Blind or Seeing

In Mark 10 we read about the rich young ruler who had everything going for him. In two separate chapters we are told he was young, he was rich and he was a ruler. But he wanted to know from Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus said he needed to sell all that he had. Sadly, he couldn’t do that and he walked away unsatisfied.

Later in Mark 10 there is the story of blind Bartimaeus. ‘Jesus Son of God, have mercy on me,’ he cried. ‘What do you want,’ Jesus asked. Obviously he wanted to see, but it soon proved that he wanted to see spiritually as well. While the ruler was running away from Jesus, Bartimaeus was running to him. The seeing man went away blind, while the blind man went away seeing.

Blind Bartimaeus

The rising dust was choking his throat as dozens of feet dashed past him. As he cried out the crowd told him to be quiet, they had come a long way to hear this itinerant preacher and they didn’t want a blind man upsetting their plans. Usually they had time for him but today he was just a nuisance.

How often does a blind Bartimaeus get in our way? We’re just leaving for church and a friend rings up desperately needing our help, as her husband has left her. After the sermon we want to congratulate the preacher when another friend is bursting to tell us her news, she is pregnant at long last.

A blind Bartimaeus always comes to us at the wrong time, but the right time from God’s point of view.


In the story of blind Bartimaeus I had always thought it strange when Jesus asked ‘What do you want me to do for you?’But today I looked at the first words of Bartimaeus’. Son of David, have mercy on me.’ Yes, he wanted his sight back but more than anything else he wanted mercy from Jesus.

There are many things we feel we want from God but mercy is what is needed by us all.