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It was shortly before the Passover and one of Jesus’s last stops before going to Jerusalem was Jericho. Jesus ministry in Galilee had ended and now Jesus finished up in Peraea before going to Jerusalem. The events soon to unfold weighed heavy on Jesus, not just because of what he would have to endure, but also because of the disciple’s complete lack of understanding regarding His coming crucifixion.
To give us a little perspective, Jericho is five miles west of the Jordan River, six miles north of the Dead Sea and fifteen air miles, twenty-one road miles northeast of Jerusalem. Jesus was indeed nearing the end of His journey.
46 Now they came to Jericho. As he went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 and when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
I love what blind Bartimaeus does. 1) He calls for Jesus, 2) He throws off what ever is there that might keep him or slow him down from coming to Jesus. 3), we will see this in just a moment, for Bartimaeus knew exactly what he wants Jesus to do for him.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “what do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.
A pastor friend of mine was counseling a young man who had come to him seeking spiritual guidance. One of the first questions my friend asked of this young man was, “What are you expecting to receive by us talking together?”
The young responded, I am not sure, I haven’t thought about it!”
The Pastor sent him away saying, “Until you figure out what you want, there is no need of us spending time together for it is a waste of time for both of us.”
The young man left, sad and disappointed. But six months later he returns and sitting in the same chair in same office as before says, “Pastor, I am ready to talk now, I know what I want. I want you to teach me how to understand the Bible.”
My Pastor friend responded with a big smile and said, “Are you sure, or are you sure you are ready for this?”
The Young man replied, “Why do you ask such a question? Should you not be rejoiced that I want to study the Bible?”
“Oh,” replied the pastor, “I am very excited you want to learn how to study the Bible. My concern is that most people are not ready for the change that happens when one truly studies the Bible.”
My point in this discourse between my Pastor friend and a young man is that often we come to Jesus, feel drawn to Jesus, yet have no idea what we really want by forming a relationship with Jesus. The answer we often hear is forgiveness, but forgiveness is already there, for it was assured to each of us when Jesus took up His Cross and was crucified, then rose from the grave. Our part then is acceptance of that forgiveness. Our prayer should be, Lord come into my heart and change my life, into something that is acceptable to you and will result in others seeing You in my life.
Blind Bartimaeus asked for his sight back and you and I should also ask for our spiritual eye sight to be returned that we may properly discern the word of God and God’s will for our life. Bartimaeus when be asked in Christ’s name asking and then believing that what we ask can be done, then we like blind Bartimaeus, will be made whole and thus examples to others of the power of Christ to heal and then dwell within all those that ask for repentance and their spiritual vision to be restored.
Bartimaeus immediately received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. Jesus