Mark 10:46–52 NRSV – “They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.”
Summary – This is the marvelous story of Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus. This last healing miracle in Mark occurs in the historically significant place, Jericho, where another Joshua saw the power of God entering the Land. This poor man cried out for mercy to Jesus, recognizing that Jesus was the Son of David, the king. Others told him to be quiet, but that only made him more persistent. He cried louder. Then Jesus called him and healed him, emphasizing that his faith had made him well. So Jesus recognized faith in an unlikely person and through that faith granted the healing that he boldly requested.
Insight – Close your eyes and imagine never opening them again. What would it be like to be blind? It could be very fearful and feel hopeless. The healing of Bartimaeus is an illustration that undoes fear and hopelessness. It shows that, “You have not because you ask not.” Many are too timid to ask for a miracle of such power, but what else could blind Bart do? He knew that this was the Son of David, the anointed One. He would not be passing by again. He asked boldly because his sight and his dignity had already been lost, only his faith and hope remained. Therefore he asked with boldness and with no fear. He did not quiet down when others scolded him, but became bolder in this opposition. From this we see that the faith that grasps Christ is relentless and does not cower to peer pressure. The walls of blindness that kept many Israelites from seeing one greater than Joshua fell that day.
Catechism – What did blind Bartimaeus say? Son of David have mercy on me.
Discussion – In what areas are you afraid to have faith like blind Bart?
Prayer – Lord, we thank you for your healing power through Jesus. We recognize Jesus as the King, the Messiah and we call upon him for mercy in our lives today. Grant that we may walk in the faith that boldly cries louder to you for your presence and power. In Jesus Name. Amen.