A Blind Man Healed
Matthew 20:29-34 – And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. 31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. 32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? 33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. 34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
Mark 10:46-52 – And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 48 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. 49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. 50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. 52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Luke 18:35-43 – And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. 37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. 38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, 41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. 42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
I. It seems quite evident from even a short comparison of the three scriptures, that these scriptures are speaking about one event.
A. Matthew 20 speaks about two blind men while Mark and Luke mention only blind man, Mark referring to him as “blind Bartimaeus”.
B. Mark centers the message on blind Bartimaeus, and we know he was healed.
1. We know the other blind man was also healed, as stated in Matthew 20:33.
2. Christ always healed all that came to him.
II. Mark 10:46, And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
A. The majority of the works of Christ takes place outside of church services.
1. The disciples and this vast multitude of people are traveling with Christ, but the scene before us is not a church service.
2. The multitude of the work we do as believers in Christ is not done in church services, but in the world.
3. What we do in the world reflects whether we are really serving God or not.
B. Mark 10:46 - Who is Blind Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus? Who was Timaeus?
1. Bartimaeus means “The son of Timaeus”.
2. Timaeus means “highly prized” or “honorable”.
3. It seems that Bartimaeus is well known to the Jews there about.
a. If the names mean anything, it is noted that Bartimaeus didn’t have a proper name which identified him.
b. He was known as the son of Timaeus, or Bar-Timaeus.
c. If Timaeus was “highly prized” and “honorable”, he had a son that wasn’t, evidently because of his blindness.
d. Even though we don’t know the details of this father-son relationship, the people of that day did know.
C. I am led to think that Bartimaeus was more or less cast out of his home to beg in the streets for whatever he could get.
1. At least this is what he was doing when Jesus passed by.
2. It is also true that this is the custom for the blind, maimed, and those that are physically or mentally handicapped.
3. There was no public health plan or government welfare programs.
4. If the family could not take care of them, they were forced to beg for a living.
D. When Bartimaeus cried out to Christ to heal him, he was crying out of total desperation. He had evidently been forsaken by his family, at least by his dad, and had nowhere else to turn. His continuing to cry when told to be quiet shows us how desperate he was.
1. While we may think Timaeus was very cruel (but we don’t know all the circumstances) we don’t need to hate him.
2. He will answer for his own life and the decisions thereof.
3. Bartimaeus will also answer for his, just like we will answer for ours.
III. One thing we need to remember is that the circumstances Bartimaeus found himself in forced him to look unto Christ.
A. Could it be possible that God allowed Timaeus to forsake his son (if he had indeed forsaken him), and then used that sin and the surrounding circumstances to draw him to salvation?
B. If that is so, then it is a very good thing that has happened.
C. Romans 8:28 states that everything works to the good of those that love God, to them who are called according to his purposes.
1. Here is an example of importunity in prayer.
a. The untoward circumstances the blind men were in forced them to call out desperately to God, who alone can give them vision.
b. The cruel circumstances of our life should cause us to cry out in desperation to God, who alone can save us from our present circumstances, and from ourselves.
2. See their great humility in prayer.
a. They do not expect God to do anything, but they know if he doesn’t help them, they will not be helped.
b. They cry “have mercy on us”, over and over again.
c. They are not ashamed to ask, therefore they will receive.
d. Those who depend upon themselves often do not receive, or those that ask amiss, because they consume it upon their own lusts.
3. They show their faith in prayer, believing that the God of mercies will have mercy on them.
a. The confessed that Jesus is Lord, or God.
b. They call him the son of David, openly declaring he is the Messiah of Israel.
4. They persevered in prayer.
a. They did not stop praying when the multitude told them to be quiet, but continued in fervent supplication to Christ.
b. Even if Christ did not pay much attention to them at first, they continued to beseech him for help.
c. According to Matthew 20:32, Jesus stood still, which reflects that Christ continued walking while they cried out to him.
d. Christ made no movement toward them, but they continued to beseech him as he continued to ignore them.
D. Comparing Mark 10:48 and 49 – note the difference in the multitude.
1. In verse 48, they told Bartimaeus to be quiet, then in verse 49, they encourage him as he approaches Christ.
2. Don’t go by the multitude – they will often, unwittingly, lead you astray.
3. Flee only to Christ, who will never lead you wrong.
4. Be open in your desire to obey his precepts, and he will lift you up.
E. Jesus stood still.
1. Jesus had apparently continued walking as Bartimaeus continued to cry to him to have mercy on him.
2. Sometimes it seems Christ is not paying any attention to us, but he is.
F. Bartimaeus cast off his garment of blindness.
1. This is a sign to everybody that he is going to receive that which he asked for.
2. He anticipates he is going to be different from what he has been because of the power of God working in him, yet he is still the same blind man who sat by the way side begging.
3. Faith in action.
G. Jesus asked him what he wanted.
1. Jesus already knew what he wanted, just as Jesus already knows what we want and need.
2. Just the same, Jesus expects us to tell him what we want and what we need.
3. Bartimaeus told Christ what he wanted, just as we must tell Christ what we want and need.
4. Bartimaeus then received what he desired, not because he was good, but because of the mercy of God toward him.
H. Bartimaeus followed Christ, rejoicing.
1. Bartimaeus was not given instruction that he was supposed to follow Jesus, but followed Christ willingly and joyfully.
2. Believers should not have to be given instruction that they need to follow Christ in scriptural baptism and being a part (more than a member) of a local church; daily Bible reading, praying and learning – growing up in the Lord.
3. Following Christ should be “natural” to the believer.