The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 8 - Jesus' last journey to Jerusalem - Part 7
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Jesus now came to Jericho. In a few days, he would ride into Jerusalem. The last week of Jesus' life would be a very busy week. At the end of the week he would die on the *cross. The *apostles had been arguing about who would be the most important person in his *kingdom. They thought that Jesus would have a *kingdom on earth immediately. They were thinking about power and luxury. Jesus had plenty to think about at this time. However, he was not too busy to help Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus was a blind man who sat at the side of the road. He asked people to give him money.
Bartimaeus heard the noise of the crowd which was with Jesus. People told him that Jesus of Nazareth was there. Bartimaeus then immediately shouted out 'Jesus, Son of David, help me'. Notice the difference. The crowd said merely 'Jesus of Nazareth'. But Bartimaeus shouted 'Jesus Son of David'. Now the 'Son of David' is a name for the *Messiah. This shows the belief of Bartimaeus. He believed that Jesus was the *Messiah. The *Messiah would rescue and protect the Jews from the results of their *sin. This is what Bartimaeus believed. It is not what the crowd believed. They merely called him Jesus of Nazareth.
Bartimaeus was a poor blind man. He was of no importance in society. Many people like Bartimaeus would not think that the *Messiah would bother with them. But Jesus had time for Bartimaeus, although this was Jesus' final journey! We can always speak to Jesus about our troubles and difficulties. He will listen to us. He has time, even if nobody else has time. (Think about the incident with the children in Mark 10:13-16.)
Bartimaeus cried out, 'Jesus, Son of David, help me!' Many people told him to be quiet. They told him not to bother Jesus. They probably told him that Jesus would not do anything for him. And this is very important. Even today, some people in the Christian church do not really encourage other people. Sometimes other people who are not Christians encourage us more! But Bartimaeus did not give up. He believed in the *Saviour. Nobody could make him be quiet. Even when Jesus himself seemed to go past, Bartimaeus still shouted out 'Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me'.
Notice what Bartimaeus asked for. He asked for help. He might have said 'Oh Lord Jesus, I have not been very bad. I do not deserve this'. Or he might have said, 'You have cured other people. I am just as good as they are. Cure me'. That is the way that many people speak to Jesus. But not Bartimaeus. 'I have nothing to say. I have no rights, I just ask for help'. This is all that we can say to Jesus: 'Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to your *cross I cling.' [This is a line from a Christian song. It means that we can offer nothing to Jesus. He died on the *cross for us. That is the only reason that we can speak to him. To cling means to hold on to.] There is no other way. We come to Jesus and just ask for his help. Or, we do not come at all.
Jesus stopped and called to Bartimaeus. Jesus asked Bartimaeus to come to him. That is a beautiful detail in the story. Jesus did not meet Bartimaeus by accident! Bartimaeus did not just happen to be in front of Jesus! Jesus definitely stopped and asked Bartimaeus to come. This showed that Jesus wanted to hear Bartimaeus's request. And now there is a final test. 'What do you want me to do for you?' asked Jesus. Of course, Jesus knew what Bartimaeus wanted. It was easy to know. This was a final test of Bartimaeus’s belief. Bartimaeus's answer was confident: 'Master, let me receive my sight.' Bartimaeus showed his trust. He knew that the *Saviour could cure him.
And this is the kind of trust that you and I must have. Jesus is able to help us. He can deal with our problems. Let us not doubt. Let us trust in him. Whatever the difficulties may be, speak to Jesus. Even if someone tries to stop you, speak to Jesus. Bartimaeus did this, and Jesus cured him.
Bartimaeus used his sight to walk behind Jesus. That is, Bartimaeus followed Jesus. Among the crowd with Jesus were many people whom Jesus had helped. They really did want to be close to Jesus. I wonder if Bartimaeus was in the crowd a few days later. Perhaps he was in the crowd who watched Jesus die on the *cross. There were leaders of the Jewish religion round the *cross. Bartimaeus saw and understood more than they did.
But we can learn more here. The *miracle itself was very important. To cure a blind man was a sign of the *Messiah. (See Isaiah 35:5, 6 or Matthew 11:2-5). Here, just before the time for the *crucifixion, was proof that Jesus was the *Messiah. It really was so plain. Bartimaeus called Jesus ‘Son of David’, which was a name for the *Messiah. Jesus cured the blind man, and this was also a sign of the *Messiah. What happened next was that Jesus rode into Jerusalem. People gave him a warm welcome. They waved branches from trees. *Prophets had said that the *Messiah would enter Jerusalem like that. We must think about the words of Jesus:
Bartimaeus was a poor blind man. He came to Jesus and asked for help. So each of us needs to come. We should tell Jesus that we are *sinners. We can ask him to forgive us. We can invite him into our lives. Jesus did not come into the world to rule over people. He came to serve, and to die for you and me.
Read: Mark 10-12
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