“. . .And they called the blind man, saying unto him, ‘Be of good comfort; rise—He calls you’.”
Have there ever been any more precious words than these?
We know nothing of his background. . .where he was from. . .how long he’d been blind. . . what caused him to be blind, etc. We only know he was a beggar, the son of Timaeus, sitting on the side of the highway outside of Jericho (v.46).
Like any beggar, his was a pitiful plight.
This one, created in God’s image, reduced to sitting on the side of a busy street with an outstretched hand, crying out in a mournful monotone: “Alms, alms.” And, like most beggars, he was totally dependent upon others’ gifts of kindness. But, at least his blind eyes couldn’t see the contempt or callused irritation some had in their eyes as they placed a coin in his palm or tossed it on the ground beside him.
To many, he was an “interruption” and “irritation.”
That was quite evident that day when Jesus passed by (v.48).
Even now we can hear that monotonous drone of a voice that grates on one’s nerves—that incessant plea “Alms, Alms. Sir, will you help me? Ma’m, could you give me just a little something to tide me over. I’m hungry. Please, please, help me.”
No doubt his plea blended in with the other beggars that sat nearby. And, consequently, passersby. . .so busy with their “to-do lists” and pressing deadlines. . .were used to his being there and his cries.
But that day when Jesus passed by something happened.
When poor Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by, “He began to cry out and say ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” (v.47). And, based upon the crowd’s reaction it wasn’t a casual or quiet, begging-as-usual cry. It was a desperate, springing-up-from-the-depths-of-your-soul cry:
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
His blind eyes couldn’t see Him. But, that wouldn’t stop his voice from crying out to Him. And, no amount of others’ rebukes and stern words of “Shut up!” would keep him from giving it his best shot—for somehow he knew he might never have that opportunity again.
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!!!”
And, have mercy He did! Hallelujah!!
No doubt the crowd was shocked when Jesus stopped and said, “Bring that blind beggar to Me.” We can well imagine the critics were dumbfounded when that happened and astounded at what would transpire between the two (vv.49-52). Oh, dear Pilgrim, if we want to catch Jesus’ ear, we must be desperate. He is not hard-of-hearing. Cry out to Him as if this was the only opportunity you have. Then do not be surprised when you hear “He’s calling for you.”
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 25, 2009