In this short glance at Jesus’ healing ministry, a blind beggar begins by sitting on the side of the road, then ends up on his feet, following Jesus. Is this the transformation that Jesus offers us too? Maybe so, but the middle part is critical. We must call upon Jesus’ holy name more than we call upon everyone else that passes by where we sit, because Jesus is the one with the healing power. The blind beggar knew this, and said, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” He would only do this if he had faith that Jesus could provide what he needed the most. And his own faith turned out to be the cure.
In Mark, Bartimaeus is not the first person seeking a miracle who approaches Jesus in faith, but he is the only one who winds up following him, presumably straight into Jerusalem and into his confrontation with the temple-based aristocracy. After ten chapters full of so much secrecy, confusion, and misapprehension, Bartimaeus shows Mark’s readers that faith in Jesus remains possible and potent. Without Bartimaeus, and others in Mark like him who tenaciously cling to Jesus out of faith born from their urgent needs, this Gospel would offer little assurance that anyone could have the spiritual insight to perceive the mysterious ways of God in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ.
What healing miracle would you call out to Jesus for, if he walked by where you sat today? What first inspired you to follow Jesus? What has continued to inspire you to follow Jesus?
Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.