One of the most powerful and wonderful things about Jesus’s ministry is how He took everyday occurrences and saw them as teachable moments to bring out life’s lessons. Jesus, in His humanity, showed how God intended for us to be towards one another … compassionate and loving. A great example of this is …
BLIND BARTIMAETUS RECEIVES HIS SIGHT (Mark 10:46-52)
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.
This poor, blind beggar – when he heard from the crowd that Jesus of Nazareth was approaching – cried out in a loud voice “Jesus Son of David have mercy on me.” Imagine how Bartimaeus may have felt hearing the people around him, who had their sight, yelling for him to be quiet. These people could see Jesus with their physical eyes but really didn’t know who they were seeing. Bartimaeus could have succumb to the pressure of the crowd and held his peace. He no doubt had had his share of humiliation is his life time of begging. But he was not going to allow the judgement of others to squelch his faith in Jesus the Son of God. He cried all the more for mercy, until Jesus said, “Call him.” Then, the crowd changed their tune and told Bartimaeus to stop crying and to go to Jesus. Isn’t it amazing how fast public opinion can change as a result of one person’s steadfast faith?
Now, this blind man took his cloak and threw it aside. Some might think, what’s the big deal about this blind man throwing aside his cloak? It was most likely torn and dirty? To a beggar in Jesus times and even to a beggar now, that’s a big deal. That garment was a source of comfort … used to keep him warm during the cold nights and to shade him during the heat of the day. When Bartimaeus threw aside his cloak, it was as if he knew that Jesus would be the source of all his comfort now.
WHERE DOES YOUR COMFORT COME FROM?
How many of us hold on tightly to the things of this world for comfort instead of letting Jesus be our greatest comforter? My oldest daughter, Emma Grace, as a baby in her crib, would suck on the sleeve of her pajamas to fall asleep at night. My wife, Amy, would often stand over Emma Grace’s crib and watch her sleep; I imagine most moms do. One night Amy placed a baby’s washcloth in our little Emma Grace’s hand and surprisingly Emma Grace welcome it. That washcloth became a great source of comfort at nighttime for Emma Grace and she would not go to sleep without it. My wife and I started calling this little washcloth her “night-night.” As Emma Grace grew older and began to talk, she’d asked for her night-night. When she started walking, she would carry it around in her hands. You would never see her without it, especially at bedtime. One day, she lost her night-night. We searched our house from top to bottom, but still no night-night to be found! I remember having to leave the house late that night to drive to Wal-Mart to buy a new package of night-nights. We learned, thankfully, that Emma Grace was not particular about which night-night as long as it was one of the soft, flimsy one you got in a four pack at Wal-Mart. It had gotten to the point that my wife and I carried backup night-nights where ever we went. Amy had a collection in her purse and I in my pocket. Amy would tease me and say I looked like one of those magician clowns pulling scarf after scarf out of his pocket.
Just when we thought we were ready to phase out night-nights, Emma Grace was invited to birthday party for a friend from preschool. At the end of the party, each child was given a stuffed animal as a thank you present. Emma Grace was given a pink unicorn who was made of a soft terrycloth just like a night-night. Well, that unicorn soon became Emma Grace’s new night-night and her prize possession. Over the years, Unicorn has turned up missing in stores, hotels, park benches … you name it. And because Unicorn has become like part of the family, I’d put out an all points bulletin when she got lost. One time, I had to drive back to a shopping mall at ten o’clock at night to find Unicorn in a dressing room! Oh the lengths we go to for a little comfort!
A LIFE CHANGING RELATIONSHIP
I believe that Bartimaeus’s cloak was to him a prize possession that brought him much comfort. But faith caused this blind beggar to let go of his earthly comfort and take hold of Jesus for comfort. He now desired his relationship with Jesus to be his prize possession.
If you desire to have a relationship with the greatest comforter of all time, take that leap of faith with Jesus, the Son of the living God. Pray a simple prayer and in your own words confess your sins to Jesus alone. Surrender your life to Him and ask Him to make Himself known to you so that you might have this life changing, supernatural relationship with Him. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Now, Christian readers, if you’re lacking in the area of being charitable towards others, pray and ask Jesus to help you to change. Once you’ve prayed allow the change to grow as you plant seeds of charity each day. Realize that new growth requires tender loving care; after all that’s what charity is, LOVE. Love is the key ingredient that will prevent you from passing judgement. A loving reminder of this is 1 Corinthians 13:3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
1Corinthians 13:13Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
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