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BLIND BARTIMAEUS


It’s one of my favorite stories.

 

Jesus was on His fateful and final journey, racing toward His mission’s predetermined goal, His substitutionary sacrifice at Calvary. Having left Galilee, He had traveled south to Jericho and was about to climb the steep ascent from deep in the Dead Sea valley to Jerusalem, high on the hill.

 

At Jericho, as His growing entourage, “a large crowd”, loudly paraded along, “there were two blind men sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ ” (Matthew 20:29-30).

 

Although the self-appointed bodyguards tried to silence their cries, the caring and compassionate Jesus stopped and summoned the blind beggars. With eager anticipation they cast off their only possessions, their coats, and “jumped up, and came to Jesus” (Mark 10:50).

 

“What do you want me to do for you?” (Matthew 20:32, Mark 10:51, Luke 18:41). The Creator of the universe, the Sustainer of life, is still asking this question… He’s asking me and you, “What do you want me to do for you?”

 

The blind beggar’s singular request was, “Lord … I want to see.”  (Luke 18:41). “Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed him” (Matthew 20:34).

 

That’s it. The end.

 

But notice that Matthew reported two blind men (Matthew 20:30), Luke just one (Luke 18:35). Only Mark recorded his name, “Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar” (Mark 10:46).

 

Twenty or thirty years after this event, the Gospels were finally committed to paper. Mark, probably recording Peter’s memories, remembered that name – Bartimaeus. Most of the people that Jesus healed are left unnamed, but Peter remembered this man’s name!

 

Did he follow Jesus to Jerusalem? Was Bartimaeus among the one-hundred-twenty (Acts 1:15) in the upper room? Was Bartimaeus there when, on Easter evening, the resurrected Jesus entered the room and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19)? Is that why Peter remembered his name?

 

Someday we’ll know the rest of the story!

 

“… think on these things” (Philippians 4:8, KJV).



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