Markby Robert M. Solomon
Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem. Like many pilgrims, they had to pass through Jericho before climbing up to the holy city. Knowing that He was to be sacrificed, Jesus was ″leading the way″ (v. 32) with incredible courage and commitment to His Father's will. In Jericho, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. A large crowd passed by, and Bartimaeus heard them excitedly talking about Jesus walking with them. They referred to the Lord as ″Jesus of Nazareth″ (v. 47), which said little more than His place of origin; Jesus was a common name.
But blind Bartimaeus saw something that the crowd failed to see. He shouted, ″Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!″ (v. 47). How did he know that Jesus was the Son of David? One thing we can be sure of: He knew that the Messiah would be the Son of David, as prophesied in Scripture (2 Samuel 7:14-16). In addressing Jesus that way, the man expressed his faith in Jesus' identity. Jesus responded to his faith by stopping and asking that Bartimaeus be brought to Him (v. 49). Bartimaeus responded most enthusiastically by jumping up, throwing away his cloak (used for begging and sleeping), and coming to Jesus (v. 50). Jesus asked the same question He had asked John and James earlier (v. 36), and the man replied simply, ″I want to see″ (v. 51).
Jesus healed him by saying simply, ″Go, your faith has healed you″ (v. 52). The faith he had demonstrated in Jesus' identity became the reason for his healing. Jesus acted as the Messiah in his life and restored his blind eyes. He no longer needed to live as a poor beggar. His eyes clearly seeing, Bartimaeus now ″followed Jesus along the road″ (v. 52), the road that led to Jerusalem. There he must have seen the triumphant procession of Jesus into the city, and the crucifixion of Jesus. Who knows-he may have seen the risen Christ or the empty tomb. The crowd had physical sight but no spiritual insight. Bartimaeus had no sight but had deep insight. Jesus granted his request and blessed him by allowing him to witness such wondrous events and to know that his faith-filled insight was indeed true.
If Jesus were to ask you, ″What do you want me to do for you?″ what would you say to Him? Turn your answer to prayer.
Bartimaeus had more insight than the crowd. Jesus blessed him to see things that many failed to see. Read the events surrounding the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and ask Jesus to open your eyes to see what you may have failed to see before.