Jesus is the answer for the world today
Above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the way
Jesus is the answer for the world today
Above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the way – Andrae Crouch
A cry that issues from the heart is like prayer, the breath of faith. The blind Bartimaeus is not an anonymous. He has a name and a face. Bartimaeus’ cry of faith opens our eyes to our need for Jesus and the dangers of being spiritually blind. Beyond the physical blindness of Bartimaeus, spiritual blindness is more tragic. Spiritual blindness can leave nations, family and church reeling and declining, trying to find God’s hand at work, and blind to His call and Word. The root problem is that, when our spiritual lenses are out of order and position, the pain and busyness of our circumstances blind us. Spiritual blindness steals our focus, mission, seek for self-validation, love and hope in wrong places. Jesus, while leaving Jericho on the way to His destiny in Jerusalem encountered the blind man Bartimaeus on roadside begging. The Bible says, “And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mk 10:46). The origin of faith for Bartimaeus was through the hearing and hearing the Good News about Jesus of Nazareth. Mercy returned everything that ignorance has taken away from Bartimaeus. Jesus was everything that Bartimaeus need to hear, know or encounter for him to leave the same spot and move forward.
Bartimaeus represents, a model for coming to follow Jesus, a missional example of many people on whom Jesus performs miracles. The Bartimaeus in each of us may be sitting by the roadside of our salvation, healing and deliverance listening to the noise and theological debates of the crowd. Blind Bartimaeus is the story of every Christian, hence the need to recognise our weakness, accept and respond to Jesus’ call to repent and to leave the worldly behind in faith in order to follow Jesus faithfully.
The healing of Bartimaeus was the last of Jesus’ miracle during his earthly ministry. When Bartimaeus heard that “Jesus of Nazareth was nearby,” he responded. He arose and began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Let us remember the various opinions about Jesus among the crowd. Bartholomew even asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” The crowd of debaters completely failed to understand that Jesus was not a forerunner neither one of the prophets. The mention of the name of Jesus of Nazareth was enough for Bartimaeus, no argument, no debate or any assumption. For Bartimaeus, Jesus was the promised Messiah, anointed and sent to proclaim the recovering of sight to the blind. Bartimaeus understood Jesus’ Messianic identity, for it is the first time in the Gospel that anyone has identified Jesus as ‘the Son of David.”
Bartimaeus, the only blind man mentioned by name was a beggar shut up in his own world of total darkness. He could only go where there were people and possibly sit on the roadside near Jericho that was travelled. Hope was born in Bartimaeus’ heart when he heard the story that Jesus restored the sight of a man born blind (Jn 9). He became a secret disciple of Jesus. He did not follow the example of the crowd and religious authorities who were hostile to Jesus. While the crowd lacks the understanding of Jesus’ identity and mission of mercy, Bartimaeus understood that even as a blind man, he knew where to go for his cure and discipleship. Crowds are always bipolar. The same crowd that rebuked Bartimaeus from shouting were the same crowd that told him to cheer up because Jesus called him. Crowds can shout Hosanna today and cry crucify Him tomorrow. Are you still spiritually blind despite hearing all that Jesus did from his virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles, his death and resurrection from the dead, His ascension to the right hand of God and anticipation of his Second Coming? In response to Jesus’ call, Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.
Bartimaeus’s action suggests a symbol in the gospels of renouncing everything to follow Jesus. The cry of faith is the cry of the heart just as Bartimaeus was determined and desperate. Indeed, your eyes will never be opened until your mouth is open to Jesus. The cry of faith calls for the response and obedience to faith. Jesus’s question to Bartimaeus, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Bartimaeus said, “Teacher, I want to see!” (v 51). Jesus’s encounter with Bartimaeus summons us also to recognise our needs so that Jesus can fix our vision. Inability to recognise our need promotes pride and spiritual blindness. Bartimaeus cry of faith points to simple obedience, no hesitation. Are you ready to come, arise from the roadside of your pride, sin, and unbelief? Are you ready to get rid of your rags of sin and self-validation? Remember, Jesus is the answer for the family, church, nations, and world today, tomorrow and forever. Above Jesus there is no other, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.