Grace For The Journey
Have you heard of the “Be My Eyes” app? It’s a non-profit app for your phone that allows you to help others see. Imagine a blind person needing help locating something in his home and you’ll understand the value of this app. Using the phone’s camera, a sight-impaired person can point the phone at what he or she cannot see as a volunteer provides guidance through video chat. Designed by a visually impaired man in Denmark, this free application has been used countless times in the last several years. Here’s how one person describes the way she “lent her eyes” to help another see: “The other day, I connected with a young man who wanted to know the expiration date of the milk in his refrigerator. He positioned his phone’s camera to the top shelf. Looking at the image of the milk carton on my phone, I said, ‘I wouldn’t drink that if I were you.’ He laughed, thanked me and that was the end of our call.” Isn’t that fantastic?! You may wish to download the app if you’d like to help others with similar tasks.
Jesus Christ helps us see. And He corrects both physical and spiritual vision. From Mark 10:46-52, we learn several truths about the man known historically as “Blind Bartimaeus.”
Consider His Condition.
Verse 46 tells us, “Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.” Bartimaeus’ condition is clear: he is blind and he is poor. Recalling my post from yesterday, Bartimaeus would be a candidate to an outcast. Like Matthew the tax collector, Bartimaeus is a candidate for the island of misfits. This marginalized beggar calls upon Jesus, the friend of sinners.
Verse 47 says, ”And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’” Bartimaeus yearns to see! He cries out loudly to Jesus, so loud we are told in verses48-49 that many warned him to lower his voice, “Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So, Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
Note the powerful truth in this passage . . .
Jesus makes time
For those who cry out.
He is there for those
Who know they need help.
Bartimaeus throws aside his garment and runs to Jesus.
Verse 51 tells us what happened, “So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’” This is a cry for physical healing. It was Bartimaeus’ physical eyesight that needed correction. There was nothing wrong with his spiritual eyesight.
Consider His Confession.
Especially significant is the confession embedded in Bartimaeus’ plea for physical healing: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Bartimaeus does not merely
Address Jesus as rabbi or rabboni,
Both respectful if not reverential titles.
He addresses him as “Jesus, Son of David.”
Put another way: “Jesus, the promised Messiah,”
“Jesus, the Promised One who would come
From the lineage of King David.”
Bartimaeus could just as easily have said,
“Jesus, my Savior and Lord.”
Though blind physically, he sees well spiritually.
Verse 52 sums up what happened next, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed and followed Jesus on the road.” Bartimaeus was healed! Now Bartimaeus could see both physically and spiritually.
3) Considered His Consecration.
The chapter ends with Bartimaeus’ indicating full surrender of his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The last few words of verse 52, the last few words of the chapter read, “And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”
After his healing . . .
Bartimaeus follows Jesus
As one he desired,
Is devoted to,
Dedicated to following.
What a wonderful picture
Of true discipleship,
True following of the Lord Jesus!
I see a few points of application that surface from our study of Bartimaeus and his encounter with Christ.
* You Can be Blind, but See.
Bartimaeus was blind physically, but he could see spiritually. He was blind of body, but not of soul. Think about that for a moment.
- He had not seen or witnessed any of the Lord’s miracles.
- He had never once seen the Lord touch lepers and heal them.
- He had never seen Jesus heal or cure any person of any illness.
- He had not seen the Lord Jesus raise the dead by merely speaking a word.
He had not seen any of this – yet he believed. Many people demand some great sign or supernatural working of God before believing in Christ.
Christians live and walk by faith, not by sight. It’s not a blind faith. It is a faith based upon fact; the facts of the Gospel. We “see,” through the eyes of faith – believing and accepting what Jesus has done for us in His life, death, and resurrection.
Several years ago I read about a strange fish of a family called the Anableps. It’s a strange species of fish found in Central America and parts of South America. It’s a kind of fish that has two sets of eyes. It’s actually one set, but its eyes divide the water line, enabling the fish to see two ways: above water and under water. A Christian is someone who is also capable of seeing two ways, both physically and spiritually.
* You can See, but be Blind.
Bartimaeus was able to see spiritually, but before Jesus healed him, he was unable to see physically. On the other hand, there are many people who can see physically, but are blind spiritually.
This principle is similar
To yesterday’s post
About being sick,
Thinking you’re well.
Remember what Jesus said to Matthew the Tax Collector? He said, “I did not come for those who are sick and think they are well; I have come for those who want to be well because they know they are sick.” Similarly, a person may have the ability to see, but really be blind. Maybe you’ve heard the old aphorism:
“There is no one so blind
As one who refuses to see!”
Remember Bartimaeus’ condition? Blind, poor, outcast. What was true of Bartimaeus’ physical condition is true of every man’s spiritual condition – every man, every woman, every young person. We are all blind, poor, and outcast because of our sin.
Do you believe this? You must believe you are sick before you can be made well. You must acknowledge your spiritual blindness, before you can see. Sometimes we don’t see the truth because we don’t want to see the truth. It’s like avoiding a full-length mirror because we don’t like seeing a body in need of diet and exercise! We may shield our eyes from things we don’t like to see, whether those things are physical or spiritual.
Ask yourself: “Is the reason I cannot see spiritually because – deep down – I don’t like what I see? I don’t want to believe the Gospel? I don’t want to believe the Bible? I don’t want to surrender my life to God?”
* If You Can See, You Must Help Others See.
Jesus was always willing to be interrupted. Are you willing to be interrupted by the spiritually blind? Do you take time to help them see? It’s like the “Be My Eyes” app, but used spiritually. Who will you meet today who needs your help spiritually? How can you lend them your spiritual eyes in the hopes that they too may be able to see the truth of the gospel?
How Sweet the Sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
was blind but now I see
This is God’s Word …
This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”