Blindness is a disease or condition that let the person who suffers it with the inability to see. This person nowadays is considered and classified as disabled. It is a kind of disability that at that time in history was much more that, it was considered an unclean person. A blind person had restrictions to follow, such as where he or she could appear, and even how other persons could reach him or her.
As a physical defect blindness disqualified priests from sacrificing or approaching the altar (Lev. 21:17–23) and rendered sacrificial animals unacceptable (Lev. 22:21–22; Deut. 15:21; Mal. 1:8). Some have taken the enigmatic saying “the blind and the lame shall not come into the house” (II Sam. 5:8) to indicate that at one time these were forbidden to enter the temples.
Jesus was a different kind of priest, His purity in a unique matter could reach the unclean, and instead of Him becoming unclean, He could clean and restore the person that He touched to a perfect condition. Other examples of this are found in the Bible such as the woman with the bleeding condition or Jairo’s daughter that got resurrected by Him.
As Christ approached Jericho, the crowd greeted him as they followed Him coming from Peraieh along with the disciples. It was normal to Jesus being called by all sorts of names and titles, most of them referring Him to great characters of the Jewish history. He even asked His disciples, what sort of names people were using to describe Him (Mark 8:27), “Who they say that I am?” He asked. He was used to be called names, and to be “bothered” by all sort of question and requirements. In Jericho was no different, but an unusual thing happened that differ from other places. Jesus was called differently by someone unexpected, the blind man called Bartimaeus.
As we stressed that subject above, this man was living in the name of his father, Timaeus, which means honor. Timaeus was probably dead, or in no condition to take care of his blind son, that became a beggar for obvious conditions of subsistence. Bartimaeus had in his possession a cape that was considered by people on that time, a piece of cloth to be worn by someone of importance. This man was living a lie, and everybody could see that but him, that could even not see himself.
As beggar at the city door, he was well informed, and when he heard that crowd coming as they followed the Jesus of Nazareth, he immediately remembered the prophecies about that one that would be the Messiah. The fame was already stuck in Jesus, he would be from the heritage of David, of his sons that would gain back the throne of Israel.
When the beggar started to cry out, Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me, people that were around him told him to be quiet and stop yelling out to Jesus. These people did not understand the spiritual cry, or the sort of mystery that surrounded that blind man, who believed that something was about to come his way.
The crowd here represents the obstacles in any believer’s life, obstacles that we have to overcome to get closer to God. Our human reason tends to tell us how to plan our lives in rock solid grounds, visualizing that if we plan we will get were we hope to be. What we do not consider is the supernatural, or the miracles that can change our situation in an instant. As beggars, we need to get across and shout louder than the crowd that reminds us every moment of our true condition and blindness, asking for help on the side of the road of life.
The more people told him to be quiet, the louder he became. The blind beggar “saw” something that natural eyes could not never see, a spiritual heritage that could change his condition once and for all.
As loud as a crowd can be, his yelling made its way to Jesus' ears and He told the beggar to present himself. Bartimaeus understood, that before Jesus no cape was necessary, no heritage was greater and no telling was needed. The one that knew all things was there. He left the cape and when he got to Jesus, He made the question that some would consider dumb, knowing that Jesus knew the condition of Bartimaeus as the Jericho’s blind man. “What do you want me to do for you?” (v.51). By asking the blind man this question, Christ thought us a lesson, that by sounding our needs we declare the size of our faith.
The man did not ask for a cane, or a dog, not even for money, or a medical treatment. He asked for a resolution to his condition because he had faith on one, who he was asking for. The letter to Hebrews tells us to enter the sanctuary with boldness by the blood of Christ and that is exactly what Bartimaeus did. We as Christian should take this blind beggar as an example. He did not look to his human condition, but aside from his situation he did not comply with the crowd.
The blind man once more, show us that he could see beyond human sight, and that faith is beyond what is visible, as said in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. His faith paid off when Jesus told him to see, as his faith would state that he believed, and in no magical, or ritual moment, his first sight was the face of the One who has given sight to us all.
The astonished crowd saw a miracle on the life of the poor beggar, who dared against all of them. He called the messiah by a different name, a name that he had probably learned of his power and deliverance, that he would bring whenever he would come, a name that made both of them relate on that contradicted heritage, both sons, one of Timaeus the other of David, having an opposite history, but with a destiny together, as Jesus went to the Calvary for all of us, to make us sons and daughters of God.
Bartimeaus followed Jesus, without going back to his cape, that was the flag of his old history, a statement about his old life, when he lived by the name of his father, at the side of a dusty road, asking for the mercy of the travelers, so they could share some coins that would give him some more time to live in that same condition.
We can learn with this beautiful history, knowing that the Lord want to change us from inside out, He want to touch on the cause not the surroundings of our lives, He wants to give sight, not a pair of glasses, not a dog to guide us, not a cane. That poor man got the meaning, using his faith he just stood up and became a disciple. As you and me should believe and understand in Faith the grand power of the Son of David.
Chances are you are among the massive majority of Christians who rarely or never fast. It’s not because we haven’t read our Bibles or sat under faithful preaching or heard about the power of fasting, or even that we don’t genuinely want to do it. We just never actually get around to putting down the fork.
Did you know that almost six out of ten teens leave the church at some point? Nearly 60% of high school students who grow up going to church will close the doors to a Christian life. And usually, they don't come back (survey by the Barna Group). "Because of people breaking the laws and sin being everywhere, the love in the hearts of many people will become cold." Matthew 24:12