The Faith of Bartimaeus

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One of the things I took away from SEEK was that I need to spend more time in sacred scripture. My goal is to spend at least 10 minutes a day (but hopefully more) prayerfully reading from the Bible. One of the passages I read today was this one:

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, he is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. Mark 10: 46-52

Two things stand out to me about Bartimaues’ faith. First, in his day, being blind made you one of the lowliest in society. You were completely dependent on the generosity of those around you to make it through life. You had to live the life of a beggar.  Yet, despite his status in society, he confidently calls out to Jesus. He ignores the people around him telling him to be quiet. He knows who Jesus is and what he can do and his faith allows him to reach out to him for healing. And Jesus does heal him, because of that faith. The second thing that stands out to me is that once he is healed he follows Jesus. He can now see and would be able to be a contributing member of society. He could do anything he wants now. And he chooses to follow Christ! That tells me something amazing about his faith.

I feel like if I were in Bartimaeus’ shoes I would have felt too unworthy to even ask for Jesus’ help. That’s how I often feel in my sin. I have a sin on my heart and know that I am unholy and it makes me afraid to reach out. I hear people around me telling me not to, whether it be because they don’t believe Christ is who he says he is or because they, too, think I’m unworthy. But it is precisely when we feel at our lowest that Christ wants to lift us up and show us all that we can be.  I want the faith of Bartimaeus that allows me to confidently call out to Jesus and ask him for help, because he is the only one who can help me. And I want to be the kind of person who follows Christ after he heals me. Sometimes, I just use him for what he can give me. I reach out to him to heal me and once he does I head out on my way again. Not always, but sometimes. I want to be faithful to him as he is to me. I want to stay with him even when things are going well and don’t feel like I need him. Because, really I always need him. There is always room for me to grow and to heal more. I just don’t always realize it. I want the faith of Bartimaeus to trust and follow Christ no matter what.

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