Daily Devotional 9-10-19

What Do You Want?
By Sam Sackett  
 
“The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Read the full story in Mark 10:46-52
 
He heard voices.
 
Friends talking. Children shouting. Business deals. Bickering. Joking and laughing.
 
He heard it all. Every day. From morning until the sunset, Bartimaeus sat by the roadside in the ancient city of Jericho and listened. On occasion, he would speak to passersby as they placed a coin in his hand. But mostly he listened. Blind Bartimaeus, the beggar. That was his identity.
 
Jesus had healed many people from diseases and afflictions. Miracles had been happening, and speculation was growing that this rabbi from Nazareth was more than a teacher or prophet. For several days chatter along the roadside suggested the rabbi was on his way to Jerusalem and would soon pass through Jericho. Eventually, Jesus did come, and with him a crowd of disciples, followers, and those curious to see a famous rabbi in their city.
 
That day, like every other, Bartimaeus sat by the roadside. When the crowd grew loud and Jesus began to pass by, Bartimaeus called out. The crowd was noisy, and so the blind man began to shout.
 
“Son of David, have mercy on me!”
 
Those around the blind man tell him to be quiet. A dirty beggar shouting for the rabbi’s attention is not a way to honor a famous guest in their city.
 
But Bartimaeus persists until the rebukes transition to, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”
 
Bartimaeus throws one of the few possessions he owns to the ground – his cloak – and makes his way to Jesus. His outer garment, and possibly even the coins he had received, are discarded without hesitation as he pushes through the crowd in response to the rabbi’s invitation.
 
Jesus speaks first, asking Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?”
 
“To see.”
 
The request is direct yet undemanding. The unrelenting yearning waits expectantly for a response. At that moment, Jesus sees what others cannot and offers a one-word promise together with a declaration that redefines Bartimaeus’ identity. “Go. Your faith has healed you.”
 
The blind eyes see. The man once captive to darkness now stands liberated. And the poor in spirit is declared to be rich in faith.
 
Unlike a rich man who, after encountering Jesus a few days earlier, walked way feeling sad because he could not relinquish his wealth, Bartimaeus let go of what little he had. His spirit was not entangled with lesser things and was ready to receive.
 
The story concludes with Bartimaeus the faithful, following Jesus along the road toward Jerusalem as a witness to the grace of God.
 
I invite you to consider two questions:
  • Are you willing to let go of lesser things?
  • What do you want Jesus to do for you, for us?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to relinquish lesser things and receive the things of your kingdom you offer to me.