Hurdles. They bring to mind Olympic runners, not a blind man from the pages of the Gospels. Yet Bartimaeus was driven by far more than a gold medal. Let’s look at his story.
He’s unnamed, known by his father’s, not his own.
He’s alone. No family, no friends guide him through the streets of Jericho.
He has no skills. He’s left to beg.
But he gets it.
“As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'” (Mark 10:46-47 NIV)
But something interesting happens. Jesus doesn’t go to him.
Instead, Jesus tells him to come.
Bartimaeus struggles over three hurdles to get to Jesus and to receive healing:
Hurdle #1: The Crowd As Bartimaeus cries out to Jesus, they shush him. Nothing doing. He gets louder. He clears the hurdle of what other people think. Is the opinion of others keeping you from healing? From a deeper relationship with Jesus?
Hurdle #2: The Handicap Jesus has called. A blind man must seek a stranger. Bartimaeus follows the noise, hoping someone will shove him in the right direction. He clears the hurdle of the handicap. What handicap do you need to hurdle?
Hurdle #3: The Baggage When Jesus calls for him, Mark records (Mark 10:46-52) that Bartimaeus threw his cloak aside, jumped to his feet, and came to Jesus. That cloak was probably all he had. We read nothing of friends or family. He’s begging. Notice too, Jesus asks him what he wants. Isn’t it obvious? But Jesus makes him articulate it. There’s baggage present and Jesus makes him confront it. What are you carrying?
Bartimaeus wanted healing and Jesus was the only one who could give it. The blind man was so desperate nothing could hold him back.
Are you there yet?
Nail your spiritual workouts this week and change your corner of the gym.
Workout of the Week: Clearing Hurdles
Memory Verse: “Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.” Mark 10:50 (NIV)
Just Do It: Come.