Unlimited: Bartimaeus Asks for Mercy
Feb 16, 2021 587
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging.When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him” (Mark 10:46–49, NIV).
Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem with his disciples, and he came to Jericho.
We aren’t told of anything that happened in the city, but something very notable happened as he was leaving.
The disciples were arguing about who was the greatest among them and who had the right to receive the blessings of Jesus. When they couldn’t understand what Jesus was telling them, Jesus reinforced it with this healing.
In that culture, a blind man like Bartimaeus was considered to be cursed by God. He had no right to receive honour of blessings. But Bartimaeus called Jesus by his powerful names: “Jesus, Son of David” acknowledging him as both Saviour and Messiah. And although the people tried in vain to shut him up, he shouted incessantly for Jesus’ mercy.
What did Jesus do? He stopped what he was doing and gave this man his full attention.
Many people wanted Jesus’ attention. Although many rebuked Bartimaeus for seeking God, Jesus honoured him by calling him.
I wonder what was different about Bartimaeus in the way that he approached Jesus. He didn’t present his merits before Jesus; he presented his helplessness. He didn’t ask to be blessed; he simply asked for mercy. And equally important, he had the courage to do what hardly anyone did: acknowledge Jesus as the promised Messiah: The Saviour sent from God.
How could Jesus not stop and call for this remarkable man!
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Just think for a moment: how do you approach God? Do you come trying to prove yourself or in surrender like Bartimaeus?