Leaving Bet She’an, we traveled along the highway that runs along the path of the Jordan River and wound up back in Jericho. We were just outside of Jericho at the end of our Wadi Qelt hike earlier in the trip. It feels like we have just been zig zagging all over this little county. I guess that is what happens when you try to relive the entire known life of Jesus in 10 short days.
While in Jericho we focused on the ministry of Jesus while he was in this city. We usually remember the story of Zaccheus in the Sycamore tree, but I love the story of Blind Bartimaus.
Jesus is probably 10-12 days out from the cross when he passes through Jericho for the last time. By this point he is wildly popular and the crowds are all around him. In the midst of the craziness, some blind guy starts calling out to him.
And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” – Mark 10:46-47, ESV
Though people are trying to keep him quiet, the blind man will not be deterred. He desperately wants to be heard by Jesus. It works! He is heard, and he is called forward.
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. – Mark 10:48-52, ESV
I love the words that define this man’s actions. When Jesus called him, he threw off his cloak and sprang up (can you sense the urgency in these phrases?) and came to Jesus.
This man may have been blind, but somehow he was able to see better than I can at times! He was able to see his deep need for Jesus. He was able to see that Jesus alone is worth calling out to even when others tell you to be quiet. He was able to see that quick obedience is best when he was called to.
Oh that I may see as well as Blind Bartimaus!