Have you read the story of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10: 46-51) We call him Blind Bartimaeus but he was beggar too.
I can just picture him sitting on the edge of town begging, not knowing who might be passing him by… just begging from anyone who would offer something not just money but maybe a connection, something that might take him back to days before he was blind.
My heart hurts for Bart during this season of his life but Bartimaeus was a pretty resilient man. The thing with Blind Begging Bart was he didn’t let his ailment control him or his pride stop him.
He humbled himself daily to be there, in public, begging. There was no pride in what he did. In fact, there was hope and faith, that maybe, just one day, things might turn around. He just kept showing up with faith and hope.
Though he couldn’t see, he didn’t let his one hindrance muffle all the other gifts he still had. He listened and heard. The stories he must have heard. I am sure because he couldn’t see, people acted like they couldn’t see him, and ignored him and went on about their lives and conversations like he didn’t even exist. I’m sure as he stood in the dusty streets of Jericho begging, people ignored him and kept on in their own interpersonal conversations. The stories and tales he must have heard! Tales of kid’s imaginations running wild while they are playing, women sharing and giggling with one another, men telling stories of battles fought, announcements of special guests coming to and from the town of Jericho.
Bart did not let his blindness, or his begging stop him from listening, he did not have a pity party. Bart listened and did what he could do with faith that one day his life would change. Instead of pity Bart positioned himself daily for a miracle. That day drew near and with faith he kept listening…… “when he heard that is was Jesus of Nazareth.” He heard the good news… and without hesitation he cried out, “Ben-David, Jesus! Have mercy on me!” Bart had gotten rid of his pride a long time ago, he didn’t care who heard, he didn’t care how taboo, he didn’t care what people might have said or done, he used what he had (his ears) and knew His savior had come and his faith was not in vain.
And sure enough, the people “warned” him to be quiet. They warned him because they could have “restrained” him for stepping outside the lines of their confined society. But Bart didn’t care… he was willing to risk it all to encounter Jesus! We too must be willing to risk it all to encounter Jesus. There will be the nay-sayers, but like Bart, we must ignore the people telling us to be quiet and be willing to do whatever it takes to encounter the Savior.
As Jesus moved through the dusty streets and the people and crowds huddled around Him, shuffling through the town, Jesus heard someone. The noise of the crowd was loud. The hustle and bustle the town filled the air. But Jesus something. “Son of David, have mercy on me!” The sound He heard was more than the groupies that surrounded Him. Jesus stopped, He heard the cry of faith. The cry of faith is different than the just the voices of people wanting to be around Jesus. The cry of faith moves the very heart of God. The cry of faith caused Jesus to stop right there in His tracks.
No matter the noisy and chaos all around us in this world or the noisy and chaos in your mind, Jesus can still hear you. He will hear the cry of faith.
“Jesus says, “Call him over.”
So, they call the blind man, saying, “Take heart! Get up, He’s calling you!”
Throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.”
The cry of faith urges you to step outside the bounds of society into the realm of the supernatural. The fact that Bart was blind did not stop him from crying out to Jesus and it did not stop him from coming to Jesus. Bart was willing to move out of the bounds of his earthly culture for the opportunity to experience Christ.
Yes, Jesus could have gone over to Bartimaeus, I mean Bart is blind. Wouldn’t it have been so kind of Jesus to walk gracefully and gently over to Bart and heal him? Sure, but Jesus heard a cry of faith and cries of faith also require steps of faith too. And just when you think you have mustered up every bit of faith you could to just cry out to Jesus. Jesus will ask you to step out, He will ask you stretch your faith just a bit more.
Jesus knew it was not easy for a blind man to find his way around. But Jesus told those around him to “Call him over.” He did not say, go get him, lead him to me, or take me to him. Jesus said, “Call him over.” Jesus was asking Bart to go beyond a Cry of Faith and take a Step of Faith
And blind begging Bart answered! He didn’t just slowly find his way to Jesus. He threw off His cloak, jumped up and went to Jesus. He did something, and he did it with everything he had. He didn’t feel his way around and creep over to Jesus. He didn’t’ move with hesitation but he moved with haste, His cry of faith had been heard, and he was willing to step out in faith too.
Bart couldn’t see, but Jesus asked him to come. Jesus asked him to come, to move, to walk, to Him. Jesus asked a blind man to walk to him as if he could see. Jesus was asking for more than a cry of faith but steps of faith too. Jesus asked Bartimaeus to walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Steps of faith are risky. When we can’t see what lies ahead there is risk. Bart could have stumbled around, bumped into those around him, and even fallen. But He did not care, Jesus was calling Him.
When Jesus calls you to take a step of faith, it will likely feel like it is going to be the riskiest thing you could do. But if Jesus is called that means Jesus has made a way, that means He is watching and waiting for you to meet Him. But we have step out when we hear Jesus calling us, we have to forget the fear of risk and follow His response in faith.
Blind Bart quickly makes his way to Jesus and then…
Jesus asks Bart, “What do you want Me to do for you?””
Jesus knew Bart was blind. Jesus knew Bart wanted to see again. Jesus is pretty wise like that. But still Jesus asks the obvious, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
Bart replies, “Rabbi, I want to see again!”
Bart did not reply to Jesus question with another question like, “can you heal my blind eyes?” Bart just said it with every bit of faith because he knew it was possible. “I want to see again!” This story is not about what Jesus knew but it was about what Bart believed. Jesus was asking Bart to move beyond a Cry of Faith, beyond a Step of Faith, and make a bold Statement of Faith. Jesus wanted to hear Bart state with a bold faith the desires of his heart.
Do not be discouraged if Jesus asks you the obvious after you have already cried out, and blindly stepped out. Boldly state in the faith the cry of your heart.
Then, “Jesus replies, “GO! Your FAITH has made you well.”
Instantly he regained his sight and began following Jesus down the road.”
Bart instantly received his sight but there was a long journey before instantly. It was years of being blind. It was years of living on the outside of society. It was a painful journey. It was a bold cry of faith. It was a risky step of faith. It was an obvious yet bold statement of faith. And then… Instantly!
Your promise will come in an instant but there is a lot of sacrifice and often a long journey of preparation before instantly.
Jesus heard a cry of faith that caused him to stop in the middle of a crowd. Jesus hears each of us. Jesus hears you! No matter the chaos and all the noise around Jesus still hears us. He hears our cry… whatever your situation, whatever the desire or dream in your heart… Cry out in faith, He is faithful to respond!
Your cry of faith captures the heart of God. But don’t be surprised when He calls you to act in faith. He may not respond the way you expect but the Spirit will respond. Be ready to step out in faith. No matter the earthly risk, walk by faith not by sight.
And even though Jesus see you, hears you, and knows what you are crying out for He may just ask you the obvious… “what do you want Me to do for you?” Respond with a bold faith filled response. Don’t hesitantly ask Jesus to do something you know He can do but boldly proclaim what you know He is going to do. Speak out in faith!
I don’t know the situation you are facing. I don’t know what you are hoping for, believing for, mustering up faith for, but I do know if you will cry out in faith, the heart of God will respond. He is faithful to answer, He is faithful to meet our need, He is faithful to give you good gifts.
Friend do not stop believing! Keep the Faith!
Cry out in faith, Step out in faith, Speak out in faith.