What do you want Me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Mark 10:51
Bartimaeus, or Bart as his friends called him, was blind. Along with the blindness came the usual social stigmas of being an outcast and the usual career choice–begging. He had landed a good stretch of the highway to beg. There was a lot of traffic but as always–a lot of darkness. But all that was about to change.
One day he heard a crowd passing by and asked what was happening. The fact that anyone even acknowledged him was a miracle. Someone said, “Jesus was passing by.” Bart had heard of this young Rabbi and he had also heard stories, rumors really, that He could heal people like him. Three words flashed into his mind–now or never.
He began to shout, to beg, to scream “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Over and over he shouted. The crowd quickly became annoyed and demanded that he shut it down or they would shut him up. But desperation and hope wouldn’t allow that. “Jesus, Son of David, please, have mercy on me.” Right at the point when his ears told him the noise was fading he heard it. Jesus was saying something, “call him.” Amazingly the same crowd that tried to shut him down now helped pick him up.
“What do you want me to do for you?” the unseen Rabbi asked. It might seem like a strange question to ask a blind guy but Jesus wanted to be sure Bart knew his need. Perhaps a small contribution. Maybe a walking stick or a seeing eye camel. Jesus was asking, “Do you want a better life or a new life?” Bart was ready for something new.
Mark 10:51 gives us his reply. “Rabboni,” the blind man said to him, “I want to see.” His five words are loaded with meaning. First, the word “Rabboni” was master and it was a term of surrender. He was saying, “I haven’t experienced what I need but I will trust You for it anyway.” That’s faith. Second, “I want to see.” He wasn’t asking for a band aide he was wanting something new, something life changing. Faith and the wisdom to ask for the right thing was a game changer for Bart.
Wait, Jesus is speaking again and what He says is amazing. “Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has saved you.” Your faith has saved you. Amazing. And do you know what? Mark puts it very plainly in the rest of verse 52. “Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road.” Immediately his world exploded into light and color. Instantly the darkness was forced to flee as the Light of world flooded in. Amazing.
Well, Jesus had told him to go and do you know where he went. Right with Jesus. He followed him. I mean, where else would he go but to follow the One who gave him light, who gave him life. I can imagine the smile on his lips and chatter from his tongue as he shared what Jesus had done. “I once was blind, but now I see” he would say. We added the “amazing grace” part later. So how about you? Does your life seem pretty dark right now? You’ve seen the list over and over. Fear. Corona virus. Unemployment. Unknowns. Whatever it is, Jesus is passing by and He has an invitation just for you. He invites you to come and when you get there don’t ask for a seeing eye camel or walking stick. He’s got something bigger for you. He has peace and He has hope. He has a new life of light and color. You’ll find a friend who will never leave or abandon you. Go ahead, get up. He’s waiting. You can trust him. Rest in Him. He’s got this.