“’Rabbouni,’ the blind man told Him, ‘I want to see.’ ‘Go your way,’ Jesus told him. ‘Your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he could see and began to follow Him on the road.” (Mark 10:51b-52)
Bartimaeus was the blind man’s name. He was a Jericho beggar, of no regard to anyone much. People ignored him routinely and would have this day too, except that he just wouldn’t shut up. He kept crying out. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me,” as Jesus was departing Jericho on His up to Jerusalem. So Jesus stopped, called him, and healed him.
Now imagine – you’ve been a blind beggar for some 30-40 years, and the first thing you see is the face of Jesus, the man who healed your blindness. Is it any wonder Bartimaeus then followed Him on the Jerusalem road?
We are not told whether Bartimaeus continued on with Jesus to Jerusalem, but if it were you, would you? Assume for a moment that a very grateful Bartimaeus did just that. He would have witnessed the triumphal entry. He would have seen the city of Jerusalem and the Temple and people and animals and a whole world of wonder he had never seen before.
Assuming he stayed awhile, Bartimaeus would also have seen a battered and bleeding Jesus carrying a cross on the road to Golgotha. He would have seen Him nailed to that cross and hoisted into the air on it. Now, we might wonder if Bartimaeus was still grateful for his sight, if he wished that he had just kept his mouth shut in Jericho, that he had remained blind. He very likely saw things he wished he’d never seen.
But then, the third day arrived, and Bartimaeus would see something that would change everything.
Lord, We thank You that You redeem our lives and help us to see truth we need to see, even though at times that truth can be disturbing. Amen