.