Scripture gives us an account of a man who had all things working against his life. He was blind, a beggar and a social outcast. His daily survival depended on the mercies of the rest of society. If people were not in a giving mood on a particular day, it meant his life was at a standstill. Yet he resolved in his mind to make a difference.
It would appear this man had heard so much about Jesus of Nazareth and wanted to encounter His Presence the day He walked into Jericho. His name was Bartimaeus and a journey of a lifetime was about to change his life forever. In spite of all the negatives there was a determination and persistence that stood out for him. He was willing to pursue his healing despite the objections of the crowd.
Timing Of The Journey
He had heard about a Messiah who could save, a Man who could cause blind eyes to see and who could turn lepers’ skin into baby-like skin. So much had been said about this Man that Bartimaeus wanted to see it for himself. He must have been the kind of man who was glued to the news to hear the next location of this Messiah and to find a way of coming into touch with this Man.
His main interest was physical deliverance rather than the political deliverance everyone was looking forward to. He had more pressing needs than those around him and if he were to get in touch with Jesus his whole life was going to turn around. His circumstances were more pressing than the political setup. If Jesus would set him free from blindness maybe he could do something to change his future. And that would need him to undertake a unique journey.
One day his dream came true as Jesus walked the streets of Jericho. It must have been one great encounter for the people of Jericho, having a Messiah walk through their streets. I believe that Bartimaeus must been at the one end of town, going about his usual business when the Messiah came to town. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Here was a man seizing an opportunity with both hands. There was no way he was letting this Jesus go. If ever there was going to be a change in his life it was going to be that very day. People tried to dissuade him but he cried the more loudly. All he required was mercy; he was tired of his fallen state. Unlike the Church of Laodicea in Revelations 3 he realised that he had to get his eyes fixed. They had been a limitation for him all his life. He was in need of eye salve and once his sight was restored things would never be the same. A time is coming when the journeyer has to decide to do something about their sight lest they remain blind forever or lest they allow the LORD to pass them by.
We read from the Scriptures how Bartimaeus cried the louder that Jesus passes him not. He had to cry above the voices of discord, than the noise that the crowd was making. You and I have to raise our cry above the tumult around you. There are many voices that are competing against yours and it’s up to you to make a stand and cry out louder for the Saviour to hear you. If you do not raise your cry things will ever remain the same in your life.
As this man cried out all the more, he received personal attention from Jesus. He attracted a question, “What do you want Me to do for you?” I believe for him it was one of the best things that happened to him. How could the Messiah ask a noisy, dirty blind beggar what needed to be done? At times you might feel unworthy yet when you call, Jesus is going to draw you to Himself and minister to your needs. There is no need to get surprised when He pays attention to you for He knows that you’re desperate.
From that day his life was eternally changed. But it had to take a determination and never give up attitude to see him succeed on his journey of a lifetime. You too need to come to that place where God will unveil His mercies to you and draw you closer to where He can change your future. The things you cry out for you’re bound to get if your cry can rise above all dissension.
Bartimaeus realised that he was finished if he allowed Jesus to pass him by. You too need to realise that you’re finished if you allow your only chance to go by. You never know whether He will ever come back to Jericho. This might be your only chance so maximise it whilst you still have it.
Blind Bartimaeus had his heart and mind set on getting that which he desired. One way or another he had to get Jesus to turn to him and so he had to create a distraction so as to catch the Master’s attention. This pursuit is all about getting Jesus to see you so that He can deal with your blindness. The situation around Bartimaeus’ life was so severe. He alone understood the frustrations that he had to endure.
At times people would kick him about, at others they would not even give him any help and the more this went on the more desperate he became. If this opportunity to catch the attention of Jesus passed by there was no way his situation was going to change. He devised a way to make the loudest noise and catch the opportunity before it went away. You also need to create your own diversion in case you may only have one shot at it. The louder the noise that you make, the more discomfort you are going to create around you in turn leading to Jesus noticing you.
At times things don’t happen in our lives because we are not very desperate towards Him. We are intent on making just enough noise to be told to keep quiet, but should we persist and keep shouting, I assure you that your breakthrough will come running your way. Make sure that people making noise around you do not distract you, and keep pushing so as to get the real reward that you’ve been pushing towards.
The journey this blind beggar took was a crucial one in that he traded his life’s sorrows for the joys of the Kingdom. The minute he had got Jesus to pay attention, Bartimaeus threw off his dirty cloak and once and for all left his limiting sorrows behind him. Mark 10v50 records it this way, “Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.” That action off throwing his cloak aside was a sign to say, “I’m trading my sorrows for the joy of the LORD.”
You need to throw off your mantle of sorrows and trade it in for the better mantle. Even Elisha threw off his cloak in favour of the mantle of Elijah. After he had thrown off that cloak, it appears as though a brand new man rose out of the world of begging to come to Him whose mission was to SEEK and SAVE the lost, like Bartimaeus. As soon as he got to Jesus a question was asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?” and the answer was specific, “I want to see.” Throw off that cloak of sorrow and limitation and allow Jesus to show you the joys of the Kingdom.
We learn from this man the fruits of consistent pursuit. Bartimaeus was able to change his future as a result of this. Had he children, he was now able to see what they looked like and was going to be able to ably fend for them and give them a hope to look towards. Had he been silent when told to, Bartimaeus would have died a beggar in Jericho. He understood that Jesus had come to break the curse on Jericho and he was sure to have the blindness removed from his life. He wanted his vision for the future clarified and for that to take place he had to be consistent in his calling.
Jesus teaches about the need never to give up in prayer. He gave an illustration of a widow who pestered a wicked ruler till he gave in to her requests. The moral of the story was that the more we press in and persist we are bound to get what we want. All Bartimaeus knew was the street corner where he sat to beg, but after his eyes were opened he was able to travel the road Jesus travelled. He must have become a faithful follower and maybe he was there in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost.
Consistent pursuit will result in the opening of many doors. We see this clearly in the life of Elisha. His pursuit of Elijah resulted in him catching the anointing. The more consistent our pursuit becomes the more we are able to access from God. We need to make a decision to follow up on Jesus and make sure we catch the anointing that is able to change futures.
You can find total salvation and deliverance if you can cry all the louder to Him whose Ears are not deaf to hear. The world around you can make so much of a commotion but if you cry out louder your cries can attract the attention of heaven. And from that crowd that has been making noise, you alone can get the deliverance you so much wanted. You need to step out and dare to be different. Refuse to be cowed into submission by situations. You serve the God of heaven and the louder the storms, the louder should be your voice. You cannot afford to allow the Source of Salvation pass you by.
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!”