And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.  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!”  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.  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. Mark 10:46-52

There he sat, day after day. Begging, thinking. Begging, hearing stories of Jesus’ healing miracles. Begging yet again another day and contemplating what he might do if Jesus ever came his way. If Jesus healed other blind people, he could heal him. Bartimaeus was not too proud to cry out to him. When Jesus did come by, Bartimaeus caused a huge disturbance. He was determined to have Jesus meet his desperate need, relieve him of his dire circumstances, and take away his darkness. This Galilean was not just some celebrity he hoped to encounter but the very King himself, the Son of David, from whom he hoped to plead for mercy.

Bartimaeus lived at the bottom of his society. Bringing his need to Jesus was his only way up. In contrast, the disciples of Jesus thought they had position and status by being close to Jesus, privileged to be the select few. They were even discussing who was the greatest. Jesus made many attempts to help them “see” and understand, and even had to ask Peter, “who do you say I am?” But Bartimaeus knew his need, he was at the end of himself. He immediately recognized Jesus as the Son of David, quickly came running when he called, was instantly healed and unselfishly followed him.

We all desperately need Jesus, whether we realize our need(s) or not. And do we realize too, that only the Son of God can take care of our deepest, most profound needs. Jesus knows your needs, is listening, and desires to bring you up out of your darkness into his light. Have you come to the end of yourself? What do you want him to do for you? Run to Jesus with your needs, big or small. Reflect on where Jesus has been with you in your areas of need. Cry out to him for mercy for the needs you still feel need to be met. Rejoice and thank him for the ways he has shown you mercy. Follow him in gratitude.

By Donna Burns