Bartimaeus, the Blind Man

Mark 10:46-52

46 And they came to Jericho . And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth , he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51And Jesus said to him,  “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.

Isa na namang narrative ang passage. Kapag mga ganitong klase ng passage sa Bible ang binabasa ko, napakahelpful na i-picture out ko kung ano talaga yung mga nangyayari sa story na yun. So sa aking pag-aaral, ang story ay nangyari nung papunta ng Jerusalem si Jesus. Hindi ito ang unang punta ni Jesus sa Jerusalem . Prior to this, nakapunta na si Jesus sa Jerusalem at dun, sinalubong Siya ng mga tao na may hawak na palaspas. The first time he entered Jerusalem , He was welcomed as a distinguished person. Itong time naman na to is the 2nd coming of Jesus to Jerusalem , and to go there, He must pass through Jericho . Hindi ko masasabing wala talaga sa plano ni Jesus dumaan sa Jericho . Andun yun, part sa plan ni Jesus yun. The difference ng 1st entry ni Jesus sa Jerusalem sa kanyang 2nd entry is that sa 1st, very kingly ang welcome ng mga tao sa kanya. Sa 2nd, they are going to crucify the Jesus that they welcomed befored. Dito talaga natin makikita na napakafickle minded ng tao. Ambilis natin makalimot kay God. Parang kelan lang, ang taas ng spirit natin, high na high kumbaga, pero the next day, we go back to forgetting Him.

Anyway, so ayun, nagpunta nga ng Jericho si Jesus. I believe ito yung 1st time ni Jesus magpunta sa Jericho . But take note of what the passage is saying: And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd. Makikita natin that Jesus was followed by a great crowd when He left Jericho . Napaka popular ni Jesus at His time, perhaps dahil sa Kanyang mga ginagawang miracles, healing, and even yung preaching Niya napaka radical with respect to what the legalistic pharisees are teaching. So talagang laganap yung usap-usapan about kay Jesus all throughout Israel .

And there we see Bartimaeus, isang bulag. Ang mga bulag at the time of Jesus lalo na sa Jericho ay mga outcasts. Nung time na yun kasi, napakayaman na lugar ng Jericho . Kumbaga kung ngayong panahon yan, parang Makati yung dating. Center for business kasi yang Jericho dati. And so blind people like Bartimaeus were regarded by the people as walang kwenta at their time. And even the pharisees, they teach kasi that kaya may mga sakit o kapansanan ang mga tao ay dahil sa mga kasalanan ng mga ninuno ng taong yun. So they make Bartimaeus and other sick people very sinful. Napakalegalistic talaga ng mga pharisees. And so outcasts sila. Kaya nung time na paalis na si Jesus sa Jericho , dun lang pumasok sa eksena si Bartimaeus. Nasa outskirts ng Jericho siya, bawal sa centro kasi wala siyang lugar dun. Dito ulit natin makikita ang self-righteousness ng tao. We oftentimes think we are well off than the others kasi wala tayong problems sa buhay. Pero nakakamangha si God kasi it is through desolate and troubled times natin that we feel the need of God more. Kung wala tayong problem, man has the natural tendency to forget his Master and Maker. Comfortable eh kaya nagiging stagnant ang life. Kaya thankful ako sa God kasi may mga problems tayo. Indeed, totoong totoo that His power is made PERFECT in our weaknesses.

Makikita din natin that when Bartimaeus called Jesus, pinatahimik siya ng mga tao. We see again that napakabiased talaga ng tao. WE tend to look at the outward appearance and as a result, we fail to see the heart of the person. In the case of Bartimaeus, napansin siya ni Jesus because of His strong faith. Bulag siya, so ibig sabihin hindi niya nakikita si Jesus. More over, parang nangangapa siya kapag may mga usap-usapan tungkol kay Jesus kasi hindi naman siya nakakapaghalubilo sa mga tao to talk about the works of Jesus (kasi popular nga si Jesus di ba). Outcast siya ng society.

As I said, napakalaki talaga ng faith ni Bartimaeus. He has not seen Jesus but see how he addressed Him: Jesus, Son of David! For someone to call a person “son of David”, he must believe that yung taong yun ang Messiah kasi yun ang promise sa Old Testament eh. That the Messiah will come from the lineage of David. While the rest of the non-blind crowd don’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah, itong si Bartimaeus, a blind man, fully believes that Jesus is the Son of David. With that pa lang, makikita na natin yung faith ni Bartimaeus. Nung pinatigil siya ng mga tao, all the more, mas sumigaw pa siya ng malakas! Grabe ang persistence ni Bartimaeus dito. Hindi siya tumigil, hindi siya nawalan ng pag-asa.

So nung napansin siya ni Jesus at tinawag, agad agad siyang bumangon sa kinuupuan niya at inalalayan siya ng mga tao papunta kay Jesus. At this point, napipicture ko na napahiya na talaga yung mga tao. Biruin mo naman, yung taong pinatahimik nila kasi akala nila walang kwenta, ayun pinapunta pa malapit kay Jesus. So si Bartimaeus, makita natin na wala siyang pag-aalinlangan sa pagpunta kay Jesus. Agad niyang tinanggal ang kanyang cloak.

Of course alam ni Jesus yung kelangan ni Bartimaeus. Pero what’s the first thing that Jesus told him? What do you want me to do for you? Yun, parang Jesus wants to draw out from Bartimaeus himself yung need niya. And what did the blind man say? Shempre sinagot niya rin. And hindi lang basta sagot, talagang sinabi niya yung gusto niya specifically. That he wanted to regain his eye sight. Just an insight lang, I think hindi from birth yung pagiging bulag ni Bartimaeus. Kasi sabi niya, regain daw. So ibig sabihin, meron na siyang eye sight dati pero nawala na. Kung ganun man, dito ko ulit nakita that yung mga pharisees, makahanap lang ng butas para idefend ang pagiging legalistic nila, like yung sin ng ninuno kahit hindi by birth yung pagkabulag ni Bartimaeus. Ayun.

Of course, hineal siya ni Jesus and he regained his vision. And what was his response? Nanatili ba si Bartimaeus sa Jericho ? No! Sabi nga, he followed him on the way. Sumunod siya kay Jesus. What a grateful witness of Jesus’ healing power!

I realized na nahahalintulad ko itong story of Bartimaeus sa prayer life ng isang tao, ng isang Kristiyano, prayer life natin. Ideally, dapat ganun tayo. Like Bartimaeus who hasn’t seen Jesus, tayo dapat ganun din tayo when we approach God through prayer. That even if we haven’t seen Him, we haven’t even told Him our prayers yet, andun na yung faith natin sa Kanya na God is God, and that He is true, and that He is sovereign, and that napakapowerful ni God na kayang kaya Niya ibigay yung mga bagay na makabubuti sa atin. If Bartimaeus believed prior that Jesus is the Messiah, so should we na walang kaduda-duda sa ating mga puso na God is real and personal with us. Also, when we pray, there are times when we encounter doubts, or even discouragement sa laki ng problem natin. Yung mga tao na nagpatahimik kay Bartimaeus represent these things that discourage us in our prayer. Like what happened in the story, kelangan natin ipahiya itong mga discouragements natin, at ipakita na we are special in God’s eyes. That whatever things that discourage us into coming to God in prayer, or even in maintaining hope, walang wala yun kasi God is very personal with us and He wants us to draw near to Him.

When Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted, he answered with a straightforward answer. Ganun din dapat tayo sa prayers natin. We need to be specific kung ano gusto natin. Kaya nga din nagpepray tayo ng thy will be done kasi even if we want specific things, alam naman ni God kung ano makakabubuti sa atin. Isa pa, when Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted, nakita ko na God wants us to be humble before Him. Admit natin yung needs natin, yung weaknesses natin. He wants us to be honest and humble before him. Honest and humble enough to let Him display His full power despite our weaknesses. That’s the essence of prayer kasi. To depend on God and let Him have His way in our lives. To let God show the world His great power.

And like Bartimaeus, we must be grateful to God. Even when the answer is wait or no, we need to follow him on the way, kasi God is our Lord and Master. Minsan kasi kapag nasagot na yung prayers natin, babalik ulit tayo sa pagiging makalimutin. Nakakalimutan ulit natin si God. And when problems strike us again, we tend to panic and forget that He has shown His grace and power to us before pa. 🙂

~ by carlomer on May 20, 2010.

3 Responses to “Bartimaeus, the Blind Man”

  1. Matthew 14:31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Naremind ako sa verse na ito habang binabasa ko ang blog na ito. Prayer ko magkaroon ng faith at heart ng katulad ng kay Bartemius. Humongous faith at humble heart. Amazing. Tapos right response after ng HEALING- followed Christ. Nakakatuwa naman talga. Doubting at fickle kasi ang human heart. Unlike Bartemius, na ka focus siya kay Christ at hindi nasa paligid niya. Hindi siya na discourage sa taunting ng mga nasa paligid niya. Unlike him, courageous ang heart at hindi rin siya ng hold on sa mga negative emotions niya- BULAG siya ha. napa comment tuloy ako. Mahirap tlaga mawala ang focus kay Christ kasi kahit na dalawa pa ang mata mo, katakot takot na dapa ang mangyayari sayo… Aray, nadapa na naman ako. …

  2. Very awesome article! Honestly.

  3. I like this story.

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