Jericho, well below sea level, is a miserable old city, thick with huge flies. Blind Bartimaeus had spent all his years at his roadside spot, swatting blindly at the flies when he was not holding his hand out for alms.
He had heard about this prophet Jesus, and if Jesus ever came his way, Bartimaeus was set on asking Jesus for sight.
So, on this day when more dust than ever was peppering him, Bartimaeus asked what the commotion was. On hearing that it was for Jesus, he went into his planned scheme. He shouted repeatedly, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
He was annoying the passing crowds, and they were telling him to hush; but when Jesus stopped, saying, “Call him over,” Bartimaeus went into action.
Throwing his cloak behind him, Bartimaeus sprang up, and he stumbled wildly toward that voice. When he was right up to it, the voice asked, “What do you want me to do for you?
His answer ready, “Master I want to see.”
Jesus said, “Go your way. Your faith has saved you.” And immediately the man could see. Jesus had said, “Go your way,” but the man didn’t go his way. No, he followed Jesus up the road.
Matthew and Luke borrowed this story from Mark, but they just referred to the man as a beggar. Mark knew him by name. He was Bartimaeus, a regular, well known to Mark and the others.