November 17 - Luke 18:35-43

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Luke 18:35-43 – Blind Beggar

Passover was approaching and Jesus had spent enough time traveling. He was getting closer and closer to Jerusalem. Now he went down the valley of the Jordan river and came close to Jericho. There would have been caravans of people traveling this road so as to arrive in Jerusalem in time for the holy celebrations, but the crowds traveling with Jesus would have been much larger than other groups, so a blind man would have recognized the difference.

In Mark’s account (Mark 10:46), we learn that the blind man’s name was Bartimaeus. He was a beggar since this was the only way he would be able to get money so as to live. When Bartimaeus asked those around him what was happening, they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.

Even a blind man in Jericho had heard of the fame of this man. Tales of healing and release from demon possession were carried throughout the region. This was an opportunity and one Bartimaeus would seize.

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” he called out. His faith was great. He knew this was the Messiah and had absolute faith that Jesus could heal him. Those who rebuked Bartimaeus didn't do so because he had called Jesus by his messianic title, but more likely it was because this poor, blind, beggar had deigned to stop someone so famous.

Bartimaeus was not to be stopped. He shouted again, calling for the Son of David to have mercy on him.

What amazing faith this man showed. If Jesus were passing by, he would take time to offer healing to someone, even someone as lowly as a blind beggar.

That is exactly what Jesus did.  The compassion of God flowed from him to a man whose faith compelled him to respond with, “Lord, I want to see.”