And Jesus said to him, “Go your way, your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed Him on the way.

Mark 10: 52


It is easy to appreciate the care, compassion, and mercy that Jesus exhibits when He stops for a moment in this final portion of His last journey to Jerusalem in order to heal Bartimaeus’ blindness. This man had obvious great need. His condition had reduced him to the status of beggar, and that meant that for the sake of survival he was required by society to leave behind his dignity and to literally risk his life in order to plead with the masses for their pocket change. He was beyond desperate. That condition had departed long ago. Now, he was alone, a castoff along the side of the road, and condemned to spend whatever remained of his life in a state of oppression under the weight of the sin that his own understanding of God said had caused his blindness.


This is a new thought for me, but it does seem that Bartimaeus, the man, is much too close to my world for easy comfort. I seldom encounter a blind person who is begging by the roadside, but I don’t think that that is the point of this story. Here is a person who has lost his way through life. The moment that we encounter him is the one where he comes to the end of all that had been sustaining him. Bartimaeus seems to have landed at the bottom of his resources and at the end of his pride at the very moment that he was also sitting at the feet of Jesus. This is no casual encounter. In this scene we are witnessing the presence of Christ in our world. This is the way that God brings healing and restoration to all who are lost, alone, outcast, and broken. As Jesus comes to this simple blind man, so He comes to anyone who desires to be healed and the story is much the same for us all, too.


Although this is an account which is about entering into a saving relationship with Christ, there is much more here. Even after we have accepted Christ, most of us continue through life with aspects of our sin-ravaged brokenness in place. For many and varied reasons we hold onto these damaged and dysfunctional ways of thinking and acting. Thus we continue to collide with walls, and we stumble and fall down as we blindly go about our day. Yet, just like that day at Jericho, Jesus is with us, and He is ready and willing to bring sight to our blindness. All that He asks of us is that we have enough faith to trust Him. There is little more that is required of us. Christ doesn’t ask us to perform any deeds, engage in acts of purification, or speak special words. All that He does ask is that we open up our wounded hearts to Him and sincerely seek His healing touch. Like Bartimaeus, sight is gained through faith as we trust Christ and ask Him to heal us, and restoration comes as we commit our lives to Him and follow where He leads.