My name is Bartimae’us and I have been blind from birth. I was born into a Jewish home during Herod The Great’s rule. My parents tell me I was cursed by God who made me blind because of the sin of our ancestors It is hard for me to believe this, but all the teachers of Moses’ Law say it is true. Most people don’t want anything to do with me.
I am pitied by many.
Loved by none.
From an early age my parents left me on the side of the road to beg, because this was the only way I could earn my keep. Soon after my 13th birthday, when I became a man, my parents left brought me by Jericho’s city gates and never came back.
I have never heard from them again.
I have no family now.
Day after day I come to the same spot to beg. Years have past and I still barely have enough money to eat. My clothes are rags others throw at me. Yet, I have listened closely to the stories of my people and heard how the Prophets speak about the Messiah – the one who is to come from God. He will be born of the House of King David and the Holy Books speak of how the power of The Lord will flow through him to heal the sick and cast out demons. He comes to rule Israel and usher in a great time of blessing.
I wait for him.
My hope is in him.
There is talk of one man who works wonders. He heals the sick, drives out demons, and has even given sight to the blind! Some say he is of the Devil. Some say he is from God. Some say he is a fraud. But, what amazing things he does! Do I dare believe in him? I have met some of his followers. They talk to me about how wise and holy he is. They Feed me. Touch me. Love me? Their kindness lifts my heart. If only I could meet this man. Jesus of Nazareth. Could it be?
Could I be healed one day?
Lord give me faith!
Then came the day that changed everything. I heard talk of Jesus coming to my town! Here, to Jericho. There were hundreds, maybe thousands gathered around him. My heart sank. Why would he notice me? I am the poorest of the poor. But, I tell myself not to despair. The stories about him talk of how he eats with prostitutes and tax collectors. He touches lepers. Why wouldn’t he notice me?! The gate to the city where I sit is narrow. He must pass this way and the crowd must thin in order to go inside the city. Maybe. Just maybe.
Jesus is coming. I hear the crowd get louder!
I hear his voice! He teaches them!
He speaks with such gentleness!
He is only feet from me. My heart is beating so fast! Now I must talk to him. I still fear, but what have I to lose? So, I urgently cry out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Most people around me try to quiet me. They yell at me, rebuke me, and curse me. “Quiet” they say. I will not listen to them. So, I yell even louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then I hear Jesus says, “call him.” The crowd quiets. My heart stops beating for a moment. Could it be? One of his followers, one of the gentle ones, tells me the words my heart has always longed for:
“Take heart; rise, he is calling you.”
I throw off my mantle and jump up. What do I need it for anyway?
I throw off my sin.
I throw off my anger.
I throw off my hate.
I am brought before the most amazing man I have ever talked to and he asks me a simple question, “what do you want me to do for you?”
What do I want? I want love. I want acceptance. I want a house. I want to belong.
I want to see!
I want to see The Messiah!
“Master, let me receive my sight!”
Jesus responds with words I still in awe about, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”
I CAN SEE! I CAN SEE! I CAN SEE!
He is the one. This is The Messiah! He drove out the darkness from my eyes and my heart. He heals. He loves me. He chose me. I can see! What beauty! What brightness! What glory! Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. Thank you…
My way, Lord, is your way.
I will follow you!
Now my friends, it is your turn. Do you still doubt Jesus can perform miracles in your life? If He is God, and I assure you He is, then He can do all things. He forgives your sin, if you let Him.
He loves you. Will you love Him?
He chooses you. Will you choose Him?
He merely awaits your choice.
Will you follow this Jesus of Nazareth with me?
Come, I will show you what it is to know His way.
Take my hand.
Rise and let him heal the blindness of your heart.
“Take heart; rise, he is calling you.”
“And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimae’us, a blind beggar, the son of Timae’us, 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; rise, he is calling you.” And throwing off his mantle 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, “Master, let me receive my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.”