I Want To See!!
He could hear the crowds approaching long before many others could. His heightened sense of hearing surpassed the average seeing multitudes. He was accustomed to the noises of the small village where he lived…sheep bleating, the squeals of little children playing, locals trading in the market, the clank of a random coin dropped in a beggar’s bowl. The endless days rolled by and the sounds of life rarely changed, nor did the circumstances of poor Bartimaeus. You see, he was blind.
The sound of excitement and wonder that he heard from the approaching multitude stood in stark contrast to the daily monotony Bartimaeus called life. As the noise from crowd neared, Bartimaeus desperately inquired of someone, anyone, who was near, “What is happening?” Momentarily distracted from the excitement by his annoying persistence, a few in the growing crowd told him, “It is the prophet Jesus…He is here, in our town!” Bartimaeus’ heart immediately began pounding in his chest as years, even decades, of hopeless resignation turned to hope. With reckless abandon, Bartimaeus screams pierced the boundaries of propriety as he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The crowd around him cringed at his lack of social grace in the presence of the Prophet and they quickly tried to silence the emboldened, blind beggar. But the finely tuned hearing of a blind man had no ear for the demands of the angry crowd to silence him. He shouted again and louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” The anger of the crowd surrounding Bartimaeus was stilled by the command of the prophet Jesus, “Call him here.” Upon hearing that Jesus had beckoned him, Bartimaeus lept to his feet and cast his cloak aside, reaching wildly for whatever stranger’s arm would lead him to the Lord. As Jesus looked into the glazed excitement of a poor, dirty beggar’s face, His heart overflowed with love and compassion for this child of God.
The words that Jesus spoke next don’t appear to be anything special or profound. He simply inquires of Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” But I wonder, why did Jesus ask Bartimaeus a question that is seemingly so obvious in terms of the response expected? A blind beggar. What else could he possibly want except his sight or money? Bartimaues was accustomed to relying on the local villagers to help him with coins or food scraps so it would seem unlikely Bartimaeus would have first asked for money from the Prophet who performs miracles. Jesus knew what Bartimaeus wanted. But Jesus was asking for something from Bartimaeus…and not merely Bartimaeus answer for his sight to be restored. Before Jesus would grant Bartimaeus’ request, Jesus wanted to know something deeper from Bartimaeus heart.
Bartimaeus did give Jesus an answer to His question. Bartimaeus’ answer to Jesus said more than, “I want to see.” Bartimaeus communicated three things that Jesus wanted to hear as a precursor to restoring Bartimaeus sight.
- I am blind
- I want to be healed and see
- I need the Lord to help me
Bartimaeus’ blindness was real. His pain was real. Jesus met Bartimaeus at that point of pain and out of the overflow of His love and compassion He healed his physical blindness. But there was a greater issue beyond Bartimaeus’ blindness that plagued the world surrounding Jesus in His days on earth. That issue is as old as antiquity and shrouds the earth in darkness to this very day. Blindness. Spiritual blindness.
“And if our gospel is veiled, it veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Cor.4:3,4 NASB
Spiritual blindness envelopes the heart of fallen man whenever he believes that he can survive without God. The ages old lie that the Deceiver sowed in antiquity is bearing fruit even today…The moment you embrace the idea that you don’t need God…that you can see clearly without God, “your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen.3:5 NASB) As the lies goes on to surmise, “you can determine what is right and wrong for yourselves”. For those who think self-sufficiency and relativism are new philosophies, their author has been around for several millennium, sowing these deceptions in the heart of man, even to this day.
“And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind.” John 9:39 NASB
In order for us to recover and be healed from the plague of spiritual blindness, we must acknowledge the same regarding our spiritual condition;
- I am spiritually blind
- I want to know the truth and be healed
- I need Christ to help me
The sinful nature of man will always say to God, “Show me first and I will believe.” In direct contrast God says, “Be willing to believe and you will see.” Man does not get to dictate the terms under which the Lord will make Himself known. In order to see you must receive Him first. A willing and humble heart will always precede understanding in God’s paradigm. But God is not being random in this requirement. Humility and an acknowledgement of our need is the only antidote to the lie of self-sufficiency that created man’s blindness in the first place. Humble acknowledgment of our need is the only pathway for God’s grace and power to flow in your life. What do you want the Lord to do for you? Follow Bartimaeus example and say, “Lord, I want to see.”
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9,10 NASB