The story of Bartimaeus is a popular story for many, because it is one of the gospels that is read in church. To see more post on Spiritual Health click here.
But maybe you haven’t listened to the story, or maybe you haven’t stopped to think that I can learn from Bartimaeus?
Who Is Blind Bartimaeus?
Bartimaeus is a blind son of Timaeus, a blind man that Jesus heals in the town of Jericho. The story of Bartimaeus is found in the book of Mark chapter ten.
I would like us to reflect on the story in general and personal.
Mark 10: 46-52
46 So they came to Jericho. And when He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a great crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was setting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to shout and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 And many rebuked him to be quiet, but he shouted much more: “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying: “Cheer up! Get up, he’s calling you.” 50 Throwing down his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus.
51 And turning to him ((https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=marcos+10%3A46-53&version=NBLA#fes-NBLH-24640a)), Jesus asked him: “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man replied: “Raboní (My Teacher), let him regain his sight.” 52 “Go, your faith has healed you ((https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=marcos+10%3A46-53&version=NBLA#fes-NBLH-24641b))” Jesus told him. Instantly the blind man regained his sight, and was following him on the road.
The general story is that Jesus was with his disciples and a large crowd leaving the town of Jericho. He finds a blind man and heals him.
But history has many important points that we can analyze and on which we can reflect. We are going to break down the reading a bit to apply the story to our personal lives.
Then they came to Jericho.
Jericho is considered one of the oldest cities in the world, the city was located in a central or important point to transit from the southern kingdom to the northern kingdom during the divided kingdom.
Jesus passed through Jericho several times.
We can say that the miracle in Jericho was symbolic because it represents the walk or pilgrimage that many made because it was the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to the temple, to God.
And when He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a great crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was setting by the road.
Jesus was already leaving Jericho, which means that he had spent time in Jericho, and had a large crowd following him.
Bartimaeus is identified by name in the reading and by genealogy, it is mentioned that Bartimaeus is the son of Timaeus.
This detail can serve to identify the blind and for credibility. But it can also show us that the blind man had dignity or had value before God.
A blind person in Jesus’ time (and sadly to this day) considered himself less of a person than others.
He considered himself a sinful person and marginalized himself from society.
Bartimaeus was not only blind, but he was also a beggar, in other words, he was homeless because he did not have a home, he did not have a job, he had no way of living other than depending on people’s donations.
Bartimaeus was sitting by the road, he was not on the road, but he was by the road and sitting.
Bartimaeus was not on pilgrimage, he had nowhere to go, he had no one to follow, he had no purpose or direction.
When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to shout and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus, he did not know him because he could not see, surely he heard the large crowd and asked what was happening and someone told him Jesus is here.
Instantly he began to scream and call for Jesus. Bartimaeus was not ashamed, he could not bear it, he had a need, he had a desire and he did not want Jesus to leave without fulfilling it.
Jesus was leaving Jericho, perhaps Bartimaeus thought it was his last chance, that he had waited a long time and was not going to let it pass.
Bartimaeus’ cry is very important: Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. This cry shows that Bartimaeus had faith.
Faith because the title son of David was a title that demonstrated that Jesus was God, that Jesus was the messiah, the anointed one.
Because the Old Testament prophecies named the messiah as a descendant of David. The savior would come from the genealogy of David and would be known as the son of David.
At the time that Bartimaeus called Jesus the son of David, he was calling him God, the chosen one, the expected one.
When Bartimaeus shouts, have mercy on me or have compassion on me (in other translations), Bartimaeus is considering himself a sinner, he is placing himself at the feet of Jesus.
By crying out for mercy or compassion, you are asking Jesus to put himself in your situation, to have compassion on him.
48 And many rebuked him to be quiet, but he shouted much more: “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying: “Cheer up! Get up, he’s calling you.
In the middle of the crowd Bartimaeus shouts, but among the crowd, many rebuked him and told him to be quiet.
How many times do you find that the people around you want to limit you, they want to prevent you from looking for the way.
How many times do the people around you want you to shut up, but now think how many times are you the one who tells a Bartimaeus to shut up in your life?
And, what did Bartimaeus do? Instead of shutting up, he shouted louder, it was a cry of despair, a cry for help he thought his last chance to be healed was leaving.
And her cry, her cry, her prayer was answered, Jesus stopped. Not only did he stop, he sent for him.
We do not know if in the crowd the same people who ordered Bartimaeus to silence were the ones who now call him and give him hope by saying: Cheer up! But what change?
That before they send him to silence and in an instant give him encouragement, what changed was that Jesus stopped and called him.
That call from Jesus showed the crowd that Bartimaeus was of importance, that Bartimaeus had God’s attention.
50 Throwing down his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus.
Bartimaeus got up immediately. The reading says that he jumped to where Jesus. If you think about it, I guess it wasn’t easy for Bartimaeus to jump to his feet.
A person who is blind and beggars usually does not have the physical strength to make the same movements as someone who is not blind or beggar, because he does not have the same diet.
I imagine Bartimaeus always sitting or lying down and rarely walking, because he does not have vision (walking is more difficult without a guide, without vision, without knowing where you are going).
But the reading says that he jumped to Jesus. That emotion that Jesus called him, that emotion that he was not marginalized, that he had courage, helped him jump to Jesus.
But Bartimaeus did something even more difficult, he threw down his cloak.
Perhaps you read that phrase and pass it off perceived, but let’s reflect on the mantle.
What Is the Mantle Of Bartimaeus?
The cloak for a blind man is what they use to sit in the street, it is what they use to sleep, it is what they use to protect themselves from the sun when it is very sunny.
They use it to protect themselves from the cold when it is cold, they protect themselves from the sand when there is a lot of breeze.
They use it to protect themselves from animals; flies, mosquitoes, insects and more. In other words, for a beggar and much more blind person, the cloak is his everything.
The cloak is your protection, your home, your clothing, your crutch, your support. The act of Bartimaeus throwing or letting go of his cloak is a very symbolic action.
Bartimaeus told Jesus and the crowd that he trusted him, that he expected Jesus to be his support, his protection,its everything.
Letting go of his mantle means complete faith in Jesus, shedding what is your support or your control.
51 And turning to him ((https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=marcos+10%3A46-53&version=NBLA#fes-NBLH-24640a)), Jesus asked him: “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man replied: “Raboní (My Teacher), let him regain his sight.” 5
Jesus asked him, although he knew what the blind man wanted, Jesus wanted Bartimaeus to accept his need and make it public.
Bartimaeus did not ask for money, he did not ask for a house, he did not ask for a new cloak, he asked to regain his sight.
But before he recognized Jesus as HIS teacher, in other words, he showed Jesus that he wanted a personal relationship with him, I call him HIS teacher.
“Go away, your faith has healed you ((https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=marcos+10%3A46-53&version=NBLA#fes-NBLH-24641b)),” Jesus told him. Instantly the blind man regained his sight, and was following him on the road.
Jesus recognized Bartimaeus’ faith and heals him. But the healing began internally, Jesus recognizes that Bartimaeus has faith, and that he has a need.
If Bartimaeus had no faith, he would not have been healed. Healing always starts from within, an inner healing and then manifests outwardly.
But Bartimaeus was healed and did not leave, Jesus told him your faith has healed you, go away, but he followed him along the way.
Bartimaeus was on the side of the road, he was without purpose, without direction, but receiving the inner and outer healing, he found his purpose, he followed Jesus along the way.
Following Jesus makes us disciples, after his healing, Bartimaeus became a disciple of Jesus.
What can we Learn From the Story Of Bartimaeus?
The story of Bartimaeus is probably your story and mine. Bartimaeus was on the side of the road, he was without purpose, without direction.
Bartimaeus was forgotten, marginalized and considered less than the others. Perhaps you have heard of a certain “Jesus” the messiah, the anointed one, but you cannot see him, you cannot know him, you only know him by name and you have heard from him.
But someone tells you that Jesus is passing near you and your curiosity is to know Jesus, to know what he offers.
You get to the point that Jesus is close to you, but you don’t know if you can call him, you don’t know if you should call him, you don’t know what to do, but since he is close you want to call him.
You have the courage and you call him, you call Jesus, you look for Jesus, you want to know him, you want him in your life, but your family, your friends, your loved ones advise you not to.
Your close ones make you feel bad, they call you crazy, they think you are a fanatic, that you are old-fashioned.
But you feel that Jesus is present and you keep calling and searching for him. Jesus stops and calls you, heals you internally and invites you to follow him.
This is the way of Jesus, he is calling you, he waits for you and wants you to follow him.
But the road is not easy, you will find people (usually close or loved ones), who will discourage you, but Jesus invites you to call him, seek him and invite him into your life.
One obstacle that I have encountered in following Jesus is my cloak. My mantle is what I do not want to leave, what I do not want to let go to follow Jesus.
My mantle is what I consider my protection, my security outside of Jesus. And I am called to drop the mantle and trust Jesus, let Jesus be my protection and my security, that he be my mantle.
Bartimaeus is a great example to follow, an example of faith, to recognize that Jesus is God, to let go of everything you have and trust that Jesus will give you that and more.
That is the greatness of God, who asks us to let go of our protection,security, our cloak, but he will not leave us with nothing, he changes our cloak for his cloak.
The mantle of love, of faith, of protection, of security, of prosperity that only he can give. We just have to believe him.
I know it sounds very easy to say we just have to believe him, we just have to have faith, we just have to drop the mantle.
But if you really want to follow him, if you really want a change in your life, you want inner and outer healing, trust him.
It does not have to be completely immediately, he knows you and knows your wants and needs, he just wants you to tell him and let him heal you so you can follow him.
Jesus is looking at you lovingly, he calls you and asks you: What do you want me to do for you? Trust him and tell him.
God bless you!