I want to see.

Sunday, 10/28/12

Instead of looking for a moral in the story of the blind man named Bartimaeus, and instead of comparing his physical blindness to our spiritual blindness, we should just enjoy what happened with Bartimaeus.

There is no city in the world that lies as far below sea level as Jericho. A man living in Jacksonville used to talk about what an unpleasant place Jericho was. Peter owned an automobile agency in Jerusalem before the Jews took over, and he hated  driving tourists down to Jericho. It was always hot there, and the big flies were on everything.

So, we should picture Bartimaeus spending his life in a favorite spot in the dust of that roadside. He’d be forever brushing aside the annoying flies. On this day he felt the throngs of people pushing by. He heard them talking excitedly, and it had him shouting out his questions, “What’s going on? Who are they talking about?”

The lame beggars sharing his bit of roadside would have told him it was Jesus, the prophet that the whole country was talking about. Now, although begging for help was all that Bartimaeus was good for, he was blessed with a real mind and an eager personality; and he seemed to have come to the conclusions that this Jesus was actually the promised Messiah, the descendent of King David.

Knowing that this was the only chance that would come his way in this lifetime, at the top of his voice he called out, “Son of David, have pity on me!” His calls were so loud and incessant that people objected, saying things like “Shut that beggar up!”

But things changed, because Jesus, stopped everyone, and he said, “Call him over.” The people, amused at what was happening, told Bartimaeus, “Here’s your chance. He is calling you over.”

Bartimaeus jumped up, and throwing back his cloak, he stumbled wildly through an opening the crowd was making for him.

Jesus addressed him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Master, I want to see!”

“Your faith has saved you. Go hour way.”

But Bartimaeus did not go his way. He followed Jesus up the road toward Jerusalem, becoming a well-known disciple.      

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