S173P9 – Opportunities taken: the louder call

Mk. 10:48-52

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”  So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up!  On your feet!  He’s calling you.”  Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.  “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.  The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”  “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”  Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Bartimaeus had a great need, and no one could meet it.  In his position, help took only a few forms.  Without his sight, he would not have been able to support himself.  He would have depended on alms for his sustenance, but he could not always depend on the compassion of others.  Some would have thought that this man’s blindness was the result of sin, and they might have stayed away from him.  However, even had he received enough charity to provide for food, shelter and safety, no charity could have resulted in his gaining his sight.  When Bartimaeus heard that the One who could meet that need was present, he was not shy about making his request.

When Bartimaeus shouted for Jesus to hear him, the crowd tried to shut him down and drown him out.  They were getting in the way of his healing, but he was determined and persistent.  When they told him to stay quiet, he got even louder.  That is what it took for Jesus to hear him and ask the question that would change his life.  Then, when asked that fateful question, Bartimaeus was bold enough to request a miracle.  He knew not what he wanted but what he needed, and he was going to do whatever it took to make his need known and pursue the remedy.  Nothing and no one would get in the way of Bartimaeus approaching the throne of grace and asking for that which he never could merit.

We know from scripture that prayer is not always as easy as a spoken word.  There is spiritual warfare that can keep the fruit of our prayers at bay, and this requires persistence on our part. [Dan. 10]  This is what Jesus illustrated in his parable of the persistent widow. [Luke 18:1-8]  Our cries to the Lord cannot stop because there is delay or because we think He does not hear us.  That is when we must cry out louder.  To boldly go before the throne of grace means always returning there and pleading our case until we see the fruit of grace.  Father, give us the persistence and boldness of Bartimaeus to ask until we receive because we believe that You will answer.