Then they came to Jericho. 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!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
– Mark 10:46-52
I sit here, wondering. Jesus knew Bartimaeus. He might have never met, but Jesus saw Nathanael under the fig tree before Philip called him (John 1:48). One could infer that Jesus saw Bartimaeus. He could see that Bartimaeus was blind. At least, I can imagine that his infirmity was obvious. What I was wondering is “Who was Jesus talking to when He asked what Bartimaeus wanted?” Wasn’t it obvious? But was Jesus also asking us if we wish to be healed. Healed of what? Our infirmities, our handicaps, or our sinful state?
The crippled man at the pool at Bethesda was asked the same question (John 5:6), and the answer was something of a dodge. The cripple complained of not having a partner when the waters were stirred. For clarification, there was a belief that the first person into the pool when the waters stirred would be healed. Yet, the crippled man never said, “I want to be healed.”
Bartimaeus confirms the fact that he wants to see, and Jesus heals him. In Matthew, there are two blind men. In Luke, the one blind man is not named. But in Mark, he has a name. I imagine that when the book of Mark was written, people in the area knew Bartimaeus. They’d be able to confirm the statement.
I wonder what Bartimaeus did after gaining his eyesight? He’d have to work instead of continuing to beg.
I wonder what would Jesus get as an answer today? No, please, don’t heal me, I’d have to get a job! Maybe Jesus would get that answer occasionally, but he might have gotten that answer 2000 years ago. I hear that working people are now pan handling on the weekends, pretending to be unemployed, just to collect extra cash. If they can make more on Saturday morning than they did any other day, when they were collecting a paycheck, maybe there were successful beggars in the first century.
Why all of this wondering?
Thursday night, I was brushing my teeth, and it looked like someone was behind me, flashing Morse Code at my back, and my left eye caught the reflection of the light flashes. It was just for a moment, then it was gone. Friday, it came back while watching television. If I closed my left eye, the flashing stopped. I have forgotten most of my Morse Code, but a lot was two simple “S” signals, then more a minute or two later. “dit-dit-dit pause dit-dit-dit”
My wife had lightning flashes in her eyes about two weeks before she had three retina tears. She still has some floating blood in her eye that never dissolved. Now, I’m thinking “Uh Oh.” And I start praying.
Of course, about the time this was happening, the rain had just turned to freezing rain, was followed by about four inches of snow. I awoke to flashes in my left eye this morning. As the day wore on, it has diminished a little, but they are still there.
I called the doctor (limited Saturday hours). The first reaction from the receptionist was, “Get here by noon!” I explained where I lived, the condition of our tires (passing inspection, but just barely), and the fact that the snowplows had not plowed yet. Her next statement was, “We’ll hope for the best, but you shouldn’t risk driving in. I have an opening on Monday morning.”
So, the plow came by and removed the fluffy snow to expose the ice-snow mixture that was underneath. The temperature may be too cold for the salt to be effective.
And I am in the arms of Jesus. If He asks me, my answer is, “Lord and Rabbi, I want to see.”
Please, pray for me. It may be nothing, but it could be serious. A repair of a retina detachment is in-patient surgery. Retina tears can be repaired out-patient. Of course, it may not be a tear at all. It could be simply a case of getting old. That is what the Monday appointment is for.
If there are gaps in my posts, it may be from a variety of things. But even without the eye trouble, the internet was flaky during the recent cold snap, and we are having another. I could fail to post something due to the collapse of our local network.
But if my left eye gets worked on, note that my right eye needs the cataract removed, so I may be missing posts from actual temporary blindness. If you see a typo, you can chalk it up to that.
For all of you fellow bloggers, I will allow you to use this excuse, but wait a few weeks. It might be obvious if you immediately blame your typos on temporary blindness.
Why am I making light of what may be a very serious problem? Check out four paragraphs ago. I am in the arms of Jesus. He is the great Healer. Even with a retina detachment and the following recovery time, I will still praise Him.
As Jerry Clower used to say, “It’s all good.”