The Faith of Bartimaeus
October 25, 2009
Mark 10: 46-52
We have been examining the faith of the Genesis Giants for the past few months.
Today, I want to return to the New Testament. In this story we find Jesus and his
disciples visiting the city of Jericho. As they were getting ready to leave, they
noticed a beggar by the side of the road. His name was Bartimaeus. There are
two important things that stand out in this encounter-Jesus came to Bartimaeus
and Bartimaeus came to Jesus.
First, Jesus Came to Bertimaeus. Of all the reasons that Jesus came to Jericho,
meeting Bartimaeus was on the top of his list! Bartimaeus had a need! No one
had ever helped him with his blindness. As a result, he was relegated to bing a
beggar for the rest of his life. In that day, blind people were outcasts of society.
During that day, he could not work. Al he could do was beg and hope that
someone would have compassion on him.
Bartimaeus had a Savior! In verse 47, it says, “And when he heard that it was
Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have
mercy on me.” His faith was certainly evident in his persistence to reach Jesus-
and he would not be silenced. In verse 48, the people told him to hold his peace,
but he cried even louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”
When Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as the “Son of David” he was acknowledging
him as his Savior. Bartimaeus’ Savior was Jesus. Jesus came into the world to
save us and seek that which was lost! Jesus came specifically for Bartimaeus!
Second, Bartimaeus came to Jesus. In verse 50 we read, “And casting away his
garment, he rose and came to Jesus.” In the previous verse when Jesus
commanded him to be called, the disciples said to Bartimaeus, “Cheer up! On
your feet! He’s calling you.” Some translate “Cheer up” “Be of good comfort.”
The Greek word for comfort in this verse means “tharos”, have courage, be of
good cheer. In other words, the disciples are saying “Listen friend, when you
come to Jesus you will find comfort, and you will have reason to cheer up!
There are three things that I notice that are going on. First, when Jesus called him
to cast aside his garment, Bartimaeus did not want anything from hindering him.
He threw aside his tattered and worn garment. Second, Bartiameus rose from the
place where he was sitting and then, third, he came to Jesus. In verses 51-52 we
have the miracle-he was cured!
Think about it? A blind man is healed. He is cured of his affliction. Why? He
asked for healing and exercised his faith! Remember the writer of Hebrews in
11:6, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to
Him must believe that He exists and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
That is what it took for Bartimaeus to be healed and cured. It was faith in Jesus
Christ! Jesus came to Bartimaeus and Bartimaeus came to Jesus! He rose form his
place, casting aside his garment-putting aside anything that would hinder him,
he came to the Lord. What was the final result? Jesus said, “Go, your faith has
As we reflect upon this passage and that Jesus first came to Bartimaeus, there are
a few things we can consider for our lives:
Application #1 Bartimaeus had a need! His need was to be able to see. All of us
have needs. And though we are not in the same condition as Bartimaeus, our
needs are significant. The truth of the matter, to God, are needs are significant.
We have financial needs. We have physical needs. We have emotional needs. We
have spiritual needs.
Jesus comes to meet our needs! Psalm 31 says this, “I will be glad and rejoice in
your mercy; for you have considered my trouble; and you know my soul in
adversities. “ Trust Him, have faith!
Application #2 Bartimaues had a Savior! He knew that he had a greater need
than just his physical blindness. He needed a Savior. C.S. Lewis said this,
“Christianity has no message for those who do not realize they are sinners.”
Bartimaeus believed in Jesus Christ. And his faith was evident. We have a Savior
this morning! He came into the world to seek people like you and me. Luke 19:10
says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.” Do you
want a Savior? Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord, shall be saved.”
George Mueller of Bristol, England, wrote, “All prayer prevails only as it is
offered in faith; and the answer to such prayer can be recognized and received
only on the plane of faith; that is, we must maintain the believing frame,
expecting the blessing, and being ready to receive it in God’s way and time, and
form, and not our own.”
Application #3 Bartimaeus came to Jesus! When he did, he was comforted! We
also will be comforted by Christ. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 says, “Blessed be God, even
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all
comfort; who comforts us in all tribulation.”
I am reminded of a story in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Britain’s Derek
Redmond had dreamed of a winning a gold medal in the 400-meter race, and his
dream was in sight as the gun sounded in the semi-finals.
He was running the race of his life when he rounded the turn into the
backstretch. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain go up the back of his leg. He fell face
first onto the track with a torn right hamstring. What is amazing about this story,
Redmond fought to his feet. He set out hopping to the finish line in a crazed
attempt to finish the race. When out of the blue, a large man in a T-shirt came out
of the stands and ran to Redmond, and embraced him. “You do not have to do
this,” he told his weeping son. “Yes, I do” said Derek. “Well then,” his father
said, “we’re going to finish the race together.” And they did. Derek did not walk
away with a gold medal, but he walked away with an incredible memory of a
father, who saw his son in pain, leave his seat to help his son finish the race.
That young man found comfort from his father’s shoulder and the awareness of
his love than any other thing at that moment. Go to Jesus, this morning, and find
comfort! Jesus calls us to take aside the old garments and let nothing hinder you
from going to Christ. I truly believe that Jesus speaks to us and calls us to rise
from our situations, and come to Jesus!
Exercise faith this morning! Let Jesus come to you so that you can be healed! Ask
for healing. Remember the words of Jesus, “Whosoever shall call upon the name
of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Bartimaeus exercised faith. Jesus said
to him and says to us this morning, “Go you way!, Your faith has made you