By Roger Kruse
Have you ever considered what it would be like to live without sight? On occasion I have closed my eyes and contemplated the implications. Recently I saw two blind men with white canes ready to cross a busy highway. I admire their courage and readiness to engage life as normal as possible. However, it can’t be easy.
The Bible tells a story of a man named Bartimaeus. He lived in a city named Jericho. Because of his blindness, his daily routine likely consisted of begging on the side of the road. During my many visits to India, I have often encountered disabled and poor persons of all sorts asking for alms. Even as I travel by car, they will come up to the window and persistently ask for money if the vehicle makes a stop. Sometimes it gets annoying and perplexing, especially when you know that certain people simply choose to beg rather than work. Nevertheless, many in India are “have not’s,” whereas I have been blessed with much. I do believe that God wants us to be generous and ready to share with others. There is joy in helping others, wherever we live. I try to give in ways that promote dignity and responsibility. Bartimaeus did the best he could in his world of personal darkness. His options were limited. He depended upon the kindness and compassion of others to help sustain his life.
On one particular day, there was quite a stir in Jericho. Jesus had come and was now on his way out of the city. Bartimaeus’ heightened senses could tell that there was excitement and anticipation in the air. Wherever Jesus went, people gathered to see him, listen to his teaching, request healing for a sickness, or find help to overcome a life-limiting problem. The mere mention of Jesus’ name inspired hope. Stories circulated among the people of the amazing miracles that he had performed. Bartimaeus found himself imagining if Jesus could do a miracle for him! But now Jesus was leaving. Any hope for Bartimaeus was about to be past tense. Suddenly he heard his own voice cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Again, he shouted the same; however, the people around him told him to be quiet. “Shut up, he can’t hear you nor does he care!” Bartimaeus was accustomed to being ignored or even treated with contempt when begging along the road. Certain people seemed to find satisfaction in adding to his pain and suffering. Nevertheless, he was desperate. He called out over and over again, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Somehow Bartimaeus seemed to know that Jesus was the Messiah. By calling him the “Son of David” he was acknowledging as much.
Suddenly, to everyone’s astonishment, Jesus stopped and instructed those near him to beckon the blind man. They told Bartimaeus to “Cheer up and get on your feet. Jesus is calling you!” Bartimaeus’ heart nearly jumped out of his chest. Jesus had heard his cry! All at once he was being ushered into the presence of the One chosen by God. Jesus’ first words were immediately to the point. “What do you want me to do for you?” He asked. Without hesitation, Bartimaeus, answered, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” The Bible says that “immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”
Miracles can still happen. Maybe you need a touch from Jesus. Don’t be dissuaded. Be persistent and do what he tells you. Jesus cares for you. He is looking for your faith. Simply come and tell the Savior your need. Trust His goodness and grace. A miracle may be waiting to happen!
Roger Kruse has seen many lives miraculously touched by Jesus. Even when God answers prayers differently than we hope, his purpose is still to bless us. Sometimes the greatest miracle is a change within us.