The Blind Man of Jericho (Mark 10:46-52)

It is not strange to see multitudes of people following where a popular man goes.  Indeed, Jesus was known by many people as a great teacher, miracle-man and healer.  And as he went out of Jericho, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. What our friend did is even true of the blind men we see today. We can find them at their usual places along highways and at the doors of supermarket stores begging for alms.  But is it alms that would satisfy their vital need?  I’m sure not.

In Acts 3, Peter and John saw a lame man at the gate of the temple asking for alms Peter was quick to see the dire need of the man, but he said, “Silver and gold have I none … in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (v6). The man did really walk.  So we see that his dire need was to walk.

Now back to Bartimaeus. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth coming along, “He began to cry out, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me”.  But many people saw that the blind man was unfit to speak with the great man who was passing along and so they charged him that he should hold his peace: “But he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me”. As for Bartimaeus, this was truly his only chance to plead for mercy from the man who was able to heal him.  That is why he did not care about those people who were trying to obstruct his efforts for mercy from Jesus.

We can imagine how horrible is the burden of being sightless.  And Bartimaeus himself knew that very well, that is why he was deaf to hear those who were trying to bar him from achieving his desired goal.  Hence his persistent cry did really help him for he was heard.  They said, “Be of good comfort, rise, he calleth thee. And he casting away his garment, rose and came to Jesus”.  Look!  He was so happy that he didn’t even care for his garment.  Now face to face with the great physician, he was met with the question, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?”  His reply was straight to the point, “Lord, that I might receive my sight”. Indeed, sight is vital to anyone.  The blind man was where Jesus found him because he was sightless.  But upon receiving his sight he had a task at hand, and that was to follow Jesus. There are two types of blindness, physical and spiritual.  As for the blind man of Jericho, it was physical blindness.  By his faith he gained his sight. It is the same with spiritual blindness.  One has to have faith in God, His word and in Jesus Christ if we are to be cured of our spiritual blindness.  We must look at Jesus with your spiritual sight. Faith is very important, without it “no one can please God” (Heb 11:6).

Bro Sylvester Tembo (Mzuzu, Malawi)

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