Life and Teachings of Christ II
Whole Word Life Christian University
April 15, 2012
A FAITH MOVE
Jesus and his disciples encountered a blind man as they headed to Jerusalem from Jericho. This blind man, begging on the side of the road, heard that Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples were near. With news having spread of many of Jesus’s miracles that had taken place in Nazareth, the blind man was desperate to reach Jesus at all cost. This blind man was Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. How Jesus responded to his cry for help and the impact of what it led him to do is simply beautiful.
The most poignant thing about Bartimaeus is the fact that he was blind and in need of his sight. But he was more than just that. He was a blind beggar whose very name means “son of the unclean”. His father, Tameus’ name has a dual meaning - one being “the unclean” and the other “precious or valuable”. This makes Bartimaeus the “son of the precious unclean”. This gives way to a fuller picture of Bartimaeus – poor, blind, beggar and son of the unclean, yet precious.
II. A CRYING OUT
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho on their way to Jerusalem, Bartimaeus was sitting near the road side begging. He heard that Jesus of Nazareth was approaching. And perhaps the fact that Nazareth was both well known for numerous miracles Jesus performed as well as the place he made his original declaration of being Christ was what caused Bartimaeus to cry out to him for mercy. His cry for mercy to “…Jesus, thou son of David”, was a petition for compassion from the one he believed to be the seed of David and the eternal king God had promised. The Greek word used for compassion is eleos, which means an active compassion. His cry was more than just a vocal plea. Scripture speaks of lepers lifting up their voices as an example of crying out, which indicates the inflection of Bartimaeus’ voice was more of a shout. “And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” (Luke 17: 12-13).
III. IN THE MIDST OF THE MULTITUDE
As Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus, there were a great number of people around of whom many admonished him to be silent and not to speak. The Greek word used for the crowd rebuking Bartimaeus is epitimao. This very word was used by Jesus to rebuke the fever of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. “And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them” (Luke 4:39). How timely the devil can be when we are in hot pursuit of the Lord. Bartimaeus’ shout of enthusiasm toward the Jesus appeared to the crowd as undignified and associated with an evil spirit, not of God. And in their eyes and limited perspective, this spirit and behavior deemed rebuking. It was the devil’s intent to shut Bartimaeus’ mouth and have him ashamed for petitioning the only one who could supply so great a need.
IV. A FERVENT CRY
No rebuke from a crowd was going to shut Bartimaeus’ mouth. He was determined that Jesus would hear his cry. After many attempted to get him to discontinue petitioning the Lord, he lifted his voice all the more. He did not shy away when the crowd tried to get him to hush. He was neither embarrassed by nor apologetic to the crowd for their rebuke and contempt at his loud outcry. It did not matter how or what they saw him as. His heart and mind was set on reaching Jesus. “And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:38). You cannot believe if you are seeking honor from men instead of seeking honor from God alone. An integral part of faith is seeking God only…