The unstoppable man
Bartimaeus was blind but he could hear. He didn’t have the sight to see Jesus, but he had the ear to hear that he (Jesus) was passing his way.
At a certain time in His ministry, Jesus and His disciples visited the city of Jericho. And as they left the metropolis, they were thronged from behind.
In the process, Bartimaeus, a blind roadside beggar who heard that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was passing by began to call out to Him as loud as he could, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
The people around him tried to shut him down. But the more they tried to make him keep quiet, the louder he shouted. He eventually got the attention of Jesus who healed him of his blindness (Matthew 10:46-52).
You cannot read the story of this blind man without being inspired by his persistent attitude. As I looked at the story again, I realised that there are many things we can learn from him.
The story of Bartimaeus was one of a beggarly blind man, who could hear, who had faith, had courage, had focus, had a voice, who proved to be unstoppable, and who got his desired miracle: restoration of sight when he encountered Jesus Christ.
The event might have happened over two thousand years ago but there are life lessons from it that we can apply today in our lives today. And that is why I am writing this post, with the hope that you will pick a lesson or two.
Here is the account of the story of blind Bartimaeus as recorded in the Gospel of Mark:
46And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
47And 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.
48And 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.
49And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
50And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. ” He began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
51And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
52And 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.
9 Good lessons you can learn from blind Bartimaeus (and apply in your life right now)
1. Bartimaeus had information that Jesus was passing by
“...When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth…”
As I observed in the introduction, Bartimaeus might have been blind, but he could hear. And he used his hearing sense very well. He had correct and timely information that Jesus was coming around.
Whatever situation you find yourself, you need the right information to bring about the desired change. For Bartimaeus, all he needed to hear was that Jesus was passing through his territory and he knew what to do with that information…
Do you have timely and accurate information at your disposal? Do you have the kind of information that will positively impart your life? Are you even actively seeking for relevant information that will make you live healthier, happier or even wealthier?
You might be shocked that the change you need right now is in the information you haven’t heard yet. Seek information.
2. Bartimaeus used the information on Jesus presence to his advantage
“He began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
It is one thing to have the correct information at your disposal. It is another to use it to your advantage. Bartimaeus got it right on both spheres.
He had the correct information that Jesus was passing by, he capitalised on it to get healed. Even if it meant creating a scene, he was not bothered.
Based on the information available at his disposal, Bartimaeus cried out and he got helped. He was not the only blind person in Jericho who might have heard that Jesus was passing by. But he did not only hear, he also acted proactively based on what he heard.
I have no doubt that blind Bartimeaus must have heard about Jesus healing the blind, the lame, the deaf and the dumb before. He had to do whatever he had to do to get the attention of Jesus, so that he too could be healed.
Bartimaeus recognised an opportunity and he took it; He knew that it was not enough to have Jesus come around his vicinity. It was his one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get healed of his blindness. So he called out to Jesus for the help he so badly needed.
What good information do you have at your disposal right now that you are not using? It is not enough to have the right information. You have to make appropriate use of it – to your advantage. Bartimaeus would have remained blind if he had not used the information he had to meet Jesus.
3. Bartimaeus had a revelation of who Jesus is
So Bartimaeus called out to Him, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
In Matthew 1:1, we have it recorded, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham…” But He is more than that: He is the long-awaited Messiah, the Saviour, the Deliverer.
Blind Bartimaeus did not only recognised Jesus as the Son of David, he also knew that the mercies of God are with Him. Hundreds of years before that time, God had promised David that He would never withdraw His mercies from him.
but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. 2 Samuel 7:15-16
Now Jesus has become the custodian of all grace… And Bartimaeus knew it!
What revelation do you have about Jesus? Is He your Saviour, healer, deliverer, helper, lover, provider, protector, master? The revelation you have about His identity will often determine how you relate with Him, or call out to Him for help like Bartimaeus did.
4. Bartimaeus showed courage in the midst of intimidation
“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.”
Bartimaeus was a very courageous man. Or how else can you explain the fact that he refused to be intimidated into silence by the many people who tried to shout him down?
Strong able-bodied men who had their sense of sight intact wanted to stop this blind man from asking Jesus for help. But, thankfully, he proved to be unstoppable; the more they tried to silence him, the more he shouted out loud. “Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Think about it, how many times you have abandoned a good project simply because everyone went against you! Learn from this man, and show courage no matter the level of intimidation you may face.
So long as you are on the right path, don’t allow anyone intimidate you into oblivion. Like blind Bartimaeus, shout if you need to!
5. Added to his courage, Bartimaeus showed persistence till he got Jesus’ attention
“And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.”
Bartimeaus persisted in the pursuit of what he wanted. The people wanted to stand in his way, but he went past them. They shouted him down many times, but he refused to be cowed until Jesus got his attention.
At long last, Jesus got to hear Bartimeaus’s call and responded, “And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise.”
I like that expression, Jesus stood still ! Why? Because of Bartimaeus’s importunity. An interesting twist to the story is that the same people who were trying to shout Bartimaeus down were the same people who were now telling him, “cheer up, Jesus is calling you.”
Don’t you think Jesus would have moved on without stopping if this man had not persisted in calling out to Him for help? You see, persistence pays! So you have to keep doing the right thing until you get the result you desire.
For instance, when you pray once and you do not see any visible result, what will you do? Quit? No – pray again, until your change comes.
6. Bartimaeus had to shed ‘excess weight’ to move closer to his goal
“And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.”
What is that excess weight that may hinder you from reaching your goal faster? For Bartimaeus, it was his garment. I don’t know how heavy it was for him to carry but the fact that he had to cast it aside to answer Jesus’s call meant that it was obstructing his free movement.
Mind you, a garment was a necessity for Bartimaeus. But at that time it was coming between him and his quest to receive his sight back, so it had to be dropped.
What is that ‘important’ thing that is holding you down? What necessity are you carrying right now that is slowing your pace of progress? It is time to cast it aside in order to move faster and closer to your goal.
7. Bartimaeus knew exactly what he wanted.
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.”
Why was Bartimaeus calling out to Jesus? He knew what he wanted!
Why did he refuse to keep quiet when the people told him to shut up? He knew what he wanted!
Why did he run as fast as he could to meet Jesus once He invited him on? He knew what he wanted!
It is not that Jesus didn’t see that Bartimaeus was blind. He wanted to afford him the privilege of making a specific request, and having it granted to him. So Jesus asked, what do you want me to do for you? Our man who already knew exactly what he wanted, replied, “that I may see Lord.”
Do you know exactly what you want in life? If you have been praying, are your requests clear and specific? It is high time you did some personal reevaluation in that regard.
If you don’t know what you want, find out. As someone I know used to say, “If you don’t define, you won’t find.”
8. Bartimaeus had faith to be healed
“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. “
We see in Bartimaeus, a man of courage, a man that knew what he wanted, a fearless man. An unstoppable person. A man with with a voice. All well and good.
But in addition to all that, Jesus himself lets us know that Bartimaeus was also a man of faith. He had the faith that Jesus could make him receive his sight back and it worked!
“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”
Faith without works is dead. Bartimaeus’s faith was not dead. It was active, vocal, proactive and well-directed. And it produced result – restoration of sight.
Faith, that’s what it takes to please God. That’s what guarantees that you will have what you asked for.
Whenever you come to God, never forget to apply your faith. It is what will make you whole!
9. Bartimaeus became a follower of Jesus at once
“And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
You might say that Bartimeaus’s decision to follow Jesus once he got his sight back was a natural response just like some other people who began to follow Jesus after He healed them. But he was not forced; it was a personal decision he made.
If you check the Gospels, you will see that there were people who were healed by Jesus but never bothered to follow Him. There were also healed people who offered to follow Jesus immediately, but He didn’t oblige them.
For Bartimaeus, everything seemed to be going for Him. Although Jesus had told him, “Go your way,” he still stayed with Jesus and Jesus allowed him.
“…”Immediately, he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” We were not told how long he followed Jesus. But he followed him all the same!
When you are blessed, you should not run away from God. If the blessing of God upon your life – be it healing, prosperity, deliverance, or whatever else God does for you – drives you away from God, it means you have handled the blessing wrongly. God does things for us to win us to His side and not to lose us.
What other lessons can we learn from the story of blind Bartimaeus?
©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne