Is your heart awake? Is there a small flame that is flickering within your soul that desires more? A man named Bartimaeus would say, “Yes!” You see, Bartimaeus was blind which made life more difficult. So much so, that he was found begging in the city. Follow along in Mark 10: 46-52 to learn more about him.
Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was nearby so he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” His heart was awake. His heart knew it needed Jesus. Without Christ, what good was he? So, he prayed and hoped for Jesus to come by, and when He did, He called out as loud as He could.
“Hey Jesus, do you see me? Do you hear me? I need help and You are the only one who can help me!”
Bartimaeus was poor and blind. He represents you. Because of your lineage that dates back to Adam and Eve, you are poor and blind too. Sin caused it. Your only hope is Jesus.
He must have made some ruckus for people were telling him to be quiet. This did not deter the small flame flickering within his heart. He recognized the opportunity of a lifetime was upon him so he shouted louder! He needed Jesus.
Here is the beauty of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, “When Jesus heard Bartimaeus, He stopped and said, ‘Tell him to come here.'”49 Jesus always hears you and sees you. He makes Himself available to you. All you have to do is call upon Him and go to Him.
Notice how the people who were yelling at him to shut up were now saying, “Cheer up, come on, Jesus is calling you!”49 Jesus is calling you. When He does call, are you ready? Today, He sees you and hears you. Are you ignoring Him or are you throwing your coat aside, jumping up and waiting to receive like Bartimaeus did?
Bartimaeus throwing his coat aside represents that he is willing to discard his old, blind self, and receive what Jesus has for him, which is the ability to see; 2020 vision. He knew he needed a change. His worldly life was tainted with sin and it caused him to not be able to see. He knew Jesus could help him to see clearly.
What kind of spiritual blindness do you suffer from? What kind of earthly coat(s) do you need to remove?
When Bartimaeus stood before Jesus, He was met with the King who wanted to give all of Himself to a lowly man. Jesus asked him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Bart’s reply, “I want to see!”51
May you and I have the same heart’s cry for Jesus as this beggar did.
We see that Jesus delivered. His words are a sure bet. They are trustworthy. “Jesus told him, ‘Go, for your faith has healed you.’“52
The final sentence in this particular passage is crucial. So many get to this part in their faith journey and skip out on what is needed in obtaining eternal life.
“Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.”52
Bartimaeus was born blind. So are you. He was treated as an outcast. This world does not offer understanding and love. He understood that nothing in this world or no other person could help what ails him. You and I have this same dilemma. We are as good as dead on our own.
Despite this reality, Bartimaeus had hope, if Jesus would come by me, He could heal me. My friend, you have this same hope. Jesus is waiting for you right now. Call to Him. He will answer you. He will tell you to let go of gods, like that all-consuming job that makes your brain dead and unbalanced, filling your time with empty entertainment, or satiating yourself with comfort food or alcohol to cover up the voids in your heart (that only Jesus can fill). Shopping, sex, stocks and bonds can be sources that can become god(s). Even your well-meaning checklist can become a god.
Ask yourself, “Why do I keep turning my back on what Christ has for me? Why do I say no to God? I know He loves me (and I love Him) but I don’t want to do what He tells me.” Your answers are probably your gods. Anger, fear, and doubt can keep us from following Jesus too.
This Holy Week that we are in, may you have a heart like Bartimaeus and cry out as loud as you can for Jesus to heal you. This coming week-end we celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection. The greatest way to show Christ that you desire that small flame flickering inside you to mature into a bonfire is to get naked and jump in to what He has for you. Then, you will receive what Bartimaeus received. Jesus is waiting.