Mk.10:47 – When he heard that Jesus from Nazareth was passing by, he began to shout “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me now in my affliction. Heal me!”
I love Mark’s account of the healing of Blind Bartimaeus. You can feel the pain and the suffering in this blind beggar’s desperate pleas. Bartimaeus had obviously heard the stories of the miracles of Jesus; after three years and hundreds (possibly thousands) of healings everyone had heard about the miracles and most had drawn their conclusions. When you are hurting like this blind man you don’t have time for religious discussions, you just want to get well. That’s why Bartimaeus was shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on me”. What a bold public declaration, Son of David, the Messianic title. People were thrown out of their synagogues for less than that, but Bartimaeus had nothing to lose. Mark described the blind man’s shouting with a word used for animals screeching. The blind man was not going to be ignored, he was demanding some kind of response, he knew this was his one time shot at life.
The crowds tried to shush him but Jesus called for him, “Bring that blind man to Me”.
Bartimaeus threw away his mendicant coat and made his way to Jesus. He wouldn’t be needing that coat anymore, his life was about to begin. Why did Mark mention that coat anyway? Why was that so important? That coat was Bartimaeus’s way of supporting himself. He was a beggar, this coat was his ticket for provision, issued to guarantee his right to beg. He wouldn’t be needing help from any man anymore he was about to get a real life.
“What do you want Me to do for you?” Jesus seemed to be asking the obvious. “I want to see”, Bartimaeus boldly declared. “Your faith has made you whole. Go in peace”. Instantly the former blind man saw the face of Jesus, a smile bright enough to light the whole world. “Go in peace?” You’ve got to be kidding. Bartimaeus wasn’t going anywhere. He began to follow Jesus down the road.
I love the end of this story the best. Too many times answered prayers are squandered on people who just return to their old way of life after they get their miracle. Not Bartimaeus, He was going to follow Jesus. He had gotten more than physical eyesight that day, He had his spiritual eyes opened. When he saw Jesus, he realized this was what he was born for; to know Jesus and live for him the rest of his life.