“Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him’”
(Mark 10:46-49, NIV).
(Mark 10:46-49, NIV).
What caused our Lord Jesus to turn His attention away from the large crowd to Bartimaeus, the rudely persistent, blind and outcast beggar? I think, when Jesus heard the magic word: Mercy. “Jesus… have mercy on me!” Mercy is compassion or pity that leads a person to provide relief for someone in misery (not simple say “God bless you…” then walk away). A merciful person is one who feels deeply the hurts of others and acts to comfort and relieve those hurts. You see, mercy is a primary nature of God. God said of Himself, “The LORD God, merciful and gracious” (Exodus 34:6); and Moses said, “The LORD your God is a merciful God” (Deuteronomy 4:31). For Jesus, the Son of God, mercy was one of the essential characteristics of His earthly ministry.
Let’s turn to Bartimaeus now. This physically blind beggar actually could spiritually “see” much more than most people. First, he had heard enough about Jesus to correctly identify Him as “Son of David” a title that designated Jesus as the promised Messiah – God come to earth (notice, Jesus doesn’t deny him). Second, he knew enough about the God of his ancestors to know that He is merciful (heart knowledge, not merely head knowledge). And third, he had faith to believe that Jesus was personally interested in him and would heal him.
When Jesus heard Bartimaeus cry for mercy, He asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). He was merciful and willing to act compassionately to the faithful Bartimaeus. The same quality of mercy that God evidenced in the Old Testament and Jesus demonstrated in the New Testament is available to anyone who sees Jesus through the eyes of faith as Bartimaeus did. Jesus knows where we’re hurting and when we turn to Him with our hurts, He is ready to say, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus’ mercy turned into miracle because of faith. “Rabbi, I want to see,” Bartimaeus replied. “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road (Mark 10:51-52).
There is no pain, disappointment, confusion, fear or loneliness that Jesus cannot understand. When you come to Him with faith crying, “Jesus, have mercy on me!” He will responds either with a supernatural healing or through the caring of a concerned friend or simply by His presence with you or however – He will respond. Like Bartimaeus, you may feel that you are not very important in God’s sight. But when you come to Jesus with faith and brokenness, you’ll discover that you are of the supreme important to God. You may feel that your hurts are not important to God. You may feel that you don’t have a special place in God’s heart. You may believe that God doesn’t have time to bother with you. But if God’s mercy can reach poor Bartimaeus, think what He has waiting for you when you call on Him!
Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” twice (10:36, 51)
James and John answered: We want authority and power (10:37); they were ask to serve first.
But when Bartimaeus answered: I want to see (10:52); he received his sight immediately!
Jesus is indeed, the most gracious, the most merciful Saviour. Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.