And answering him, Jesus said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!"Mark 10:51(NASB)
Knowing that the hour of his His passion was fast approaching when the Son of Man would be lifted up on the Cross for the sin of the world, Jesus crossed the Jorden as He prepared to set his face as a flint to go to Jerusalem. On the way, He visited the ancient city of Jericho because there was a son of David, called Bartimaeus, who was a poor, miserable, blind beggar... who needed his eyes to be opened.
Thoughts fly back to the start of Israel's conquest of the promised land and of Rahab, the harlot of Jericho, whose spiritual eyes were opened to the truth of God's Word and her faith was reckoned to her as righteousness. And many thousands of years later, there is a blind beggar-man in that same city, who also needs to regain his sight - and Jesus takes compassion on him.
The old city... destroyed in the days of Joshua, remained in ruins. However, a new Jericho had been built by Herod, and on His final journey before His sacrificial death, Jesus and His disciples, "went through Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bar-Timaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road."
No doubt news of Christ's healing power and his Messianic claims, had reached the ears of this blind beggar in Jericho, and when he realised that among the bustling crowd leaving the city was Jesus, the famous Prophet about Whom everyone was speaking, he started to cry out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And he kept shouting loudly, "HAVE MERCY ON ME, JESUS, SON OF DAVID!"
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover, where He would be sacrificed as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world, and this account of the healing of blind Bartimaeus is the last recorded healing miracle in Mark. Despite being sternly told by many in the crowd to be quiet, this desperate man was not prepared to allow this opportunity to pass him by and we read, "but he kept crying out all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!'"
At the start of His ministry, Jesus had taught His disciples the importance of the prolonged persistent prayer of faith. He had taught them whoever asks and keeps on asking, seeks and keeps on seeking, and knocks and keeps on knocking, will be answered. They had witnessed the faith of the Centurion, whose servant was healed, and the Samaritan woman, whose demon-possessed daughter was delivered, and they had been taught that faith the size of a mustard seed could remove mountains.
Jesus instructed many people to, "go in peace, your faith has made you whole," and told others, "according to your faith be it unto you." But He also admonished others for their lack of faith. There were even towns in Judea where He did not do many miracles because of unbelief. But this blind Jewish man, chose to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and was determined if at all possible, to meet with Him.
The crowds were unsympathetic about his desperate situation and told him to be quiet, and maybe the disciples had also become too accustomed to Christ's healing ministry, for they seemed unsympathetic to the plight of this poor blind beggar-man. What a joy it must have been for Bartimaeus when Jesus stopped His journey and told the crowd to, "Call him here." What anticipation must have rippled through the thronging crowd who were following Him and heard Jesus ask the beggar, "what do you want Me to do for you?" and heard the blind beggar's request "Lord, that I may receive my sight."
Jesus didn't need to ask the beggar about the desire of his heart - He knew. His question was not to get information but to encourage Bartimaeus to hold fast to his faith, to make his request known to God, and to trust in the Lord with all his heart and not to lean on his own understanding. And Bartimaeus not only received the dear desire of his heart - but was given so much more.
Bartimaeus made his faith in Christ very clear, for he addressed Him as "My Lord" - "My Master", Bartimaeus demonstrated that it was not only his physical sight that would be affected, but that his spiritual eyes of understanding had been opened, and he acknowledged Christ as the Captain of his soul.
When men and women approached Jesus for healing, we see much evidence that is not simply a need for physical healing that concerns the Lord, but a spiritual awakening - they need salvation. And this should be our concern as well when we are praying for healing, for ourselves or someone else... that not only bodily health is restored, but that the spiritual needs are also met and spiritual eyes are opened to see JESUS as Lord.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the life and times of the Lord Jesus and the many lessons we can learn from the changed lives of many characters who crossed Christ's path during His earthly ministry and found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Thank You for the son of Timaeus and the courage and determination he demonstrated, as he cried out to meet the Lord and had his eyes opened. Thank You that You care for our daily needs and that our eyes have been opened to the beauty of Jesus as our Kinsman-Redeemer and Saviour of our soul. I pray for the many men and women who remain spiritually impoverished today, because they have not called out to Christ for salvation. Open their eyes to the truth I pray, and bring many into a right relationship with Yourself. This I pray in Jesus' name, AMEN.