I am going to be exploring a longer passage of scripture to give the context of the setting but would encourage you to pull up the full text and read it when you have time. I am going to focus on the New King James Version here because it is a bit clearer on the word ‘Go’ found in NIV/NIRV. More on that later.
Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
Mark 10:46-52 (NKJV)
Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
The Setting: Bartimaeus, a blind beggar is sitting by the road side when. He is hearing skills are a honed instrument as his livelihood is entirely based on his ability to engage sympathy from those who pass by. This beggar is near invisible to people at times so he is aware of much more than people would guess. So when Jesus and the throng that followed him passes by he picks up on the fact that this miracle worker he’s heard so much about is nearby.
The encounter: Bartimaeus: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The folks following Jesus down the road are trying to get him to shut up so they can hear. When all of a sudden the blind man hears “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you” Without hesitation he casts his robe to the side and makes his way to Jesus.
Jesus: “What do you want me to do for you?”
Bartimaeus: “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
Jesus: “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”
And the passage closes with “And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”
- I think it is fairly obvious that Bartimaeus’ faith was present before Jesus and the throng passes by this day. I can see where day to day he has heard about this Nazarene. He has gathered that people thought this could be the messiah. That those who were touched by this man were healed. I think he knew all of this and had become convinced so that Bartimaeus had established his faith in Christ, even though he had not heard ‘THE Word of the Lord’ he had heard ‘Word OF the Lord’.
- He took his faith and exercised it without hesitation. He called out to the Lord. In an apparent plea for direction. When the throng told him that Jesus was calling for him, he didn’t hesitate. When he received direction from the Lord he was on his feet, casting his outer garment to the road and directly went before Jesus!
- Once in the presents of Jesus. Do you think that Jesus didn’t know the heart’s desire of Bartimaeus? Sure he did. Jesus wanted Bartimaeus to express his desire. Once done Jesus tells him “Go your way, your faith has made you well.” And Bartimaeus’s sight was restored. It was Bartimaeus faith in Christ that made him well. What was different? He had the same faith sitting by the road prior to the throng passing by. Bartimaeus exercised that faith. He put it in action. He called out to the Lord. And when the Lord beckoned him, he immediately responded. But before Bartimaeus was healed Jesus required him express his request. Upon doing that Jesus say Bartimaeus your FAITH has made you well! So the element of his healing was with him sitting by the side of the road. That same faith had made him well.
The difference was that he:
- Using his faith he called to the Lord
- Exercised his faith
- Upon direction from the Lord he did as the Lord directed
- Expressed his request
- Then one more thing took place after that. He “followed Jesus”.
The NIV says in the last verse ‘Go’, I chose to use the NKJV here because this is expressed as “Go your way”. I draw the distinction here because Jesus told Bartimaeus be on your way and what did Bartimaeus do? he “Followed Jesus”. This short part of the passage says so much. When our faith is being exercised and we walk in the light of the Son of God, we ultimately will ‘Follow” Jesus.
This simple story about the blind beggar serves as a beautiful example of how our lives as believers need to be. We have faith. But we need to reach out to the Lord. And we need to exercise our faith daily. When God directs us via the Holy Spirit, do it. In faith act on what we are directed to do. Express our heart’s desire, our need, and our concerns. Doing this our faith will be the conduit of God’s blessings in our lives. And then the last thing is important as well; Follow Jesus. Continue to do these things, again and again.
Bartimaeus saw the solution though his faith and though that faith he was made whole.