The Story of Bartimaeus

(I would like to include that this story is purely speculation. It is not to be viewed as fact, except for the parts that directly coincide with Scripture. It is simply meant to help make Scripture more tangible, and to provoke thought in the reader. Please enjoy!)

 "As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he called out, saying, “Jesus,Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him,“What do you want Me to do for you?”And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!”And Jesus said to him,“Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him,glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God." (Luke 18:35-43)

My story is based off this passage in Scripture.

Bartimaeus had been hearing about this Christ. Some of his friends thought it was simply another lunatic who would soon end up dead or on the streets. Though Bartimaeus was inclined to believe them, he couldn't put out the spark of hope he felt. He longed to meet this Man. He would give anything to be healed. But of course, blindness meant he couldn't just wander around looking for this self- proclaimed healer. He buried his hope for a while, but soon, he began to hear that some of his fellow "handicapped" buddies were being healed. His desperation to find this Jesus grew. Could there be a chance he would see again? Not only could Jesus supposedly heal his eyes, but Bartimaeus had heard rumors that Jesus was the Messiah. Perhaps, He could set him right with the Jehovah! But in the slim chance that he found Jesus, would the Messiah dain Himself to talk to and heal a blind beggar?

Time and time again, Bartimaeus sat by roads, hoping against hope that Jesus would pass by. And time and time again, Bartimaeus was disappointed. He began to get depressed, and the few friends he had were worried. He would half-heartedly sit by the road, unconvincingly asking for a handout. One day, he trudged his way to the street, dreading another day of darkness. He hated his life. No color, no joy, and now, no hope.

After an hour or so, he heard much commotion. His heart started to pound, and though he tried to stop it, hope flooded his soul. "Wha-what's going on?" He stutteringly asked.

"Jesus of Nazareth! It's Jesus of Nazareth!" several voices cried. Bartimaeus froze. Could it really be? He was so hopeful, so desperate. But what if Jesus turned him away? What if Jesus told him what the Pharisees had told him, that his blindness was a result of some heinous crime he'd committed? But he had to try. Desperation nigh to panic welled up in him, and despite the response he knew he would receive, he began yelling at the top of his lungs, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" He could barely say the words. His throat tightened, and he broke into sobs. He was so afraid. What would he do if Jesus rejected him? He could hear "all the people calling out for him to be quiet."Some taunted him, saying he was getting what he deserved. He fought to ignore them as he screamed again, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" All of the sudden, a strange hush settled over the crowd. Once again, fear overtook him. Had Jesus walked past, refusing to help him? Bartimaeus lay there, sobbing, certain that his one chance had passed him by.

And then, a gentle hand helped him stand. He was too confused and shocked to speak. The hand led him a few feet, then stopped. Bartimaeus stood, not knowing what to do. Then, he heard the most loving, kind voice say, "What do you want me to do for you?" In that moment, on that road, Bartimaeus knew. This Man was not a lunatic, and He was more than a healer. This Man was Lord. Bartimaeus crumbled at the Christ's feet, every sin running through his mind. He began to weep, this time for a different reason. He knew he was in the presence of Holiness. Yet he was so sinful, so wicked. He was sure the Man in front of him could see everything he had ever done. Bartimaeus understood that he must follow Jesus's leadership in every area of his life. He understood that just one sin was too much for God to just forget about, and he had committed much more than one sin. He was a depraved criminal in God's sight. He knew only the Messiah standing in front of him could save him, not from his blindness, but from his sin. So on that day, Bartimaeus turned from his sin and recognized the Messiah as what he was- the Lord of everything, including Bartimaeus' life.

But Jesus had asked him a question. Bartimaeus, energized by the joy that welled up inside him, said, "Lord, I want to regain my sight!" And he heard his Lord's voice say so compassionately, "Receive your sight, your faith has made you well." Bartimaeus-doubts swirling-timidly opened his eyes, hoping against hope that he could see something, anything. And sure enough, there in front of him, stood a Man with a loving, tender look on His face. Bartimaeus had no doubt it was the Christ. He turned his head, drinking in all the sights he had longed to see for years, relishing in the peace he finally felt. After a moment of shock and awe, he jumped to his feet, shouting, "I am healed! My Lord has saved me!" Everyone began smiling, shouting their own exclamation of praise. The moment was surreal. Bartimaeus looked back at Jesus, smiling ear to ear, knowing Christ knew that he wasn't talking about his eyes. Bartimaeus quietly said, "Thank You, my Lord." Jesus nodded, and Bartimaeus thought he saw the Majestic eyes fill with tears. From that day on, Bartimaeus followed Jesus. It wasn't always fun or easy. When Jesus died on the cross, Bartimaeus couldn't understand. Yet even though he did not understand, just like the day he he was saved, he trusted. And his Lord always took care of him.