By Tal Haroni
“And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.” (Mark 10:46)
Bartimaeus was a simple man. He was blind, a beggar, and much like I was before I met Jesus. I wandered through this world blind to the truth, seeking people’s approval and praise, while constantly, trying to piece together purpose and destiny for my life through them.
“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”” (Mark 10:47-48)
When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus and His disciples were passing by, he decided to take a leap of faith and cried out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” He understood that he needed Jesus’ mercy and grace to be healed. He believed that Jesus had the power to heal him. The people around him tried to silence him – “Why the commotion? What’s wrong with your life? Why disturb our peace with your cries?”
When I came to faith, there was a period where everyone I knew told me I was strange and couldn’t understand why I needed Jesus. My non-believing family didn’t see anything good coming from my “strange” faith. In Israel, believing in Jesus is not widely accepted, and none of my friends at that time understood what I was doing.
I can imagine Bartimaeus felt the same – he was willing to risk it all just to see Jesus and receive His mercy. He didn’t care that people rebuked or tried to silence him. He valued faith in Jesus over social popularity.
“And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.” (Mark 10:49-52)
Jesus recognized Bartimaeus’s determination and called him forward. Bartimaeus didn’t hesitate for a moment; he took action. He got up and removed his cloak, understanding that his moment had come. He didn’t wait for Jesus to come to him; he didn’t see himself as a victim or entitled. He recognized the opportunity and seized it. Additionally, he discarded his cloak – all that defined and protected him until that moment. He was ready to give up the pleasures of this life, the world’s protection, just to receive it from Jesus.
There was a time when I lived and worked in England. I had a decent job, but I couldn’t find myself there. I was lonely, wandering the streets of London in search of meaning. I already knew the gospel, but one day I realized – I prefer to die and know Jesus than to live without Him. I was willing to give up my nice income, and my social status, just to be close to Jesus. So, I did something extreme – I left everything and returned to my homeland. I knew people would mock me and say I had failed. I knew that I’d become the subject of gossip and criticism, but none of that compared to knowing Jesus. I chose to give up “my cloak,” the world’s protection, to expose myself, and draw near to Jesus.
We’re not so different from Bartimaeus. While we may not be completely blind, there are still areas in our lives where we can surrender to Jesus. There are still places where He wants to heal us. He invites us to come to Him, to receive healing, to make Him the sole source of our life and hope. Are you ready to expose yourself, to stop relying on the world’s protection completely?
It’s time to rise, take action, take off your cloak, and come to Him. If you’re willing to take a step of faith today, pray this prayer:
“Jesus, I know there are areas where I am blind; I want to see. I want to give you everything. You are good, and you have good plans for my life. I believe you can open my eyes, help me break free from the world’s bonds, and make you the source of my life and hope.”