Bartimaeus must have heard about Jesus and the many people who were being healed by Him. It sparked a faith within him that he would be healed if Jesus would ever visit Jericho, and when he heard that Jesus was passing nearby, his faith went into action. Bartimaeus began calling out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” That shows how much faith he had. He wasn’t embarrassed to request healing publicly. He was certain Jesus could give him what he wanted if he could only get His attention. Even after people around him tried to discourage him, telling him to be quiet, he just yelled all the louder.
When Bartimaeus was told that Jesus had stopped and invited him to come to Him, he knew he would soon be seeing. He threw aside his coat and excitedly jumped up. Some say that blind people back in Jesus’ time wore special coats that identified them to everyone else as being blind. If that was the case, Bartimaeus throwing aside his coat was another act of faith. He believed he no longer had any need of a blind man’s coat!
With someone guiding him, Bartimaeus made his way to Jesus. Testing his faith one more time, Jesus asked him what he wanted Him to do. Without hesitation, Bartimaeus made his request: “Teacher, I want to see!” Obviously he wouldn’t have made such a request unless he believed Jesus could and would grant it. And Jesus gave him exactly what he requested.
Q. According to Jesus, Bartimaeus was healed because of his faith. What would have happened if Bartimaeus had not believed?
A. He would not have been healed, even though it was obviously God’s will for him to be healed. This once again proves that God’s will doesn’t always automatically come to pass. When people say, “If God wants me to be healed, I’ll be healed,” they’re mistaken.
Q. Was Bartimaeus instantly healed?
A. He was instantly healed once Jesus told him, “Go your way. Your faith has healed you” (Mark 10:52). However, it took some time and persistence before Bartimaeus heard Jesus speak those words. Actually, he was believing even before Jesus visited Jericho, and kept on believing as he continually cried out to Jesus. In that sense, his healing wasn’t instantaneous.
Application: We will probably never know the joy that Bartimaeus experienced when he regained his sight. Why not close your eyes for the first five minutes of your next family meal to experience a small sampling of the frustration that blind people face all day, every day? When you open your eyes to finish your meal, think of how Bartimaeus felt when Jesus opened his eyes.