The man was sitting by the busy roadside. He was one of the powerless, one of the useless; he was a man with no leverage, what could he do for anybody or even for himself — he was blind and a beggar. Bartimaeus lived when all there was for him was to sit by the highway and beg…for mercy, for food. When it rained, when the cold penetrated his robe, when the sun scorched his skin — who cared.
One day everything changed. As he sat by the side of the road, it got noisy, busy, loud —
“Blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that 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 . . . ”
I often read some before I go to bed. A few nights ago as I read Mark 10, this story touched me profoundly: The blind man began to cry out, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me” — then louder “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me”
“And Jesus stood still.”
Later the same night, or rather at 4:30 in the morning, the phone rang. Our daughter in law called that our granddaughter had a dangerously feverish body. We prayed over the phone, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on our little girl.” Then our son and daughter in law rushed to the 24 hour pharmacy with the doctor’s instructions. By morning her fever had cooled and she was smiling again.
Jesus knew very well what the blind man needed, craved, cried out for — but he still asked 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.
Have you heard the song, “Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus; anywhere, everywhere, I will follow on — ”
If we want something of Jesus we must actually ask.