BARTIMAEUS August 15
And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
And when he heard it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they called the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, "What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?" The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
And Jesus said unto him, "Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole." And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
There are some fascinating insights into this account of Bartimaeus. First, Jesus arrives in Jericho. Jericho was considered a sinful place, you left the city of peace to travel to Jericho, and it was downward. However, Jesus leads the people upward away from the City of Sin to Jerusalem, The City of Peace. Jesus always brings you up to a higher level.
Notice how Bartimaeus's identity is known to the public. It seems like everyone knew this beggar by name: blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. Bartimaeus and Timaeus have the same meaning in Hebrew, foul, polluted, and unclean. Possibly Timaeus had the same blind condition as Bartimaeus, and culturally they believed that he was born into sin, a sinner at birth.
He learns it's Jesus of Nazareth; Bartimaeus could probably relate to the city of Nazareth. Nazareth was considered a lowly and rejected community. One thing for certain Bartimaeus understood rejection; that's what he identified with. Immediately he cries out Jesus thou son of David!
Son of David meant that all the promises given to Abraham and David belonged to Jesus, the true inheritor of the Kingdom of God! Only the Messiah had the right and the ability to heal the blind, and there are no recorded healings of the blind or the deaf in the old testament. The Messiah could only perform this miracle. (Isaiah 35:5)
Many charged him to shut up, and he cried even louder. Imagine your only opportunity to change your life forever, to see, to be able to support yourself to get out of this cursed condition was passing by. Do you think he was shouting? He was grieving for his healing; I can see this man wailing as if he had just lost someone he loved: "HAVE MERCY ON ME!"
The enemy tried very hard to prevent his healing with the only weapon he had available, other people, other followers, by ordering him to shut up. You would think that they would be ushering him to Jesus.
He caught the ear of God and Jesus stood still; you can do this with your prayers, too, when you sincerely cry out from within your heart. Suddenly! Bartimaeus has favor from the crowd because God noticed him; they start to comfort him and begin helping him get to Jesus, God's blessing.
Bartimaeus casts away his garment, and this was a beggar's garment given by the priests that proved he was disabled and legally allowed to beg to support himself. No need for it now; he's getting his eyesight! He's getting his new identity!
Jesus said to him, "Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole."
Jesus gave him a choice, "go thy way," and which way did he go?
Jesus healed Bartimaeus, and his name was recorded in the bible. Mary Magdalene was the only other person healed by Jesus whose name is mentioned. Here is some insight as to why they were named.
After both their recoveries, they continued to follow Jesus, as we see in this very last portion of the account: and followed Jesus in the way.
The way was what the early church was referred to before we were called Christians. After this, there's no mention of Bartimaeus, but this is how he probably would have been known by others, "Bartimaeus, he's in The Way." Jump in The Way, and God can change your circumstances too.
He is: Shub Nephesh
Renewer of Life