Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 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!”. Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road- Mark 10: 46-52 (NIV)
How bad do u want it? Do you want it bad enough that you willing to face your fears, to risk criticism, to get out of your comfort zone? Do you want it bad enough that you willing to commit the effort and dedication to getting it? Do you want it bad enough that you willing to pay the price? Just knowing you want it is not enough, because wanting it doesn’t mean you will get it, but how bad do you want it?
Until you want it bad enough that you willing to get out of your comfort zone it will not come to you. Everything you want is outside your comfort zone. You cannot do what you have always done, the way you have always done it, and expect different results. To receive anything new you’ve got to be willing to do things differently. Growth is outside your comfort zone, progress is outside your comfort zone, improvement is outside your comfort zone.
Get out of your comfort zone! Hurl yourself into the unknown. Do what you’ve never done so you can get what you never had and be where you’ve never been. The problem is as human being we love the familiar, we are afraid of the new, we prefer the old. Thus we get stuck in our ways, we limit our growth and potential for good because of fear of the challenges that change brings. A ship on the harbor is safe but that is not what ships are created for. The harbor is the comfort zone. But that is not what ships are made for. But it blazes alight as it surfs the great seas, and its longevity is prolonged out of the beatings and friction with the tough waves.
You don’t need the comforter if you are already comfortable! You need to be uncomfortable to experience the comforter in your life. I am wondering have you become too comfortable. Has the Church become too comfortable? Has our giving become too comfortable? Has your marriage become too comfortable? Unless you are uncomfortable, you won’t be successful.
Death is when we are stuck in one position, one place and moving nowhere. If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there… When nothing new can get in, that’s death. Anything in life that is stuck dies. Observe what happens to water that is not moving- it begins to collect deadly poisons, and creatures. It begins to stink. Place a piece of wood in the same place for years and watch what happens- it begins to rot away. It destroys itself. Because of its own inaction, it becomes the architect of its own destruction!
Blind Bartimaeus is a character in scripture that we are familiar with. He was blind and he was also a beggar. That’s what we know about him, that’s the summary of his life. We also know he was the son of Timaeus. Timaeus= blind man; Bartimaeus = Son of the blind man. Which means he was born to blind parents. He was blind man and was born in a blind family. That’s all he knew. He never knew anything else. In the very same sense, we have many blind parents today – never considered their divine identity, their spiritual ideologies- taught their children that all there is, is the here & now. Thus the children also become blind because they adopt the blind ideologies of the parents. What the parents are, directly influences the future destiny of the child. And as a result the child tends to become like the parent.
But the text also suggests Bartimaeus was not born blind but that he somehow became blind. The text is rooted in a time where medicine was infant and medical infirmities required spiritual interventions. You somehow had to pray your way through it. But the culture had systems so deal with that lack, and especially if you had a medical condition that could not be fixed, you would be pushed into the corner and excluded from the rest of humanity; and that’s what society does with anything we cannot fix, we push it away into the corner because we don’t want to look at our failures and deficiencies.
Thus Bartimaeus couldn’t work, couldn’t be productive, couldn’t be economically active and thus secluded from the rest of humanity and move in with other people of the same condition, because pain understand pain, limitation understand limitation. That is why there are support groups for people with same addiction, people who have been through divorce. Because sometimes when people haven’t been through what you have been they tend to be biased and insensitive because they are inexperienced in your situation.
The problem with things that wont go away, is that you have to live with them, grow with them, and you create a system to accommodates what you can’t fix. Since he could not see, could not work, could not marry, could not be a mayor, could not have children, he limited himself to the standard of his limitations. He had to adjust his hopes to his limitation- brought down his expectations to fit his situation. Have you ever had to lower your expectations to fit your situation?
So he became a beggar. He wasn’t a beggar. Blindness and begging are not mutually exclusive. You can be one and not the other. But when your situation becomes bad enough it limits what you dare to hope for.
Bartimaeus was not brought up saying I want to be a beggar, that’s what I want to become teacher. He became a beggar by default. Sometimes you become things you didn’t choose because they chose you. Life is full of many choices but sometimes you never get any- the situation makes all the choices for you. Some people don’t want to be single, but they are single by default, some are childless by default.
Thus he was not only blind, but also a beggar. You see, troubles love a train: one trouble seldom comes alone. The blindness of Bartimaeus was aggravated by his poverty, and his poverty had no relief nor remedy but begging.
But Bartimaeus wasn’t satisfied in his situation. “This is not me”- there is something about falling into something that isn’t you that makes it hard to accept. I may be doing this but this is not me, I may be in this dilemma, in this situation but this is not me. I may be going through this divorce but this is not me, I may be going through this unemployment line, but this is really not me. You have to know that it is not you in order to fight it. If you accept your situation as if it is your reality you will sit and do nothing, but if you realize you can be more, it’ll make you cry out.
Bartimaeus was a survivor- that’s why he sat by the high wayside, the part of the way where most people pass. He knew how to survive. He said if I am going to be a blind man I have to find a way to survive. He built a system to accommodate what he does not have. People build systems like jealousy, like certain attitudes to accommodate what they lack. In our grief’s we somehow find reliefs.
Bartimaeus focused on what he did not have. If Bartimaeus focused on what he had he would not have shouted to Jesus. He did not focus on what is not working for him, he did not focus on the fact that he is blind, he’s a beggar, no body wants him, and he has no friends.
The bible says he heard that Jesus was passing by. Bartimaeus had no doubt heard of Jesus, of his works of wonder and miracles of mercy. Some report must have reached him about the lepers cleansed, the demoniacs cured, the sick restored to health, the deaf whose ears were opened, the dumb whose tongues were loosed, even the dead raised to life, and, what came more closely home to himself, the blind whose eyes were opened.
Bartimaeus might, most probably did, hear all this; but how was he to reach the Prophet? Where could he find him? How could he, a poor, blind beggar, make such a long and weary way? Unless Jesus came into the neighborhood of Jericho, he could not expect to be blessed and benefited. Now, however, what he never expected has come to pass. Jesus is at his side—he is passing by; and now Bartimaeus feels that it is his opportunity, a most precious opportunity, far too precious to be lost.
But Jesus was passing by, he wasn’t walking to him. What is wrong with Jesus who sees this blind beggar but does not come to him but passes him? Jesus is coming from Jericho, he sees the blind man, for Jesus can see! But did not walk to him, but past him.
Jesus did not instigate this deliverance. Just as he did not instigate the healing of the woman with the issue of blood, or the healing of the syro-phoenician woman’s daughter. Many a times we sit do nothing and wait upon the Lord to come by and look into our situation. But there are many situations & times in life when God does not come by, but what he will always do is pass by.
Seize your moment: Bartimaeus knew how to grasp an opportunity. The blind man saw his opportunity. He knew the fact that he is passing by means I only have a small interlude of time to do something. You see opportunities are never constant, they are always passing by. If you don’t act there and then, you miss out. He realized this is my only time to come out. It is do or die; the engine has started & the car is about to move; the whistle is blown & the train is about to depart, he has to jump in or he’ll remain in his condition forever.
I wonder how often Bartimaeus had camped out on this specific spot by the roadside? Probably hundreds of times during his life. But today – everything is about to change because Jesus is passing by. The first thing we’re told is that Bartimaeus was sitting by the road. The chances are pretty good that he was simply calling out to the people passing by with this familiar cliché “alms for the poor”. But in v.47 everything changes – when Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is in the crowd that’s passing by, then he begins to shout with real passion and intensity, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me”. Bartimaeus suddenly realizes that this is the chance of a lifetime and so he seizes the moment. He wants to make sure that Jesus doesn’t pass him by.
Seize your moment! The fact that Jesus is passing by means he is near to you. Jesus would have passed him by if Bartimaeus hadn’t shouted at him. There were probably hundreds of people in that crowd that needed some kind of personal healing and recovery, but only one of them recognized this divine moment. (I wonder how many of us are just walking with Jesus, but he’s of no immense value, blessing or importance to us. We don’t count precious the moment that Divinity has allowed him into our lives. We are just happy to come to church, to be called Christians, you know, at least we are called by that holy name. No change, no convictions, no expectations, no growth, no commitment, no seizing of the moment, none of those. We just enjoy the company, just being in the Jesus clique). This moment will never come back for Jesus never ever passed this way again. We may delay but time will not. Every second is of infinite value. If he chooses not to seize this moment it will torment him for the rest of his life. For we seldom experience regret for anything that we’ve done. It is what we haven’t done that torment us. You will never experience the wow if you don’t seize the now. He realized today is my everything- TIME- Today Is My Everything. I cannot take too much time contemplating about this, for time will take me. I have to act now. Nothing is worth more than this moment. You’ve got to do the moment, don’t let the moment do you (some of our brethren have very naughty minds- when I say ‘do’, let me clarify brethren I am not talking about that type of do). So you can say at least I carpe’d that one diem!
He heard Jesus was passing by. Oh the blind man can hear! I cannot see him but I can hear him. Devil when you took his eyes you should have took his ears too. He still have got something working for him. He then decided then and there, I won’t stay in this system to accommodate my dysfunction. He knew down inside himself, my life is not supposed to be like this. I was created for more than this situation. This situation I might be in it, but I am not of it.
You never cry out against what you accept. You have a choice each day to cry out against it, or to accept it. He refused to sit anymore in his predicament. He mastered the courage to make some noise, he cried out to Jesus. He did something that forced out of his comfort zone, something that made him look like a fool, a crazy man, an uncultured man. He cried out! He refused to keep silent and die in his situation. He cried out, he did not care what others might think or say. He cried out! Many of us die instead of coming out and seeking help for fear of what others might say.
These are most probably the people that gave him coins and food many days of his begging career. But he said, “I know you want me to stay here and continue to depend on you, it makes you feel good about yourself that you can give me crumbs of bread & a few shillings from your grocery change. But I want to see so I can have my own stuff. I am tired of having to depend on others, I am tired of having to beg, to be at your mercy, to be pitied upon, to rely on someone. I am coming out!
We generally don’t like to do things that make us uncomfortable, things that might embarrass us. Things that make us feel awkward, we like the old, the familiar, the known. We don’t like the idea of new things. We enjoy activities devoid of difficulty, that are risk-free, that will help us blend in and be accepted by everyone else.
There will always be opposition: Bartimaeus is faced with a passing opportunity, and pressing opposition. The first time you break out of what people expect you to be don’t expect them to celebrate; because people like to cage you in a box, and lock you up, and want you shut your mouth and stay in your situation. You would think that the crowd would feel a little compassion for this blind man and let him through. That they would help the blind man by the hand and bring him to Jesus. But the exact opposite happened. They tried to shut him down. V.48 says the crowd told Bartimaeus to “zip it and shut up”. They tried to shut him up. Why spoil the Passover celebration? “We’re on our way to the Holy City; we have no time for a blind beggar!”, “Don’t bother the Master, you old beggar man!”, “He’s got more important things to do than to fool with you!” Do you catch the irony here? This is the religious crowd, on their way to a religious festival! These are people who are listening to Jesus’ talk about the kingdom of God! They are in the right place listening to the right thing and they completely miss the point! Some folks pat themselves on the back because they attend church. They are near to Jesus, they are religious folks, but they have missed the plot. Christ did not die so you can go to church, so you can be called a Christian, So you can listen up on fancy sermons. He died so our entire ideologies can be transformed, he died to impart a new life to us.
This is the blind man’s greatest & only chance at life, but therein in that midst arose opposition. The thing is, you will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle. The blind man refused to listen to the crowd. Hindrances and dissuasions were of no avail; they only incited the applicant to more earnest supplications. Obstacles may hinder the indifferent; they quicken the zeal of those who are earnest. But the very impediment to his earnestness only gave greater intensity to it. He shouted all the more: “Jesus, Son of David”. Even though the first time he did not succeed, he did not give up. Have you tried something the first time and has never worked? Perhaps you need to do it again. You can’t quit because you did not get the response you wanted the first time. You have got to be persistent if you going to get it. You’ve got to want it bad enough. What he is actually saying is, “excuse me, I am not calling for you, I am calling for Jesus. I am not shouting for you I am shouting for Jesus. You cannot help me, you cannot heal me, and you cannot give me my life back. If he doesn’t welcome my noise then let him object, let him tell me so. So excuse me if I am making noise for you, excuse me if my behavior seems uncivilized, excuse me if I can’t help it, but you don’t understand my situation. You don’t know how it is like to be a beggar; you don’t know how it’s like to sit the entire day begging”. You see when people don’t know your situation, when they haven’t been through what you’ve been through they tend to be insensitive.
But Bartimaeus said enough is enough, I am not staying in this anymore, I am coming out! Unless one is tired of their circumstance, their predicament, they wouldn’t care what people say. They might try to shush me, but I am coming out, they might try to stop me but I am coming out. When you want it bad enough, you couldn’t care less what people say.
Don’t dare a person who has nothing else left to lose. The blind man had nothing to Lose. The most dangerous person in the world is the person who has nothing to lose. He will stop at nothing to get what he want. He wants it that bad. He is desperate for it.
Bartimaeus did not stop because of the opposition- he shouter the more louder! There is an easy way to silence your opposition or critics; just try to do what they say you shouldn’t do. If they are still not content, do more of it! Keep doing it until you become a master. Then look around, and you will see fewer critics and many compliments. The fickle crowd had been saying, “Shut up!” Now, their refrain changes, as they say, effectively, “Cheer up!” “Take courage”. The same people will usher you to your destiny.
Please note- these people were his meal ticket; they were the ones who gave him money when he begged day after day. So if he upset them; if he ticked them off and burned his bridges then who would support him next month or next year?
The Blind man who can see. On this particular day, something clicked in Bartimaeus’ heart. He somehow knew that his real hope was in Jesus, not the crowd. It’s ironic that most people in the crowd had 20/20 vision but they couldn’t see the power and compassion of Jesus. In their eyes Jesus had more important things to do than stop and heal a beggar. Out of all the people in the crowd that day, the one blind man was the only one who could truly see. I have decided to call Bartimaeus, the blind man who could see. It is a paradox indeed, because we don’t expect a blind person to see. But this one could see. For he saw the divinity of Christ when the crowd didn’t. He saw that Jesus was the son of David, the promised messiah. When asking who was coming he was informed, it is the Jesus of Nazareth. But interesting enough, when Bartimeus shouts out he doesn’t use the same phraseology- ‘Jesus of Nazareth’- but he shouts ‘Jesus Son of David’. The people saw the ‘Jesus of Nazareth’- the lowly carpenter, for what good thing can come out of Nazareth, but Bartimeus saw ‘Jesus the Son of God’- the Savior, the Lion from Tribe of Judah, The branch & root of Jesse. The blind man saw it all! They who had two eyes saw nothing.
You see many of us we have eyes, but we cannot see. Thus we are not healed because we cannot see. Jesus says to the blind man, your faith (sight), which saw in me the son of God, the messiah, literally your sight, has healed you. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Our lives are not transformed because we cannot see. We cannot see Jesus for who he is in our lives, we cannot see him for what hes supposed to do in our lives, we cannot see our need for him, we cannot see our conceited and proud lives.
We cannot see that we are stuck in the comfort zone, we cannot see that we are the hindrance to others entering the kingdom, we cannot see that the Church has become cold and stagnant, we cannot see what a precious blessing it is to be a Christian, we cannot see the need to change our lives, to commit more to God, to offer our talents for the Kingdom. We cannot see that Christ came to restore sight to the blind, to seek and save the lost.
We cannot see that our love has become cold, we cannot see that our zeal for the church of the Lord has died out, we cannot see that the church has become empty, and we not evangelizing like we used to, we cannot see that our young people are dying, some are on drugs and don’t even believe in God. They are in our Youth!
Many people are dying in the community; they are committing suicide, for lack of what we preach in the Church. They don’t know about the abundant life of God because we are not going. Marriages are broken apart, divorce is rampant in the community but the church just doesn’t seem to care anymore. We have become comfortable in coming to church only on Sunday mornings, listen on the sermon, then pay a few cents and going back home to live our lives as if nothing else matters. We cannot see the continued existence of the physical church in our communities is threatened, we cannot see that our children need strong committed mothers and fathers who will lead them by example.
We cannot see our blindness. Bartimaeus saw his blindness. He knew he was missing something- he wanted to see. It was his blindness that caused his interest in Jesus, People don’t go to the doctor unless sick (blind). He also saw his need- for Christ’s mercy. You don’t know when you blind until you put on the glasses. I remember when we first took my cousin to put on his first pair of glasses and immediately was able to read the signs across the street. In Bryanston you can see a Cross lit up on the field just as you drive up to my home. We always talked about the cross on the field as we would drive to my place. But my cousin he never saw it for himself until he discovered his blindness. When he finally was fitted with a pair of glasses he told the rest of the family that he always thought we were kidding about the cross.
Jesus stood still. Do you want to grab God’s attention? If there is one thing that grabs the attention of Christ, it is someone that wants it bad enough. They want it bad enough that they willing to risk it all. He got Gods attention. The people who shushed them are commanded to bring him. God can make your enemies your footstool. The same people that shushed him are to usher him to his destination
There are not three greater words in the Bible than all of that; JESUS. STOOD. STILL. This crowd was ready to keep on marching but Jesus stood still. The crowd tried to get Bartimaeus to be quiet. We don’t want to have to have Him stop. He’s on His way somewhere. But Jesus stood still. It’s not a president, not a preacher, not a potentate, it’s just a blind man sitting by the side of the road; who cries, “Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” “And Jesus stood still.”
Do you know that the only reason we can really call on God is because of His mercy. Mercy is withheld judgment. Now, if judgment took place in this room this morning, it would be empty. Because not any of us really deserve to be here this morning. We are here this morning because of God’s mercy. We are here this morning because God has withheld His judgment. You nor I have not lived well enough today to warrant being here this morning; but we are here because of God’s mercy.
But the book says, “Jesus stood still.” Not just anybody but Jesus. This fellow who is on an eternal errand from God, Jesus. This man who is on a cosmic timetable that’s leading Him to the Cross, Jesus. Lord of the Universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth, God in the flesh. Jesus. Stood. Still. And you know that’s just like Jesus. When you check His record out that’s a thread that runs all through the Bible; Jesus stood still. He’s on His way to Jarius house to see about a sick little girl but a woman elbows her way through the crowd and touches the hem of His garment and Jesus stood still. He is on His way up to the temple and He passes by a pool and He sees a lame man and Jesus stood still.
There was nothing in all the world that could make Jesus stand still. Herod couldn’t make him stand still, pharaoh could not make him stand still, the cross could not make him stand still. But there is a cry, a prayer that can make God stand still. There is a prayer that can grab his attention and make him stand still! Prayer springs from a sense of need, and it must express the sincere desire of him who prays. There is nothing we can give to God; there is absolutely nothing that God is in need of. He is omni- everything. The one thing that God does not have is NEED. That is what we can give him, our NEEDS.
He was on his last journey to Jerusalem; he was hurrying on to drink and drain the cup of bitterness, and be baptized with the baptism of blood; he was hastening forward with eager steps to bear his people’s sins in his own body on the tree, to satisfy Divine justice by the sacrifice of himself, to vindicate God’s truth, express God’s love, and magnify God’s Law, to maintain the glory of the Divine attributes, and secure the salvation of countless human souls.
Never was there a journey so important, never was errand so deeply interesting, and never was there another embassy involving such weighty consequences and vast concealments. Heaven and earth and hell were all affected by that journey; the glory of God was connected with it; and the redemption of man depended on it. And yet, notwithstanding all the urgencies of that journey, and all the ardor, even bordering on impatience, with which our Lord was speeding forward on that journey, the cry of distress arrested him; the prayer of a blind beggar stopped him.
Jesus asked the blind man to come to him, and he asked him what he wants. There are certain things that bother me about Jesus sometimes. I am troubled by his behavior sometimes. It would be so much easier for Jesus to go to the blind man, than to have the blind man come to him. Yet as the story turns out, the blind man was called to come to Jesus. “Do you really want me to help”?
On another occasion a blind man came to Christ to receive healing. Jesus instead spat saliva and applied it on the man’s eyes mixed with mud! Couldn’t Jesus just say a prayer and heal the blind man without having to put saliva on him? I mean it is not nice to have saliva and mud applied to your eyes by someone whom you thought would heal you. What is worse, Jesus then commanded the man to go to the pool of Siloam to wash. How does he expect the blind man to go there? Does he necessarily have to go to the pool? We know nothing is impossible for God, if Christ would have wanted to heal the man instantly he would have healed him. So what’s all this fuss all about? What could Jesus be getting at?
What of the Syro-phoenician woman who cried to Jesus for her daughter to be healed. The bible says when she called to Jesus, he ignored her twice. Moreover, the disciples commanded her to leave, and called her a nuisance, and yet Jesus did not rebuke them. Furthermore, we hear Jesus comparing the woman to a dog- equating her to a dog. To some extent calling the woman a dog! What is wrong with Jesus?
It would seem Jesus is merely pushing the miracle recipients to prove their persistence- to demonstrate how bad they want it. If there is one thing that inspires Christ: someone who knows what they want and want it bad enough. In all these examples Jesus was asking the miracle recipients how bad do they want the blessing. And all of them proved they wanted it bad enough. You are not going to get anything from the Lord unless you want it bad enough.
A change of life. Do you want it bad enough that you willing to change your life, your lifestyle, your habits, give up your comforts? Did you notice what Bartimaeus did when Jesus called him? V.50 says he “threw aside his coat”. Why do you think he did that? Why did Mark include that little tidbit in his gospel? Well, more than likely this coat was the only personal possession this blind man could call his own. He probably sat on it while he begged; he used it to wrap up against the weather and it might have even been his blanket at night. It was a tangible source of security and yet at the same time it was a constant reminder of his blindness. He could have easily went with his coat, but he decided he wouldn’t want it anymore!
By throwing his coat aside Bartimaeus was saying, “I’m selling out to Jesus, I’m trusting in His ability to change my circumstances, and I’m turning my back on my old lifestyle”.
This coat said: I am blind therefore I cannot do for myself and provide for myself. And therefore I am a beggar. It symbolizes the mental disposition that held him captive, that defined and determined his actions
What do you want? You have got to know what you want. You see, life comes down to knowing what you want and going after it. And sometimes knowing what you want is a process of eliminating the things you don’t want. It is a sad thing to get to the counter, and you still haven’t decided what you want. You see, you are stuck and can’t make a decision because you don’t know what you want. Knowing what you want helps you make decisions.
Knowing what you want is the first step- it is the planting of the seed. Jesus only watered the seed. That’s why he says, “Your faith has healed you”. You had it in you all along. You knew what you wanted; I just cultivated what you wanted. Many people cant get anywhere in life, and they are frustrated out of life because they don’t know what they want. Some of us know what we want but we don’t want to pay the price to getting it. In my Economics class I learned about what we call opportunity cost. It is one of the key theories in macroeconomics. It is basically the highest valued alternative forgone- you have to give up one thing for another. You are faced with a trade off. Worse still, the other hardest side is knowing what you want but not knowing how to get it.
But when you know what you want, and you want it bad enough that you willing to risk your comforts, criticisms; and you also know how to get it, the means to getting it, then success is born. Bartimaeus knew what he wanted, he knew how to get it (perseverance, shouting again and again in the midst of opposition, he knew where to get it (from Jesus); Apparently Bartimaeus had never called on anybody else to give him sight. He knew they didn’t have what it took to restore his eyes, so he never wasted his time. He asked alms of others, but asked sight of Jesus. He knew the method (appeal to him as the mercy giver- “lord have mercy on me” instead of from a prideful and conceited attitude). He also knew what it would cost him (a change of lifestyle, following Christ). Jesus asked him, “What do u want”.
Whenever God asks a simple question with an obvious answer, he is trying to get you to search yourself. He is trying to get u to introspect himself. The question was also asked to the invalid by the well. What do u want? This is your time, this is your moment in history, and this is your opportunity. What do u want? I’m sure Bartimaeus wanted money, security, a family, some friends, a home, a job and a thousand other things. But he knew what he really wanted was sight.
The blind man has one more important decision to make. Jesus says to him, “Go your way, your faith has made you whole”. But the text later says but he followed Jesus on the way. Do I want the healing or the healer? Do I want the blessing or the blesser. Jesus gave him permission to go his way. He could have went his way but rather chose to follow Jesus because the giver is much more important than the gift. Are you only a Christian until the problem is solved, until the immediate crisis is resolved, until you get your demands from God. Or are you in it for something more.
There are things money can’t buy. The blind man’s story is not a ‘from rags to riches’ but from ‘rags to redemption’ story. He gained it all. The blind man’s life was hopeless. Bartimaeus was a man who simply survived. No enjoyment. No happiness. No success. No peace. No joy. Bartimaeus’ major concern in life was simply survival. That is, until the day a special passerby, Jesus, came along. Jesus gave Bartimaeus something money could not buy…a gift that would change his life forever. There is more to life than what you are currently experiencing. But the ‘more’ lies outside your comfort zones. Either you spend the rest of your life as a cheerleader, or you suit up and get in the game. The one petition, “What wilt thou that I should do?” opened wide the permission to ask many things. What would you have asked for if the question was given to you? What do you want? How bad do you want it?