Dr. Jack R. Hodges, Jr.
In Mark 10:46-52, we read about an interesting encounter that Jesus had with a blind man.
Mark reported (v. 46), “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.” This amazing encounter occurred while Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem and
ultimately on His way to Calvary. Needless to say, He had a lot on His mind and heart. And yet
amazingly, amid the emotionally and physically challenging journey toward the cross,
Jesus heard the cry of a blind man for help. The blind man is identified by Mark as Bartimaeus,
the son of Timaeus. When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus passing by, he cried out, “Jesus,
Son of David, have mercy on me!” Others around him, who also had gathered along the road
heading out of Jericho to catch a glimpse of the one that they had heard had performed many
miracles, tried to quieten the blind man. But he would not be silenced. He continued to cry out.
And then, all of sudden, Jesus stopped. He had heard the man’s cry, even though the noise of
His own thoughts and emotions, even while the Savior’s mind was focused upon the horror of
the impending events. And when He heard the cry for mercy, Jesus knew He could do
something about it. Jesus called for him to come close. And then the Master asked, “What do
you want Me to do for you?” Bartimaeus replied, “Rabboni [Master], I want to regain my sight.”
Immediately, Jesus commanded him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” The blind man was
immediately healed by the word of the Lord Jesus activated by the faith of the one who placed
his faith in the mercy of the Lord.
How did Mark know the formerly blind man’s name? The answer is found in the second part of
verse 52, “…And immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.”
Bartimaeus received his sight, beheld the Messiah, and followed Him.
Perhaps as you read this devotional, you find yourself identifying with the blind man. Maybe
you have experienced the debilitating effects of illness, loss, fear, anger, or any number of
paralyzing experiences. I urge you to cry out to the Lord for mercy and healing. He will hear
your cry and act upon your faith according to His will and way.
But there is another aspect of this story that I want you to see. The interesting thing about
following the Master, is that although He was focused upon a specific plan, purpose, and
destination ahead, Jesus was always attending to the unexpected needs and opportunities
that were along the way. Jesus heard the cries of the blind, desperate, unclean, and helpless.
He offered them mercy, grace, love, and salvation.
There is, quite likely, a “blind man” (woman, son, daughter, neighbor, or friend) sitting by your
pathway. They are begging for your attention, your time, your presence—and perhaps you
don’t even see them or know that they exist. Too busy or preoccupied with your own
difficulties, plans, or purposes, you miss the need and opportunity to minister a word of
comfort or encouragement. You miss the privilege of serving them with the kindness and love
of the Savior. As a follower of Christ, it is now time to see them! Not just see them, but to invest
yourself in their lives and bring mercy, grace, love, and blessing. You can be a difference-maker
for the glory of the Lord and allow the Master to use you to touch other people’s lives in His
Dr. Jack Hodges is the Senior Pastor at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. He has served as a pastor, a biblical counselor, and an International Mission Board missionary.
Read more from Dr. Hodges here.