Jesus performed over 40 miracles during His ministry. Healing the blind Bartimaeus was one of the great miracles and others, including healing the sick, transforming the natural elements of nature, and even resurrecting people from the dead. A miracle is an occurrence that occurs outside of the realm of natural law.
We’ll look at one of His miracles each month to better comprehend the depth of His love for us. Understanding Jesus’ miracles have the power to improve your life, and it all starts with trust.
The writers of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke relate about Jesus healing a blind man. It is unusual for the Gospel writers to name the people who were healed in Christ’s many miraculous healings, but we can see here that the name of the blind man, Bartimaeus, was revealed. There has been significant speculation why Bartimaeus’ name was explicitly used during this miracle.
According to biblical historians, Bartimaeus’ miraculous healing and conversion to Christianity profoundly impacted all who observed and heard it. After he was healed, Bartimaeus’ healing may have had a big impact and helped spread the gospel.
His impact may have been so substantial that he was forced to be recognized.
Bartimaeus was blind, He was poor, and begging was his main source of money. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing through his town, he realized that this was his only chance to be healed. Many good things had been said about Jesus, His teachings, and His power to heal the blind.
“Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” he cried out as he walked along the street. Many advised him to remain silent, but he screamed out even louder, “Son of David, have compassion on me!”
Wouldn’t you scream at the top of your lungs if you were stuck on an island and saw a nearby ship? Bartimaeus screamed out with the same eagerness to catch Jesus’ attention. “Son of David, have pity on me!” he shouted out louder because he feared Jesus didn’t hear him at first.
There’s proof of his faith now. He is convinced that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah. He referred to Him as the Son of David, a designation reserved solely for the promised and Anointed One.
“Receive your sight; your faith has healed you,” Jesus said, and Bartimaeus immediately received his sight and followed Jesus. When the large crowd observed this miracle, they instantly began applauding Jesus, as they had heard Bartimaeus had been blind for years.
Aren’t we supposed to be like this blind man? We’ve all been spiritually blind for a long time. We may have taken the incorrect roads and are unable to find our way back. It’s possible that we felt hopeless. When we sense the darkness of our choices, though, we are reminded of our desire to understand God’s path and to obey His commands.
This is the same predicament that Bartimaeus encountered. This miracle serves as a reminder that our faith can heal our blindness and enable us to live fully in Christ’s light.
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Why Did Bartimaeus Cast Off His Garment?
To understand the meaning of Bartimaeus’ cloak-shrugging act, we must first examine the culture of the time. The cloak was an important piece of apparel in ancient times.
“An outer tunic, wide and long, reaching to the ankles, but without sleeves,” according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary. The cloak served as both an outer garment and a blanket at night.
The Bible has this to say about cloaks:
If ever you take your neighbour’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. Exodus 22:26-27
And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge. You shall restore to him the pledge as the sun sets, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you. And it shall be righteousness for you before the Lord your God. (Deut 24:12-13 ESV)
We can see how significant the cloak may have been in the lives of the Israelites from these two verses. It was so important to their survival that no one could take it away from them, even if it had been used to secure a loan.
It could have been used as the security for a loan also hints at the cloak’s value. The Bible does not mention Bartimaeus picking up his robe before following Jesus after he was healed. We all know that the Bible doesn’t always tell us everything there is to know about a narrative, but let’s choose to believe it in this situation.
Bartimaeus willingly walked away from his all-important cloak after receiving all pertinent facts.
The cloak is also thought to have been necessary for blind Bartimaeus to collect alms. Consider this scenario: he’s sitting along the road, and a large number of people are passing by. Some of them go past him without giving him much thought, while others toss a coin or two. It’s possible that Bartimaeus spread his cloak across his lap to catch the money thrown his way. Otherwise, he’d have to spend a lot of time crawling about on his hands and knees, feeling the ground for a coin.
Blind Bartimaeus may have spread his cloak in front of him as a catch-all for any coins hurled his way. His cloak was merely a tool in his arsenal if that was the case. He would have difficulty collecting the alms if he didn’t have his cloak.
Some critics feel that Bartimaeus’ cloak being thrown off was a sign of faith. He felt that Jesus would heal him and that he would no longer need that particular tool of the trade since he would no longer be blind.
Another reason Bartimaeus may have thrown off his cloak was that he wanted to avoid any obstacles on his path to Jesus. The cloaks were quite lengthy. And, if the cloak was stretched across his torso as we suspect, it was a recipe for disaster. Being blind and burdened by his large cloak, Bartimaeus would have struggled to navigate through the masses.
4 Lessons from the Story of Blind Bartimaeus
What can we learn from the story of Bartimaeus, the blind man? Let’s take a look at a few of those lessons right now.
1. When you’re chasing after Jesus, don’t allow anyone to silence your voice or weaken your passion.
I’ve always admired Bartimaeus’ eagerness in approaching Jesus. When he heard Christ was close by, he realized he only had one chance to be healed. Due to his blindness, Bartimaeus would not have been able to move quickly through the crowd in search of Jesus. He just had one weapon at his disposal: his voice. People, on the other hand, attempted to quiet him.
People reprimanded him, according to some Bible translations. Rebuked. That’s a powerful term. Rebuke is defined as “to express severe disapproval or censure of (someone) because of their behavior or actions,” according to the Oxford Dictionary. Ouch!
I’m sure there was a small voice within instructing him to keep quiet because Jesus had more important things to do in addition to the external voice. Thank God Bartimaeus didn’t let anyone take away his ability to speak. When we’re on a mission to find God, we shouldn’t be silenced by anyone.
2. Your relationship with Jesus is personal to you.
God is a relationship-oriented being. He desires for us to develop a close relationship with Him. This will not happen unless we maintain our gaze fixed on Him and do not let anyone or anything to distract us.
When blind Bartimaeus called out to Jesus, He stopped. That’s a pretty big deal. The Savior of the world, awaited Messiah, teacher of the twelve tribes of Israelite stopped. Then he waited. He waited for someone to tell Bartimaeus that he had been called. He waited for the blind man to make his way to Him. He waited to hear blind Bartimaeus’ request. I don’t know about you, but that makes me excited. Jesus stopped for a man that many people wouldn’t have given the time of day.
In a society where physical ailments were believed to have been a punishment for sin, blind Bartimaeus was on nobody’s Christmas list. Yet God Immanuel stopped and waited for the blind man to make his way to Him.
We, like blind Bartimaeus, must concentrate solely on God and Him alone. We have a race to run, and we can only do it if we stay focused on the course laid out in front of us and don’t get distracted by what other people say to or about us.
3. Obstacles will be thrown in your path; be prepared to overcome them.
Hebrews 12:1-2 is one of my favorite Bible verses. We are encouraged to set aside any and all obstacles that may stand in the way of our relationship with God. We, like blind Bartimaeus, must make the decision to pursue God despite obstacles.
Blind Bartimaeus’ story should be our story. We should be so desperate for Jesus that we chase after Him despite what others say to us. We should want to be with God so much that we don’t allow any obstacles to be in our way.
Nothing, not even a vital object for his bodily survival, could keep Bartimaeus from reaching his Savior.
4. Don’t get distracted by the crowd.
“When has the majority ever been right?” a Pastor once said. It’s a lesson I’ve thought about a lot. People tried to hush Blind Bartimaeus when he cried out to Jesus in the narrative of Bartimaeus. If it had been up to them, Jesus would have walked right by the blind man and nothing would have changed.
But when Jesus stopped to speak to Bartimaeus, these same people tried to encourage Bartimaeus.
So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Mark 10:49 NLT
I’m sure some of them were the same people who had rebuked him earlier. The lesson we learn from Bartimaeus? We can’t listen to the crowd.
The crowd is changeable. They are responding to external stimuli which is prone to change. If we are going to follow our purpose, we have to base our decisions on a standard that doesn’t change.
God never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forevermore (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8). He’s the One we should use as our measuring stick for what’s good. Our actions should be based on what He says rather than what the world dictates.