A Cloud of Witness – Blind Bartimaeus
“As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging” (Mark 10:46).
Canadian Pierre-Paul Thomas was born blind. A congenital condition had damaged his optic nerves, but the greatest problem was the thick cataracts in his eyes. Other than being able to detect light and dark and very rough forms, he had no practical vision. After living with blindness for sixty-six years, Pierre-Paul accidentally fell down some stairs and shattered the delicate bones around his eyes. When it came time for cosmetic surgery, the surgeon asked if he would like them to also fix his eyes.
Although he was shocked by the news that he might see, he gave his consent and soon had functional vision for the first time. He described the experience as feeling like a child again, marveling at the shapes and colours he had never seen before. To one born into a shadowy, gray world, the new sights were overwhelming and beautiful!
We don’t know whether Bartimaeus – the blind beggar from the city of Jericho – was born blind or whether his blindness was the result of an accident or illness. But we know from Scripture that he had a great desire to see. When he heard that Jesus was in the multitude moving past him, Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47).
People tried to hush him, but he called out even louder.
Jesus heard the cry of this helpless man, this outcast whom most others ignored. The Lord stopped walking and called the man to Him. In response, Bartimaeus cast off his garment and made his way to Jesus as fast as he could manage. When Jesus asked what He could do for him, the blind man asked for sight. Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well” (verse 52).
The Bible tells us sight came to Bartimaeus immediately. Overwhelmed by the beautiful face of his Healer, he did indeed “go his way” – he followed Jesus!
Precious Jesus, remove my cataracts of sin, that I may clearly see Your beauty and follow You today!