Saturday, February 25, 2012

Luke Part 59: Bartimaeus Receives Sight

Text: Luke 18:35-43

This passage is a most encouraging section of Scripture.  It is a perfect picture of Jesus dealing mercifully with a sinner.  In the previous sections in Luke, we have seen some examples of blindness: the young ruler who was willfully blind (he couldn't see the way of salvation and walked away from it) and the disciples who couldn't see Jesus' need to die to fulfill the way to salvation.  This is an example of a physically blind man who saw.

Blind Bartimaeus (as we learn his name from the other gospels) was told that Jesus was coming by.  He knew Jesus.  Someone had told him about Jesus.  Let's look at how Bartimaeus responds when he hears Jesus is coming by, noting the close parallels of this account and the testimony of all who have been saved from spiritual blindness:

1.  He calls out.  He knows the name "Jesus", meaning a Savior for sinners.

2.  He calls Him, "Son of David."  He knows this is the Messiah and identifies Him as such.

3.  He asks for something.  He has an urgent request and he is ready to make it known.  He knows Jesus, knows that Jesus has the power to help him, and he has the audacity to ask for mercy.

4.  He makes the request personal, saying "Jesus, have mercy on me."

The people around him are shutting him up, telling him to be quiet.  Jesus is going to Jerusalem; He is busy; leave Him alone.

5.  But the blind man perseveres.  He cries out all the louder in response.

He is incapacitated by his blindness.  He can't get closer to Jesus on his own; he is totally dependent on Jesus.  But Jesus has mercy and says, "Bring him to me."  And Jesus asks him what he wants.

6.  Bartimaeus calls Jesus "Lord".  He acknowledges Him as Lord, and asks that he might regain his sight.

Jesus is a good and loving Master, and he healed Bartimaeus.  In the same way, Jesus heals us and brings us into His family, giving us free access to Him and bringing us all the way to glory.  He is a good Savior, a complete Savior, and He finishes all that He begins.

What is Bartimaeus' response?  The same as any true follower of Jesus should be:  He follows Jesus, proclaiming what He has done, spending his life glorifying God.  His testimony of what God has done spurs others into glorifying God too.  May our lives, like this man's, be a testimony of God's grace and an encouragement to all around us to praise God!

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