As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus . . . was sitting by the roadside begging.
Bartimaeus met Jesus. In the book of Mark, there are many stories about Jesus healing people, and Bartimaeus’s story is remarkable in several ways.
Mark takes the trouble to tell us his name, Bartimaeus, while many other people who met Jesus are just called “a man in the crowd” or “a woman subject to bleeding.” We are also told that Bartimaeus followed Jesus after being healed, and this event happens only a short time before Jesus goes to Jerusalem to die on the cross.
Jesus told Bartimaeus that his faith had healed him. Bartimaeus believed not in himself but in Jesus’ power to heal. When he saw Jesus, he called him “Jesus, Son of David,” a royal title. And when Bartimaeus went to Jesus, he threw his cloak aside. Bartimaeus was willing to toss aside perhaps the only thing he owned in order to seek Jesus. And when Jesus asked what he wanted, he simply said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
No matter who we are, we can approach Jesus with the same kind of simple faith. We can trust that Jesus will heal us and save us by his power alone, and we can follow him.
Jesus, help us trust in your power to heal. Give us faith like Bartimaeus. Help us to believe, and guide us to give up everything every day to follow you. Amen.
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