faith was born
“Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”
There was a stir in the heart of Bartimaeus as he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Then, suddenly, as he heard the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the spark of faith was lit in his heart. He was no more the same man anymore. He began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Bartimaeus was a changed man.
But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10)
Faith was born in the heart of Bartimaeus. Jesus was no more just a fascinating person, who was passing by, Jesus was the creator, the God of heaven and earth. Bartimaeus was ready to give himself completely to Jesus.
Let us take a closer look at the cry of Bartimaeus. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
This was no ordinary way of addressing Jesus. In that one statement was contained all of who Jesus was. He was the Messiah, the King, who was setting up His kingdom, the Lord of heaven and earth. The creator. All things consisted in Him.
The crowd, that day, had the opportunity to express the same faith in Jesus as the Son of David, as Bartimaeus did. They should have been glad for Bartimaeus. They should have encouraged him and they should have provided Bartimaeus with space and the needed help to reach Jesus.
Instead, the crowd was warning Bartimaeus not to shout. The word ‘warning’ appears in all the three renderings of the synoptic gospels, of this incident. This crowd was actively working against the expression of faith that was happening in the heart of Bartimaeus. Isn’t that miserable?
This crowd was actively working against the expression of faith that was happening in the heart of Bartimaeus. Isn’t that miserable?
Bartimaeus was not to be discouraged or dissuaded by this caustic crowd. He, instead of being smothered by the negativity around him, actually became even more belligerent in his faith in Jesus, the Son of David.
The spark of faith in Bartimaeus had turned into a flame.
Friends, the spark of faith must be constantly stoked into a flame of faith, in us, however, and whatever may be our circumstances. Let us not blame our surroundings for the temperature of our faith in Jesus. Pessimism is to be expected around us, but let that not be an excuse. In the midst of all the despondency let us be those whose flame of faith in Jesus is burning bright.
This is how we experience our faith moments by repeatedly connecting with Jesus, the son of David.