Bartimaeus

Seeing in the Dark

In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. Isaiah 29:18

“You can’t see me,” the little boy says as he covers his eyes. How can you explain to him that he’s the one who can’t see you?

Jesus experienced a similar frustration with the Scribes and Pharisees. These religious leaders covered their spiritual eyes and said they couldn’t see Jesus as the Messiah. They spent their lives studying the Scriptures and should’ve recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah. The Scriptures foretold what the Messiah would do and say, and Jesus did those things: healed the sick, preached good news to the poor, and set captives free (Isaiah 61:1). And He did much more.

One day as Jesus and his disciples left Jericho, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus sat beside the road (Mark 10:46-52). Hearing the commotion of the large crowd accompanying Jesus, he probably asked what was happening.

“Jesus of Nazareth is coming,” someone told him.

Bartimaeus then shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The crowd saw a man from Nazareth, but the blind man saw the Messiah, a descendant of King David (1 Chronicles 17:11-14).

When Jesus stopped and told the people to call the blind man, Bartimaeus jumped to his feet and went to Him. Jesus healed him. Before that event, some people had prayed over others and they received healing, but no one born blind had ever been healed (John 9:32).

“Your faith has healed you,” Jesus told Bartimaeus. Although he was physically blind, Bartimaeus had displayed keen spiritual eyesight. And Jesus rewarded him for it.

Can you see Jesus? Very few see visions of Him, but we can see Him with our spiritual eyesight as Bartimaeus did. Not only can we see Jesus, the man, but we can also see Jesus, the Messiah, the promised Son of David. You may not have the book knowledge that the Scribes and Pharisees had, but you can see Jesus Christ more clearly than they did.

The next time you can’t see Jesus, ask Him to uncover your eyes. Remember, Jesus sees us even when we’ve allowed fear, pride, or sin to cover our eyes. Is anything obscuring your view of Jesus today?

DIG DEEPER:

Compare Matthew 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-42—three versions of blind beggars receiving their sight. What details are different? Note especially Jesus’ response and question, the response of the beggars, and the response of the crowd. How would you have responded?

Read John 5:39-40. The words “you study diligently” may be translated as a command, “Study diligently.” What did Jesus tell the Jews they hadn’t seen in their studies? What do you learn of Jesus Christ as you study the Bible?

Read Isaiah 42:1-7. What are some of the promises for you in these verses? What is it that you need to see? Cry out to Jesus Christ for mercy. Go to Him. He will be your light.

Nancy J. Baker

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