Jesus and his disciples came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
Let us Pray: God of mercy and healing, you who hear the cries of those in need, receive these petitions of your people that all who are troubled may know peace, comfort, and courage. This we pray in your name Our Lord and Savior Amen.
What is the implication for us acknowledging Jesus as he truly is and for believing in Jesus and his mercy? Does acknowledging Jesus allow us to gain our sight. Is our faith as strong as Bartimaeus faith was. not giving up until he was recognized. His faith was so strong he gave up his cloak. His cloak was his most essential possession, without it he had nothing, but he was willing to give up everything he had to show his faith in Jesus and that he knew Jesus would not turn him away even though the crowd tried to silence him and his attempt to get Jesus’ attention. In going to Jesus, he let it go. In prayer there is much letting go, it is like we give up our cloak. We hand over disappointments, hurts and grief as best we can. We hand them over to the one who loves us and gives much more in return. We all carry with us certain resources that sometimes we don’t even know we have. Many times, these hidden resources come out when we are desperate and in great need. They become visible as cries for attention, cries to be recognized as more than the beggar who was an irritant. Jesus stops when he hears the cries of him who only wants to be seen, recognized, looked upon with dignity. It’s astonishing to see how Bartimaeus responds how he stands up when Jesus stops before him, even before healing his eyes. We too can help others, if only we would stop to listen to what they are saying. He may have appeared as an irritant to those around him, but Jesus recognized his need and that he had faith. He showed that faith by giving up all he had, his cloak. Bartimaeus, the man that seemed to be hopelessly lost, like many today who are in the depths of despair, found that even for him, there is a road to walk. The road to walk was with his faith with Jesus. As we walk with Jesus, we need to listen to Jesus speak as he spoke to Bartimaeus. He asks, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ we need to realize that Jesus wants to stop, to listen to our plea for help. We need to be like Bartimaeus and throw off our cloak, the cloak that we hide under and allow ourselves to stand before Jesus showing our faith and trust. There is also important lessons in this story. First it shows that persistent prayer will pay off. Bartimaeus knew that the heart of Christ was open to all and full of compassion. He knew that his prayer would be heard, if only he persisted in offering it. Second lesson is the lesson of faith. We can only know Christ truly by faith. Bartimaeus knew the heart of Christ so well because he believed in him. Even though he couldn’t see Him he saw him through the light of faith. Today we need to have that faith to believe in Him even though we can’t see him., but we can detect his presence, power, and love. Without the light of faith, we are blind to the brilliance of God’s grace. With faith our eyes are opened to the brilliance of His presence.
Let us Pray: Dear Lord show us how our faith will let us stand and shed our cloaks. Give us the strength to walk with you even though we are blind to the brilliance of your presence in our lives. This we pray in your Name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit Amen