Friday, May 9, 2008

A Cry of Faith

The following is a remarkable account of Jesus healing a blind man named Bartimaeus. If we are allowed to speculate he is probably called by his name in this account because he was more than likely a person well known in the area as a man of faith

“Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road . When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
(Mark 10:46-47 NASU)

The word of God is the source of soul saving, body-healing faith.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ
(Romans 10:17 NAS).”

Soul saving, body-healing faith is based upon rock solid revelation given by the Holy Spirit of God through prayerful study of the Holy Scriptures. In this manner a personal relationship is cultivated with our heavenly father as he speaks to our heart. Apparently Bartimaeus had that personal relationship in his life and had received revelation, (a gift of faith), that Jesus the Son of David was the Son of God, for he believed on Him. His faith was made evident in his outcry for mercy (v. 47).

Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’”
(Mark 10:48 NAS)

Even when told to be quite his faith remained strong and gave him courage, strength and boldness to continue to cry out for mercy. The Master heard him.

49And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “ Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” 50Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “ Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” 52And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.”
(Mark 10:49-52)

The Master had spoken and suddenly the outcry against Bartimaeus was changed to words of encouragement. Because of his faith Jesus responded to him; because of his faith the outcry against him ceased. Because of his faith he now heard words of encouragement. God given faith has the power to calm the storm, restore peace, heal the sick, and cause the lame to walk, bring healing to the blind and to restore the lost soul.

Through out history other men have identified men by the cloths they wear; the policeman, fireman, nurse, doctor and soldier are all known by their uniform; most of the rich and the poor are also known by the cloths they wear. Now men knew Bartimaeus as a blind beggar because of the cloths he wore. As soon as Bartimaeus heard the summons by his Lord he knew the Son of God had heard his plea. Immediately, full of joy at the prospect of being healed, he cast the outer garment aside that identified him as a blind beggar and ran without impediment to Jesus. By faith, even before he was made to see, he knew he was no longer a blind beggar.

Unlike the other people Jesus did not see Bartimaeus as a blind beggar. Jesus saw Bartimaeus clothed in the righteousness of the Father that is of faith and He was willing to do whatever he ask of Him, for He said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you.” Bartimaeus replied to Jesus, saying, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight (v. 51).”

Bartimaeus’ response was that of total submission as he called the Lord Jesus “Rabboni,” meaning Master.

”And Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way, your faith has made you well (v.52).’”

Another translation reads, ”your faith has saved you.” Bartimaeus received grace through faith and was granted eternal life.

Take care to note; Bartimaeus ask to “regain” his sight. Apparently he was able to see earlier in life but had lost his sight. Though this Scripture had no such original reference this may be used to illustrate that before the sin of Adam man knew God, loved and enjoyed His beauty and walked with Him. Sin left man spiritually blind and wearing a cloak of sinful flesh. The sinful cloak of flesh identifies the unrighteous. In the same in which Bartimaeus threw off his cloak, the lost sinner should throw off the garments of his sinful life-he should rise speedily-should run with joy-should have full faith in the power of Jesus, and cast himself entirely upon His mercy.

”And immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road (v. 52).”

Likewise, when man’s spiritual sight is restored and his cloak of unrighteousness is removed, he sees God’s beauty; his love for God returns and his desire to walk with his Creator is restored. He now wears a cloak of righteousness given to him by his Lord and is identified with the faithful. Jesus had said to Bartimaeus, “Go your way.” He was free to go wherever he chose; but because of faith working through love he was able to see the beauty of his Lord and he chose to walk with Him.

Men who receive a God given faith possess a great love for his Lord. Faith brings about a desire to leave the things of the world and be obedient to Christ in order to be pleasing to Him. Faith caused Bartimaeus to cry out. Faith caused him to obey His summons. Faith caused Bartimaeus to love Jesus even before meeting and seeing Him face to face, even before he was healed. This is the work of faith. It was not the miracle that saved Bartimaeus, it was God’s grace working through a cry of faith.

James C Sanford

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