In Mark 10, we see a passage of scripture that illustrates the beauty of Jesus and the incredible faith of an individual. This story begins in verse 46.
“And they came to Jericho. And as [Jesus] was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.”
We are quickly introduced to an individual whom many of us would avoid: a beggar sitting next to a well-traveled area. Unfortunately, nearly all of us can relate to the time(s) when we saw the person begging and turned our families in the other direction or to the other side of the road. We know the feeling that most of the crowd with Jesus felt towards this beggar. Instead of just letting the crowd continue by, though, we are going to learn the story of this beggar. Note this: Mark doesn’t leave this beggar unnamed. In the story of Jesus, those who seem insignificant are significant. Bartimaeus is going to realize it is Jesus, and you can easily envision what happens next.
“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!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
I can see this image vividly. The homeless beggar in the crowd, shouting with words that most people care little about. Suddenly, we see this homeless man making a scene towards Jesus. What scares me: I probably would be in the Jesus following crowd who would be trying to silence this individual. I would probably say something along the lines of, “Stop trying to proclaim Jesus… you don’t really understand Him!” Where would you be? Would you also be trying to silence Bartimaeus? Would you be trying to withhold an individual from Jesus because they look different or of another social status than we are? Would you be trying to withhold an individual from Jesus because they may not understand all the tiny things about your version of Christianity?
Even through this ridicule Bartimaeus received from Jesus followers, he still was calling out for Jesus. When he was silenced, he cried out louder. He wanted Jesus badly. Look how Jesus responds to this.
“And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.”
You can hear the shock (and maybe irritation?) in their voices. “Good for you, dude. He is calling you over there.” And Bartimaues leaps from where he is and runs over to Jesus.
“And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.”
Jesus had mercy on the one who was being scorned. At the very least, we can take that message from this passage. I’d present another concept, though. Bartimaeus realized that Jesus was worth making a noise. He realized that Jesus was worth going against the crowd. He realized that Jesus was worth facing scorn and ridicule. He realized that Jesus could heal in a way where it didn’t matter what it took: he had to get to Him.
Have I allowed myself to reach this point in my relationship with Christ? Have I been a Jesus follower who doesn’t think Jesus is worth making a noise for? Have I forgotten that Jesus has done more for me than simply restoring my sight?
This week, think about a blind beggar named Bartimaeus and how he had the faith to let Jesus change his life. He had the faith to make noise for Jesus. Let’s challenge ourselves this week to be a Bartimaues and to make noise for Jesus wherever we go, and perhaps our faith will change the lives of someone around us!