Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Mark 10:51-52 (NIV)

Scripture tells us about a certain day that occurred during Christ’s life on earth. Jesus and his disciples, along with a large crowd, were leaving the city of Jericho. On this particular day, a blind man named Bartimaeus happened to be sitting by the road begging. Most likely, this was his regular routine…it was how he survived.

But this was not a regular day…Jesus was passing by! When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he started shouting. His shouting wasn’t meant to be disrespectful. To the contrary, he was crying out, wanting to be heard by someone he believed could help him.

Bartimaeus was scolded and told to be quiet by many people in the crowd, but he didn’t let their disapproval distract him. Instead, he shouted even louder, identifying Christ as the “Son of David” and asking Him to have mercy on him.

What did Jesus do? Did he continue walking by and not be bothered or slowed down by a disruptive man in the crowd who didn’t seem to be minding his manners? No. He stopped. Then He told others to call the man to come to Him.

When they told the man to cheer up and to get up, he not only got up, he threw his cloak to the side, jumped to his feet, and came to Jesus…apparently without fear or hesitancy.

What Jesus said next is something we all need to hear at certain times in our lives. Jesus simply asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Can you put yourself in Bartimaeus’ place and picture Jesus saying those words to you?

Maybe you’re grieving, or sick, or depressed. Maybe you have lost a loved one recently, or you are dealing with physical pain. Maybe your children or grandchildren are away from God.

Whatever your situation, Jesus is asking you, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man simply acknowledged Christ and said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” He didn’t go through a formula or a ritual, trying to work himself up into faith. He simply allowed himself to be in the presence of Jesus and to receive what he had asked for.

Jesus responded by telling him, “Go, your faith has healed you.”

Bartimaeus immediately received his sight and followed Jesus. He experienced a genuine encounter with the Son of God that day. It was an intimate communication.

Bartimaeus did not just cry out into the wind. He was heard and he was valued. His need was acknowledged by the words of Jesus that day.

May each of us hear those same gracious words, “What do you want me to do for you?” as we cry out to Him in our time of need.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

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