The story of blind Bartimaeus reminds me a lot of Lazarus, the poor beggar who sat outside of the rich man’s house everyday begging. Lazarus had a meager existence. No one really cared about him. His medical care consisted of dogs licking his wounds. Bartimaeus was a beggar too, but blind. Both had the daily routine of begging others for sustenance. In Jesus’ time, beggars were at the bottom of the social ladder, only slightly more important than dogs.
Faith Doesn’t Need Eyes – Faith Comes By Hearing!
Blind Bart couldn’t see, but as with many blind people, he had a keen sense of hearing. On this particular day, he could tell from the rumble of the mob that “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” No doubt, Bart had heard of Jesus. Perhaps he heard about how Jesus healed people, even restored sight to the blind!
Even though Bart couldn’t see Jesus with his own eyes, he believed based upon what he had previously heard. He didn’t just believe Jesus was in his city: he believed Jesus had the power to change his life. So he cried out, “Jesus! Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38) The term “Son of David” was a term reserved for the coming Messiah, the King. It was a title of Divine Power. Bart was confessing Jesus was more than a mere rabbi or teacher–He was the King! Bart had more insight to Who Jesus really was than almost any other figure in the New Testament! Wow!
Faith Accesses God
Faith is the first step everyone must take to receive mercy from God. Faith is not just believing God exists, it is acting on that belief. Real faith causes your heart to leap and your mouth to open in confession. This is why I like to read and re-read Romans 10:8-11.
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.
These verses remind me how I accessed the Lord with faith the very first time. They also remind me that I can access the Lord over and over again with that same faith. I call it working my faith muscles. The more I work them, the larger they grow.
Bartimaeus is a great picture of people in the 21st century. We have never seen Jesus with our physical eyes, but we have heard about Him. Faith then comes by hearing… It is not just believing facts about Jesus, it is trusting Him with our whole life. When people ask me “how do you know Jesus is real?” I know He is real because I have met Him and He lives within me. In fact, I have talked to Him today. He is not just some historical figure, another man of religion who died long ago… Jesus is alive and I have a relationship with Him. Like Bartimaeus, I was blind before I met Him but now I see.
The Good News was Jesus wasn’t too busy to take time out to minister to old Bart. He was just a week or two away from sacrificing Himself on a cross for the sins of mankind. I am sure there were hundreds of people vying to get Jesus’ attention, but one lone beggar crying out in faith caught the Lord’s heart. Faith will access God every time.
You may think that in the larger scheme of things you aren’t very important. In comparison to the entirety of the cosmos, our planet is just a small rock circling a minor star. You are just one of over eight billion human beings sharing space on the third rock from the sun. In spite of this, you are of such great importance to God, that when you call out to Him, He pauses to help you!
The mighty sun burning 93 million miles away provides the gravitational pull that keeps all the planets in orbit. Yet that same sun will still warm your face on a cold day as if it had nothing else to do. Likewise, the creator God who keeps the entire universe running will stop and answer your cry for help as if He had nothing else to do. God isn’t distracted by the millions of other voices. He always has time for you.
Blessings – From God’s Incubator,