By Emily Betzen
Read Mark 10:46-52.
This is the text that we were looking at last week in our Sunday Seekers group. I found myself all week going back to Bartimaeus – the nature of him refusing to be silent and his willingness to be completely exposed in taking off his cloak.
His cloak was his identity, given to him by the world. It was to let every on passer know that he was blind. His cloak was shelter for him in bad weather, it was his gathering palette for those who chose to give to him as he begged on the road. I wondered…Was a certain color? Did all blind people had the exact same form of cloak? Either way everyone that passed knew he was blind – the cloak was his identity.
In vs47 it mentions that he heard that the man passing by was Jesus of Nazareth, and he began to cry out “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
I wonder…how many times Jesus had passed by him before this? But for whatever reason, this time, when Bartimaeus heard who was passing by, he cried out.
He is scolded, hushed, and warned to be quiet. After all he is nothing but a blind beggar. This does not stop him, instead he shouted out all the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Bartimaeus may not have been able to see Jesus with his physical eyes, but he recognized Jesus for who He was with his spiritual eyes. Those around Bartimaeus did not even know that Jesus was the Messiah! Were they hushing Bartimaeus because of his social status? Or were they hushing him because he was hollering Messiah! Messiah!? Is this why Jesus commanded him to come to him? Was Jesus reminded of His identity when Bartimaeus cried out Messiah!?
Can you see the mouths dropping, fingers pointing, people whispering as Bartimaeus is summoned to Jesus; vs50 and throws aside his cloak, his identity from the world. In every translation I looked at it is evident that he takes off the old identity to rise and go to Jesus.
The same should be true of us, as we abide in His word our lives should be transformed. We should be throwing away the identities and labels that the world’s placed on us, in exchange for who He says we are. The transforming work in us should draw people to Jesus, as we receive our sight from revelation through abiding in Him!