Just who is Blind Bartimaeus and what does he have to teach us? The story of this blind man shines through the pages of the New Testament to impact our lives today and open our eyes to some important truths. We’re going to dive into this encounter with Jesus and mine the hidden gems of wisdom buried within.
The Story Of Blind Bartimaeus
The Bible doesn’t tell us the history of Blind Bartimaeus, only that when he encountered the God who sees he lacked his own sight. That when he met Jesus on the side of that ancient road he was a beggar, begging for his daily needs, and through this encounter, his life was forever changed.
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. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came 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 along the road. Mark 10:46-52 NIV
Where Did Jesus Heal Blind Bartimaeus?
The Bible tells us that Jesus healed Blind Bartimaeus outside of Jericho when He and a large crowd were leaving the city.
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Was Bartimaeus Born Blind?
Scripture doesn’t tell us how Blind Bartimaeus lost his sight, whether it was through injury or by birth.
The Significance of Blind Bartimaeus
Blind Bartimaeus is an interesting story in the Bible, however, I think we often miss the significance of his story and encounter with Jesus. Bartimaeus’s story opens our eyes to our need for Christ and the dangers of being spiritually blind. During this period in history, Jewish people believed that illness and disability were a punishment from God because the person or a parent had committed sins. Because of this Bartimaeus, a blind beggar was hushed by the crowd.
And yet Jesus stops for this man, a lowly sinner not worthy of notice by the times they lived in. Jesus saw blind Bartimaeus, He saw past the exterior, past other’s preconceptions, and saw His child. He saw his worth, He knew this man’s needs. And like we see over and over again through stories like the woman with the issue of bleeding, the man possessed by demons, and even Hagar in the Old Testament God stopped for them. He sought them out, instead of just waiting for them to come to Him. He found them in the middle of their messy circumstances.
This story in the Bible helps us to check our own vision. While we may never experience physical blindness, many of us have or will encounter spiritual blindness. When our spiritual lenses are out of position it can leave us reeling, trying to find God’s hand at work, and blind to His call.
Why Did Blind Bartimaeus Throw Off His Garment
Every day blind Bartimaeus would pick up his coat, and go out to beg. This coat was unique; it was given out to signify that he was indeed a beggar, that he couldn’t work, that he had nothing to offer, that he had no purpose. It declared to all who and what he was.
What Does The Story Of Blind Bartimaeus Teach Us
The Lord is in this place, so often we forget this, the pain of our circumstances blind us. Our regrets, our disappointments steal our focus. We beg for validation, for hope, for someone to see our hurt and care enough to do something, to fix it- but we are looking for the answer in all the wrong places.
We’re begging for our friends, our family, our culture, our social media channels to fill us, to validate us but they can’t. These things can’t meet that need; they can’t love us like we want because they often times don’t even like themselves. They can’t fix us because that was never their purpose, they were never meant to meet that need. Blind Bartimaeus spent his days begging from the world to meet his needs, but it wasn’t until He encountered Jesus that his biggest needs were met.
7 Lessons To Learn From Blind Bartimaeus
There are so many lessons we can take away from the story of Blind Bartimaeus in the Bible. Let’s take a look at seven lessons we can find in this story and how they can impact our lives today:
Blind Bartimaeus Shows Us We Need Jesus
The story of Blind Bartimaeus reminds us that Jesus truly is the answer to our needs. He is the only one that can save us from our circumstances, from our choices, and set us on a new path. Every time he picked up this coat he was reminded of the fact that he was useless, nothing could change that. Nothing could fill that gap, and so he does the only thing he can, he begs. But one day Jesus showed up in his town, the Bible says that when this man heard that Jesus was there, he began to shout. He started to cry out begging for Jesus but the people around him shushed. The same people that had been giving him a handout were the ones trying to keep him from The One that could fill that gap.
This Story Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Godly Friends
The story of Blind Bartimaeus shows us that sometimes we have good friends, but they aren’t good for us, and they keep us shackled to broken places. They help us on with our coats, but they prevent us from running to the one that can restore our vision. Sometimes the very people we thought would fill you up, are the ones that are telling you to be quiet when you reach the point where you cry out for Him.
Don’t let them hold you back, your worth isn’t tied to their opinion. Your purpose isn’t fulfilled through them. They can not sit on the throne of your heart, that spots taken. The one who can restore your sight is here, don’t let them silence you. Their opinions don’t matter because you’re not serving them, you don’t need them to fill that gap because that is His place.
Blind Bartimaeus Reminds Us Of Our Worth
Our phone, our social media was never meant to validate us, the number of likes we get was never meant to be the place where we find our worth. Our creator God declares our worth and nothing can change that. When we have His approval we don’t need theirs; we don’t need them to prop us up. But sometimes we let something else become the center of our lives, we allow it to take God’s place, and suddenly there is this empty place, and our vision gets a little blurry.
Much like in this story of Blind Bartimaeus the things we try to use to meet our needs can’t fill that space. So we have to try more and more to fill it, we keep begging for affirmation, for our needs to be met. And then Before we know it, we’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of chasing after things that were never meant to fill that gap. We start seeking fulfillment and validation in the wrong places. The number of likes we get defines us, others’ opinions declare who we are and the truth is lost beneath the weight of trying to make ourselves feel like we matter.
Blind Bartimaeus Shows Us Only God Can Fill Us
Every day we pick up our “coats” like Blind Bartimaeus, our need for the world to tell us we’re enough, that we’re worth something, to make us feel important, to meet our needs. We carry around the emptiness of seeking validation from the world and looking for hope in the wrong places. The truth is the world can never make you feel enough; it can never make you feel like you have worth. It can never fill that chasm that you keep asking it to feed.
As long as God is out of focus, nothing can fill that place. Nothing can take away that pain but Him. We can’t keep wearing our coats and hold our hands out to the world, begging it to fill us and expect anything to change. This man stopped begging from the people around him and started begging for Jesus, and when the people told him to be quiet, he cried all the louder. How many of us need to do some crying? How many of us need to dethrone some things, some people, and put God back on the throne?
Blind Bartimaeus Reminds Us God Fills The Empty Places
We keep trying to shove things into the yawning chasm, to feed the hungry monster but it’s never satisfied. No matter how much we feed it, it’s always hungry, and so we constantly need people to tell us we’re good enough, that we matter, that we have a purpose, that they like us. For a moment we think it will be enough, but it never is. No diet can quench it; no relationship can fill it, no praise can stop it because we are trying to fill it with the wrong thing and so the cycle rages on, and we beg for more and more. We become beggars like Blind Bartimaeus on the wayside, crying please fill me up. Tell me I’m enough. Tell me I look nice. Tell me I am worth something. Tell me I did a good job…
The devil doesn’t mind if you beg, as long as you’re begging for the wrong thing because he knows as long as you are looking for what you can only find in God from the world around you will never be filled. Anytime that Jesus becomes out of focus in our life, anytime that He is shifted out of his rightful place, we become blind, begging like the Blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52 for someone to give us a handout, to fill that chasm in our lives.
Like The Blind Beggar, We Need To Throw Off Our Coats
What He wants to do in your life is so much bigger than that coat, that chasm you are trying to fill is nothing compared to Him. I’m struck by verse 51, Jesus asks the blind Bartimaeus what he wants Jesus to do for him. See Jesus already knew the answer, it wasn’t an accident that Jesus just happened to be on that road on that day. But sometimes we need to recognize our needs so He can fix our vision.
Blind Bartimaeus Reminds Us God Has Always Been There
Sometimes we have to beg for Jesus, so we will realize that he’s always been in this place, that He is the answer. He is the one that sits on the throne of our lives, not people, not our number of likes, just Him. He is the one that makes us enough; He is the one that fulfills us, He is the one that validates us. The Lord is in this place that we couldn’t fill on our own. Sometimes, we have to recognize our needs so that we like Blind Bartimaeus in scripture will say Lord I want to see.
What stands out the most to you in this story of Blind Bartimaeus?
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