FOR AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Contrast this blind beggar outside of Jericho with the rich, young ruler-from the "seemingly" most desirable disciple to "seemingly" the most undesirable. Certainly the rich businessman seems to be the one who had more potential of advancing the kingdom. However, this is not kingdom thinking, but worldly. Remember, always check your thinking and you will see that many times what Jesus would do will be the opposite.
In Mark's gospel this beggar is identified as Bartimaeus. This poor man has developed a lifestyle of begging for a living along the road in and out of Jericho.
Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied.
NOTE blind Bart called Jesus "Son of David" which is a messianic title-the promised descendant of King David. It's interesting to note that since it was mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus, this is the first time He has been called Son of David. And, in a few days He will be greeted and welcomed as the Son of David as He rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. This is the reason why Bartimaeus wasn't asking Jesus for money as he did to all of the others who passed by. He was asking for more than that-to see again! Jesus seems to make a point of this by asking him what he wanted Jesus to do for him. And blind Bart's answer was, "I want to see."
Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
Jesus' response to Bart's request to see was specifically answered and attributed to his faith. He had a faith that didn't fly in the wind nor did it take no for an answer.
This blind beggar on the side of the road with a persistent and stubborn faith serves as an example for us all. What I like best is how quickly the formerly blind Bart began his journey of following Jesus. That's the ultimate proof of the genuineness of his faith. Remember Jesus said, "He who hears my word and practices it is like a man who builds his house on a rock. He who hears my word and doesn't practice it is like a foolish man who builds his house on the sand without a firm foundation."
ONE MORE THING. Jesus was drawn to this man because of his brokenness. His brokenness or blindness is the connector to Jesus. This blindness didn't keep Bart from pursuing the ultimate answer to his problems. And, He knew that this man would be useful to Him on His journey to Jerusalem, so he allowed him to follow alongside Him.
In so many cases, the gateway to Jesus is through our brokenness. Jesus came as a great physician, looking for sick people. He was not making a list of those who were well without any needs. He continually gravitated toward the broken, the bruised, the addicted and the poor. The only thing I have to share with Jesus that will get His attention right away is my brokenness. This is why I am always yelling out to Jesus like the blind man, "Hey Jesus, over here! "
It's like the young man who said: "Jesus, I have a problem. It's me." And Jesus quickly replies, "My son, I have the answer. It's Me."