Daily Devotion – October 19, 2021 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison

Mark 10:46-52
10:46 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.
10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
10:48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
10:49 Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”
10:50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.
10:51 Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.”
10:52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

Blind Bartimaeus. He knew all about Jesus. Jesus’s reputation had preceded Jesus’s arrival. For a long time Bartimaeus had probably been waiting for this prophet who was specifically known to heal people like blind beggars and lame people and lepers. Word had spread, and Bartimaeus was ready.

Suddenly came the day Jesus would come to Jericho. And Bartimaeus knew he was coming. Bartimaeus was ready. He cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him.  Twice.  Even though he had been hushed like a noisy child in a library.

Can’t you see it? Jesus stops still in his tracks. He tells his disciples to call Bartimaeus to him. Bartimaeus throws off his cloak and springs up and comes to Jesus as the crowd parts to let him through. Jesus asks him what he wants Jesus to do for him. “My teacher, let me see again.” Bartimaeus has been thinking about this moment for months!

Jesus tells him to go; his faith has made him well. Jesus turns away, Bartimaeus can see again, and he follows Jesus. He has waited for this moment. It happens. He can see. And he follows Jesus.

It is a simple story, but it recounts a life that is completely new because Bartimaeus knew Jesus could restore his sight with a word. Jesus says it is that faith of Bartimaeus that did the restoring. They are forever bound together because of Bartimaeus’s faith and Jesus’s faithfulness. And each is somehow changed because of his confidence in the other. When you experience someone, even yourself, whose faith has been borne out and whose life has been changed, remember blind Bartimaeus, blind no more.

Gracious God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for being the savior we need, the one we have been waiting for. Help our faith to be strong so that when we encounter you in our lives, we will know you and ask for what we need and follow you.  Thank you for being the one who changes us. Amen.