As Jesus and His disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the 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!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mark 10:46-48
I recently heard a story about a supermarket clerk. Part of his job was to collect the carts left in the parking lot. He was on such a “cart run” when he saw a lady struggling with her groceries. Her cart was overflowing, so were her arms. He watched as the lady put one package on the roof of the car while she popped the trunk and car doors. He watched as she loaded her packages and as she got into her car, started it up, and began to drive away.
Seeing she had left a package on the top of her car, the clerk left his carts and started running toward her. He reached her, just as she stopped and made the turn that would take her onto the street. He reached her just as the package slid off the roof; he reached her in time to catch the package—her baby—before it hit the pavement.
No doubt both mother and clerk were glad he had not been detoured or deterred from his action. That was certainly the case for blind Bartimaeus when Jesus came to Jericho. Hearing that Jesus, with a large crowd of disciples, was passing by, Bartimaeus began to call for Jesus’ attention. Although many around him told him to “hush up,” Bartimaeus was not going to be put off. He believed that this was his moment. Jesus had healed many others; maybe the Lord would heal him as well. Thinking Jesus might never come this way again (He didn’t), Bartimaeus, the text tells us, yelled even louder. He would not be detoured or deterred from meeting the Savior.
In this world, sin and Satan do their very best to put detours and roadblocks between Jesus and those He came to save. When they are successful, the results are always tragic, and never what Jesus wants. The Lord of Life came to be the Divine Physician for body and soul. As He said to John the Baptist: “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me” (Luke 7:22-23).
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on November 16, 2003
The Prayer: Lord, thank You for removing all roadblocks in front of me. I believe that You placed me at this appointed place at this appointed time to do Your will. I accept and rejoice in every blessing You have set before me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.