The “Syrophoenician woman” (Mark 7:26), a Canaanite, “kept crying out, ‘Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely tormented by a demon’ ” (Matthew 15:22). We can feel the desperation in her request. “Have mercy on me!”
The daddy of a demon-possessed boy had only one desire. As he approached Jesus, the broken-hearted father urgently, passionately, “knelt down before him. ‘Lord… have mercy on my son’ ” (Matthew 17:15).
Likewise, “ten men with leprosy … stood at a distance and raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ ” (Luke 17:12–13). Jesus was their last hope… their only hope.
And when Jesus contrasted the prideful Pharisee with the humble tax collector, He pictured the tax collector, “standing far off,” eyes downcast, repeatedly “striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’ ” (Luke 18:13).
Similarly, the humble and impassioned plea of Blind Bartimaeus was “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47).
Matthew, Mark, and Luke each record this important event that occurred just a few days before the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Only Mark calls the beggar by name. Luke only refers to “a blind man” (Luke 18:35), while Matthew tells us that Bartimaeus wasn’t alone. He had a buddy. There was another unnamed blind beggar (Matthew 20:30).
As a crowd of Passover pilgrims were passing through Jericho, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat on the curb begging for pennies, hoping to collect enough money to buy a meal or two. “Hearing a crowd passing by, he inquired what was happening. ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,’ they told him” (Luke 18:36-37).
The blind man had been sitting just outside Jericho’s city gates forever! He couldn’t see, but he had good ears. He’d listened attentively to the reports and rumors about Jesus. Jesus had healed the leper and the lame. He’d cured every imaginable sickness, and He’d restored sight to the blind. And now, Jesus was passing by.
When it was obvious that Jesus and His entourage were approaching, Bartimaeus began to bellow. “Give me the keys to a new minivan!”… “Give me the money to make a down payment on a new condominium!” … “Fill my pantry with groceries… and a ribeye or two for my freezer!”
Bartimaeus called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38). There was urgency, expectation, excitement, hope in his voice. He didn’t request things… he begged for mercy, for grace, for a miracle.
“Jesus answered him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Rabboni,’ the blind man said to him, ‘I want to see’ ” (Mark 10:51).
“Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see” (Matthew 20:34). “Immediately he could see!” (Mark 10:52). “Instantly he could see, and he began to follow him, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God” (Luke 18:34).
God is good… and His grace is amazing!