Have you ever wondered if you'll be remembered generations from now? Are you doing anything worth being remembered for? I'll bet Bartimaeus never dreamed his legacy would be alive and well in 2011!
Who am I talking about? Glad you asked! Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time there was a man named Bartimaeus. He was blind. We don't know if he was born blind or if he became blind later in life, but one thing is very clear. His blindness defined who he was, for he was known as Blind Bartimaeus. He spent his days begging for coins and food. Because he's a beggar, it leads us to think he has no family or has been outcast from them because of his blindness, especially if it was caused by a disease. He's an outcast in society too.
Blind Bartimaeus leads a hard, lonely life.
One day he is sitting beside the road outside of Jericho hoping someone will share a few coins when he hears a commotion. A large crowd is coming. His ears perk up and he quickly figures out that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. He's heard about this Jesus. He's heard about the healing power that follows Jesus wherever he goes. He's heard that some even believe Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah.
"Surely the Messiah can heal my blindness!" he thinks.
"Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" he cries out.
Those closest to him shush him. "Be quiet, beggar. Who are you to call out to the Teacher?"
But Bartimaeus knows this is his one chance. He calls out even louder. "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Something wonderful happens then.
Jesus stopped. He'd heard Bartimaeus' cry above the din around him.
"Call him," Jesus says.
Those same people who were hushing Bartimaeus only moments before now tell him, "Cheer up! He's calling you."
What happens next is something we all need to do when we hear the Lord calling to us!
Bartimaeus leaped to his feet. He threw off his cloak and hurried to Jesus. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see!"
"Go," said Jesus. "Your faith has healed you!" Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus. (Mark 10:46-52)
We can all learn from Blind Bartimaeus! Here's what I take away from this story:
1. No matter how tough life is, we're never so low that Jesus can't lift us up!
2. No matter how ill and broken our bodies, we're never so ill and broken that Jesus can't heal us!
3. Don't let ANYONE keep you from crying out to the Lord! He will hear you!
4. When Jesus calls to us, we have to GET UP and MOVE! We can't stay in the same place, doing the same things, leading the same old life. That doesn't always mean a physcial moving, but sometimes it does.
5. Leave your old cloak behind. Meaning leave your old habits, your old friends, your old guilt, your old whatever that will pull you back down. Drop it! Walk away from it! Don't look back!
6. Jesus knew Bartimaeus was blind. He knew he wanted his sight. But He asked Bartimaues anyway: "What do you want me to do for you?" Sometimes we have to say it out loud! "I want to see!" "I want to be healed." "I want my marriage restored!" "I want peace."
7. Finally, we have to follow Jesus for the rest of our lives.
We have all been Blind Bartimaeus at some point in our lives. We all have issues we're dealing with. The wonderful thing is we don't have to stay there! Bartimaeus' faith healed him through the power of Jesus. His life completely changed that day! He was no longer Blind Bartimaeus!
What do you want Jesus to do for you?
Ask. Move. Believe!