This morning I got up early! Even though it was a holiday, my body is programmed to wake up around 6:00am. After my first cup of coffee, I settled into my daily routine of reading through the gospels. Currently, I am in the book of Mark. I have been reading the four gospels over and over repeatedly for the past eight months. When I finish the book of John, I start back over at Matthew. I have lost accurate count but, I think I am on my 4th rotation of reading through. That may not seem like much but, I travel slow! I often get side tracked and start reading footnotes or I look up a certain passage that Jesus quotes or refers to from the old testament. Before I know it, I have spent 30 minutes reading from the book of Isaiah because I get so enthralled at what is being said. I confess, I loose track of time. Spending time in God’s word is like that. Time seems to stand still.
So today’s reading was Mark chapter 10. As I was reading along, I got to verse 46, and blind Bartimaeus is introduced. Seemingly a random insert into a glimpse of time outside the town of Jericho. Suddenly, I was on the edge of my seat! I had read this story many times but, today it was if the words jumped off the page. Bartimaeus is on the side of the highway begging, and he hears that Jesus is walking by. Immediately, Bartimaeus begins to call out to Jesus, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”. As soon as the others hear his cries, they begin to hush him and rebuke him saying, “be quiet!”. Bartimaeus ignores the crowd shushing him and continues crying out to Jesus. So much so, that Jesus stops, turns and commands Bartimaeus to be brought to Him. Are you ready? This is where it gets real good. Jesus asks Bartimaeus what exactly does he want. Remember, the man is blind – no sight! I am sure that Jesus can notice this fact and I find it very interesting that Jesus asks anyway. I have realized that sometimes, God wants us to simply just ask……in doing this we admit that we are needy. When we acknowledge our needs, we set ourselves up to receive!
Bartimaeus humbly asks Jesus, that he might receive his sight. Without hesitation, Jesus grants his desire and Bartimaeus is healed. Where he once was blind, he now has sight! Amazing!
As I stopped and pondered this account, I was struck with the fact that blind Bartimaeus did NOT stay silent! Even though the crowds tried to silence him, he continued to cry out to the One whom He knew could provide what he needed. My mind began to race….what if Bartimaeus had listened to the people? What if he had obeyed them and silenced his own cries? What if he allowed their opinions to matter? Would Bartimaeus have received his miracle?
You see, I am convinced that if Bartimaeus had given in to popular opinion, he would not have gotten his sight! I know that if Bartimaeus had remained silent, he would still be sitting by the roadside, blind and begging. I believe that if Bartimaeus had not kept pursuing his one desire, he would not have obtained the thing that mattered the most to him. When we can push past the crowds and keep crying out for an encounter with Jesus, then I promise our miracle is just on the other side.
So, today I made a declaration. I will NOT stay silent! I will not listen to my peers, or even my foes, who try to silence me for telling the good news of Jesus.
Blind Bartimaeus inspired me today! I want his courage, I need his stamina. I desire his passion to encounter Jesus, even if it means crying out and looking foolish to others. Because I am convinced, just as Bartimaeus was, that Jesus is good and that when I capture His attention, it is then that I am fully satisfied!
Isaiah 62:6 – “I have set watchman upon your walls Jerusalem, they shall not hold their peace day or night; you that make mention of the LORD, do not stay silent”.