46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” 52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
It says in this passage of the NT that Jesus Came to Jericho, and then immediately it transitions to Him leaving the city with His disciples. This is a good illustration to show us that if we do not prepare ourselves for his coming, He will come and go, and we will forfeit the opportunity to be touched by His presence and we’ll receive nothing.
Only one man in this story was desperate enough to reveal his true condition, He was willing to let down the walls that kept him from God’s blessing and admit his true emptiness. He was beyond caring what anyone thought of him, what they might whisper behind his back, and he was prepared to endure their persecution for admitting that he had a need.
Bartimaeus “heard” the crowd. Praise God! The Lord always gives us something to work with. He was blind and could not see, but he could hear, he couldn’t see but he still had a voice, and so he worked with what God gave him.
“When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout”
Bartimaeus had come to the point of desperation and he was willing to admit he was powerless, it had cultivated within him a spirit of desperation. His shouts for mercy were cries of desperation for deliverance.
Meanwhile all the “good” followers of Jesus told him to shut up, after all he was a beggar and they were the true followers, but he was desperate and he wouldn’t be kept from his blessing and so he shouted even louder. It was his shouts for mercy that stopped Jesus in his tracks.
Interestingly enough, those who had told him to shut up, now said, “Cheer up, on your feet, He’s calling you.” Does it ever amaze you, it does me, how quickly people can change their tune when it will make them look more spiritual? If they had had any concern for Bartimaeus they would have taken him to the Lord to begin with instead of trying to silence him.
“And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.”
His garment was a symbol of his past, of the lifestyle that he had lived in this garment, the life of a blind beggar. It represented his restrictions, his limitations and the impossibilities of the infirmed life that he had been stuck in and it was symbolic of the mentality that had held him captive and led to his desperately determined actions. This robe said, “I am blind therefore I am helpless, I am unable to do anything for myself, to provide anything for myself, I am a beggar, my life and my existence are determined by the generosity of those who can see.”
I wonder, how many are spiritually blind to the things of God and are spiritual beggars in God’s Kingdom. How many in the Church know nothing of the spirit of revelation, and truth made alive within their spirits through the Holy Ghost. Too many of God’s people choose to live like beggars and settle for receiving everything second hand. They are blind by choice. Why? Because to have their eyes opened comes with the obligation to change!
Bartimaeus knew that to receive his sight would end his right to beg, he would now have to work and provide for himself, and he publicly made that decision. Jesus called him beyond his condition and convinced him of a fuller life. His faith gave him spiritual sight and he began to see himself whole. He threw off the bondage of his past and he rose and came to Jesus. He chose to be changed, he made a determined to be different, and he made a declaration to be healed. He was leaving the position that defined him as Hopeless, he was leaving the condition that defined him as a beggar, and he was stepping into the unknown.
Every phase of growth in our spiritual lives requires us to step into the unknown, like Capt. Kirk, we have to go where we’ve never not gone before, to leave the comfort zone for the opportunity to receive a greater blessing.
As the children of Israel prepared to cross the Jordan into their inheritance, they were told to leave a space between them and the ark so they could see which way to go because they had never passed that way before. So many are missing what God wants for them:
Because they are not willing to trust Him, if they cannot see or make sense of what He is asking, they refuse to follow.
Because they are not willing to throw off the robes of their past, Jesus said you can’t put new wine into old wineskins, we have to be willing to let go of the old to receive the new. As Elijah’s mantle fell to the ground Elisha took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. What was he doing? He was removing the old to make room for the new.
Because they are not willing to admit that they live in spiritual poverty.
Because they are not willing to change.
True healing can only take place when we are desperate enough to shout to the Lord, loud enough to stop Him in His tracks, admit our desperate need for His touch, and then once we are at His feet we throw off the past and allow the presence of the Holy Ghost to bring real change and to remove the scales from our eyes. Do you want Jesus to stand still where you are? Are you willing to do what it takes to get him to stop Him in His tracks?
Then your healing is just a shout away from you!