The story of the blind man sitting by the road in Jericho reminds me of a man on College street who passed away ten years ago. I can’t remember his last name, but he was Peter, and for many centuries his family had lived in Jerusalem in a home that boasted some fine plum trees.
Peter ran a Ford agency in Jerusalem, and as part of this job he often took customers on rides down by the Dead Sea and Jericho. He hated Jericho. As the lowest lying principal city in the world it is always hot, and the flies are awful. With the air condition on, and the windows up, Peter always whisked his tourists through Jericho.
Not so the blind man. Not so. Day after hot day, year after how dusty year, he sat there ineffectually batting his hands at the flies.
Today’s version of the story is from Luke who got the story from Mark who was there back then. Mark tells us that the beggar’s name was Bartimaeus, and he had been waiting for Jesus to come by. When he heard that Jesus was causing all the stir, he over and over shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
People tried shutting up Bartimeus, but he kept shouting. And when Jesus said, “Let him come over,” he threw off his robe, jumped up and pushed aside everyone between him and the voice of Jesus.