When I entered the “don’t leave home without my readers” stage, certain everyday activities became taxing. Reading a menu, looking at ingredient labels at the grocery store, paying a bill, or any other activity that includes seeing small print requires me to put on those annoying little magnifying glasses. So, if I leave them behind, I live in a world of blurry vision until I can get them. Trying to focus by squinting is never a pretty sight.
So many of the activities we take part in require the ability to hone in so we can accomplish things accurately. And even when we are wearing those “readers” to focus on the important task at hand, somehow we can miss the most detailed part because we remain blind to what is directly in front of us. Has this ever happened to you? Maybe you’ve skipped a step in a recipe, or accidentally sent a text to the wrong person. We have all done something like this. What have you missed lately because you misaligned your focus?
In the many encounters with Jesus, we have studied several conversations with those who have “missed the point” or failed to see. In the following passage of scripture we meet Bartimaeus, a blind man. But as we will discover, He isn’t as blind as we think.
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:46-52 NIV)
Bartimaeus did not hesitate to call out for His Messiah. He called Jesus—Son of David—which implies he knows exactly who Jesus is. Jesus asks one question of him: “What do you want me to do for you?” By asking this, Jesus gives Bartimaeus an opportunity to put his trust in Him—the One who can restore sight, raise the dead, and feed the thousands. Bartimaeus wasn’t blind to who Jesus was! His physical sight was restored and he then follows Jesus along the road to Jerusalem.
An interesting part of this scripture is the reaction of those following Jesus. When Bartimaeus calls out the first time, they rebuke him. They told him to be quiet, as if Jesus would want nothing to do with him. Had they not witnessed Jesus heal others as they followed him? Were they blind to the fact that Jesus himself proclaimed He came to serve, to heal, to save?
This may have been the first and only time Jesus would pass by Bartimaeus on the side of the road. This blind man would not miss his chance. He put his trust in Jesus, refused to sit silently, and Jesus did what only He could do.
Have you asked Jesus to come into your heartache, your brokenness, or your “blindness?” Have you felt spiritually empty and need a refill? Take the opportunity today. Stand up, shout out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” and let Him do the rest. Adjust your focus on Him. Come to Him with a pure heart, clean hands, a genuine spirit of trust, and let His mercy wash over you today.
Holding Fast to Hope,