And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road. Mark 10:46-52 NASB
Some nights ago, I was reading our children their bedtime story. As I read through the story of the Blind beggar found in the book of Mark (and also Luke 18), I silently heard the Holy Spirit ask why were the crowd telling the beggar to be quiet? Afterall, beggars cry out for alms or help? What, was it about that particular cry, from blind Bartimaeus that day? I was struck by the questions and I pondered on them as I finished the story with the children.
After prayers and quick goodnight kisses and hugs ( they will do anything to stay up longer past their bedtime) after multiple quick goodnights and can- we- tell- you- just one- more- thing, not to mention my pretending to be the animated voice of one of their teddies, the very distinguished Dr Bear – I finally exit their room. Phew! ?
I got my journal and started to write down the questions I had heard the Holy Spirit pose. As I did, He began to expand that well known Bible story to me. Blind Bartimaeus or Bart as I will now refer to him, would have been indiscriminately asking for help. Previously his cry for mercy would have been directed at everyone and anyone who passed by. After all, beggars can’t be choosers, right?
Isn’t it funny about people, that when you rely on them or need them because of the drama going on in your life, that’s Ok? But the moment you say, hang on a second, I don’t want to be in this state of depending on you for what gets me moving, then it becomes a problem. Once they are no longer the centre of your world, they want you to keep quiet. Your reliance on them fuels their sense of importance and all the high drama in your life gives them a purpose, forgetting that they are not the Source from whom all things flow!
The crowd told Blind Bart to be quiet, but he cried out all the louder! He had been asking for mercy from all and sundry before, but one day he heard Jesus was passing by. When he heard that report, Bart focused his need for mercy on one solitary person – Jesus, the Son of David. “Son of David, have mercy on me!” he cried even more loudly!
Thank God, Bartimaeus did not allow the crowd to shut him up. When they tried to suppress him, he would not allow it. Opposition always disapproves of focus on the right things! He stopped looking to people for mercy, and he focused on Jesus.
Bartimaeus got the attention of Jesus, when Jesus stopped and asked for him to be called, the crowd changed their tune. “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” Talk about ancient type of crowdfunding! I felt the Holy Spirit say humorously. An idea which you have all by yourself, suddenly now everybody is doing their bit to help you!
Blind Bart couldn’t see, but he could speak. He used what was working for him to get the attention of the One who could make all things work! He used his voice. You have a “voice”. What are you using your voice for? You may not have what you want (yet) but you already have what you need. While you wait for the change you want to see, are you using what God has already given you?
Peter had the availability of his boat, David had his skilful play of a harp, Joseph had dream interpreting abilities not to mention economic strategies which turned around the GDP of a nation. Esther had beauty and shrewdness, Abigail was a mistress of diplomacy, Mary (mother of Jesus) had purity and Deborah had military prowess.
The list is endless but you catch my drift, everyone has something! Make it your business to find out what yours is, and use it! In using “it” the right way, who knows what manner of extraordinary things await you?
This blog post concludes in Part 2.
Thanks for reading.