|They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus -- that is, the son of Timaeus -- a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road.|
|47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and cry out, 'Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.'|
|48 And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, 'Son of David, have pity on me.'|
|49 Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him here.' So they called the blind man over. 'Courage,' they said, 'get up; he is calling you.'|
|50 So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus.|
|51 Then Jesus spoke, 'What do you want me to do for you?' The blind man said to him, 'Rabbuni, let me see again.'|
|52 Jesus said to him, 'Go; your faith has saved you.' And at once his sight returned and he followed him along the road.|
This is a wonderful account from Mark's gospel of the cry of Bartimaeus for healing. Picture the scene; Jesus is on his way from Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd who are following him. He is renowned for his powerful deeds, his words of life that lift people up, and his willingness to forgive sinners. So it stands to reason that people are curious about him and it is natural that those in need will ask him for healing.
Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) a blind beggar is further up the road and he asks what all the excitement and noise is about. He relys on the goodness of people for his survival and because he is blind people give him small money and food out of their charity. He is a pitiful case and someone must have sinned in his background for him to be blind. This was the thinking at the time. Crowds are pressing around Jesus as he makes his way along the road. Many people follow along hoping to see miracle or hear something that will set them on fire. Bartimaeus has heard about Jesus before. He may have no sight but he is all ears and he would have paid attention to the news about Jesus. He heard with the eyes of faith. So with all his might he caused a fuss; he began to shout; "Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me." And the more he was told to quieten down, the more he shouted. He KNEW Jesus could heal him. Jesus stopped and said "Call him here."
Imagine the picure; He gets up and throws off his cloak and goes over to Jesus. His cloak represents the old Bartimaeus, he won't need this anymore. Jesus asks him a powerful question; "What do you want me to do for you?" This question may also be for the benefit of the many standing around. "Rabbuni - Master, let me see again." And seeing here means more than a restoration of physical sight. Maybe I with my 20/20 vision have missed things? Or turned my face away from Jesus in his moments of need?
Straight away, Jesus says "Go, your faith has saved you." It was through other eyes his blindness was healed; his eyes may have been injured, sore and unable to see, but his heart and his faith was strong. And this once poor blind beggar also witnessed to the power of God in Jesus Christ. And what also can a witness do then? After his sight returned "...he followed him along the road." He became a disciple, a witness for you and me to help with whatever blinds us from the clearer picture of Christ in the world and in those most in need.