“So he threw off his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him.”Mark 10:50
When I was at university there was a blind student who was studying Law who became a regular part of our daily life. He walked along each day, carrying a tape recorder to record his lectures and tapping a white cane to warn people he was approaching. He was remarkably independent and able to study for his chosen career, despite his inability to see.
Bartimaeus, the blind man featured in Mark 10:46-52, wasn’t in such a position. Although his lot was to sit begging next to the road each day, it was there that he heard all about Jesus and the healings that He was performing, and through this came to believe that He was the Messiah. He was sitting there begging when Jesus came by with His disciples and a large crowd. Immediately Bartimaeus heard it was Jesus, he shouted, “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47)Then again, louder still, he shouted out amidst the reproaches of the onlookers trying to silence him. He ignored the crowd. And Jesus called him over.
By using the title, “Son of David”, Bartimaeus showed his high regard for Jesus as the Messiah. His faith in Jesus to help him was evident as he readily threw off his cloak and left his old life behind. When Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus was ready to respond: “‘Teacher … I want to see again.’ ‘Go,’ Jesus told him, ‘your faith has made you well.’ At once he was able to see and followed Jesus on the road.” (Mark 10:52) Bartimaeus believed implicitly and let nothing stop him put faith into action.
Need, faith and action formed a consistent pattern in the dynamic exchange in the miracles that Jesus performed. He responded to Bartimaeus with compassion and authority and healed him. So great was the impact of what Jesus had done on his life that Bartimaeus responded with gratitude and devotion by following Him. This never happened in Jesus’ exchanges with the Pharisees, or in places where the people showed little faith in Him. (Mark 6:5 and John 10:20) They were left in spiritual blindness.
Jesus’ work is always for God’s glory and the advancement of His Kingdom; never just to please a group that would have scorned Him and attributed the miracle to the workings of the devil or his demons. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews11:6
Jesus hasn’t changed. We can come to Him in faith and receive His compassion today. His question still remains: ‘What do you want me to do for you?’
Prayer: Lord Jesus, what amazing love and power we find in your mercy when we ask of You in faith. Please meet me at my point of need and help me to see. Amen
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