“I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16).
Bartimeus begged by the road. Unlike many who had already seen Jesus miraculously manifest Himself as a Heavenly ambassador, Bartimeus hadn’t seen Him, but he did believe… even more so than most of them.
Bartimeus was aware of his condition and need; and when he found out Jesus was passing through, he began to cry out in faith.
We don’t I know whether the disciples were bothered by his persistent cries, but Jesus called for him, and he left his only possession, got up and went toward Jesus.
His request was specific and Jesus answered specifically. He also told him to leave, but the man followed Him. He had already left his cloak. He had already left his past life of disability. He had nothing to lose. He had just gained everything.
Before, he had begged by the road, now Jesus had set him on the road. Bartimeus had been saved by much more than crying out and Jesus had given him back much more than eyesight.
In William MacDonald’s Bible Commentary we read, “His gratitude was expressed through a grateful discipleship, by following Jesus on His last journey to Jerusalem. It must have encouraged the Lord ‘s heart to find such faith in Jericho, while on His way to the Cross. It was good for Bartimaeus to seek the Lord that day because the Savior never again went by that road” (p. 599).
In his novel, Essay on Blindness, José Saramago suggests a partly real and imaginary setting, where the characters strive to survive a blindness that goes beyond a physical illness. At one point, he says, “I believe we did not go blind, I believe we are blind; blind who see, blind who, even while seeing, do not see.”
It would be very sad if, after having received so much light, we would remain in our condition of being spiritually blind or lost.
Today Jesus hears our cry (are you crying out?), takes us out of the roadside and places us in the middle of the road. Let’s make good use of this opportunity. Jesus is passing by today.