Have you ever felt this kind of moment in time: an opportunity arises when you feel the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart, you hesitate, and someone else says, “I will!” And you walk away wondering “What if…”
Today I want to share the story found in Mark chapter 10 of Blind Bartimaeus–a man who was presented with that kind of opportunity the day when Jesus passed by—one last time—on the road to Jerusalem.
As we look at the people surrounding Jesus that day, we see an unusual contrast between the crowd and this blind beggar. Bartimaeus, “son of Timaeus,” was an outcast. One translation of his name even means “son of an outcast.” He was given a cloak to wear by the government to identify him as someone who had no other options but to beg.
The crowd is made up of religious people headed to the Passover celebration in Jerusalem. They are walking with Jesus but are spiritually blind as they focus on their destination more than the One who is with them. Ellen White shares this observation about this kind of crowd: “Throngs of people who possess their sight are passing to and fro, but they have no desire to see Jesus. One look of faith would touch his heart of love and bring them the blessings of his grace; but they know not the sickness and poverty of their souls, and they feel no need of Christ.” (5BC 1111.15)
The religious crowd is busy. They are anxious to celebrate the Passover. How many Christians are living out their religion—practicing church, content with their good deeds—but never notice or muster up the courage of Bartimaeus to cry out to God when Jesus passes their way? Instead, they sometimes try to stop those who would: “Be quiet…you are disturbing the peace.”
But Bartimaeus does not let the crowd stop him. This is his time; this is the last time Jesus will pass by his way, and with incredible courage, Bartimaeus throws off his cloak and cries out to Jesus.
Jesus hears his cry, and asks a ridiculous question: “What do you want from me?” Bartimaeus knows his answer—he wants to see. But what is your answer? Are you playing it safe with cowardly prayers, downplaying your request, adding “if it’s Your will” to every other sentence? Those are not the prayers Jesus loves to here. Today is the day of Salvation! Jesus is passing your way! James 5:16 tells us that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
You may be struggling with impossible, with something that few but God even know about. Take a few lessons from Bartimaeus. Let no one stop you from crying out to Jesus with all your heart. Ask courageously for the impossible, and expect a life-changing encounter with Jesus.
Listen, listen…He’s passing your way…
This devotional is adapted from a sermon that was preached recently by Ernest Hernandez, Volunteer Coordinator for the North American Division Office of Volunteer Ministries.