Blind Bartimaeus sat in a corner on the busy street; the only light life had served him was the voice of the people, and they weren’t all so nice to him. One day, he heard a crowd, and his ears brought more light than he had ever experienced. There was excitement, there was such frenzy, he knew it was something big, and so he struggled to his feet and grabbed at the first person his hands could catch… “What’s the brightness about today? Why the excitement? What’s happening? Please feed me with words for my mind to see?”
“It’s Jesus of Nazareth passing by” replied an irritated man, as he tried to break free from Bartimaeus hold.
The blind man fell to the ground from the force of the separation. He wasn’t bothered. All he knew was he could feel brightness like never before… all he wanted to do was to see. To see the face of the woman he called mother, to see what the world looked like. He knew his day had come, this same Jesus he heard stories about, stories of deaf people hearing and blind men seeing… And so with all that was within him, his faith grew and with every strength he could muster, he screamed in the direction of the crowd, not sure if the Jesus he had heard so much about was on that side, but trying his luck “Jesus, Son of David… Have mercy on me”
The coarseness of his voice drew the attention of people standing close by, and they rebuked him. “Oh, be quite you… we want to hear what He’s saying” and probably “stop acting crazy, don’t you know there are people around you?”
But that only made the desperate man scream louder, and this time, Jesus heard him, and sent for him.
“He’s calling you old man” Someone said not to kindly, angry that the teacher was interrupted. Angry that this show of emotion from a grown man was getting any attention at all.
He struggled up to his feet, tripping over his money plate, and stumbling towards the voice, a firm hand griped him and led him to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you” Jesus asked
“Good sir, I want to see”
“Go, your faith has healed you.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus.
(An adaptation of Mark 10:46-42)
We’ve all been blind at some point; we probably are still blind now. Spiritually blind to the truth of God’s grace. Blindness could come in different forms… a darkness brooding in our lives from fear, illness, heartbreaks etc. We run to the church, but unfortunately, Church people like the crowd try to shush us… those locked in the bondage of religion. We’re been conditioned to dress our best, clean up and sit like everything is fine because we are religious. Our scream is reshaped into a distorted smile as we sit dying inside, watching Jesus pass us in the front roll, but restrained from crying out to Him because of the crowd, of the expectations…
You see, there were loads of people around Jesus that faithful day, people blind in one way or the other, weighed down with issues, but they acted too cool for school, masked their pain and blindness under sophistication and looked on as Jesus preached, but one person damned the norm, one person allowed his weakness show as he screamed out to God for mercy… he wasn’t going to be locked up in all that facade, he was desperate for a release, for light, for healing, for his broken heart to be mended and thus he screamed despite how he was told to shut up, and God’s love and mercy heard Him, and filled His life with light.
‘Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind.” ‘John 9:39(Msg)
We are not allowed to cry out in church because we can’t come as we are, we can’t come blind! We are asked, expected to come, as they want to see us. That’s not what Jesus died for. He died to save us, to transform us, to give us life and give us light. We don’t have to pretend to come to him, but church has so condemned blindness, that even when we’re blind and we come, we pretend we can see and we are not given that chance to cry out “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me” because when we cry out, they look at us and judge us for being blind and they tell us to shush up, don’t disturb the master…. It’s time to drop that mask, and scream “Jesus son of David have mercy on me”. Let the light of His love and grace, that makes all things bright and beautiful, that gives hope and joy and peace, make all things right in every single thing you’re going through, everything that causes you pain, darkness and tears.
"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have" Matthew 6:22-23(Msg)
A friend sent me this song and it is so apt for this message…
We find those who have nothing to loose by showing their desperateness are touched by God and come to understand the depth and truth and love of grace than those who try to hide behind masquerade glasses and act like everything is jolly well alright in church. Our pretense and show for God denies us of the fullness of healing He gives… How do we appreciate something we can’t or haven’t received? Come blind that your eyes may be open to see the glory of the lamb slain, that you may receive the love that your pride and pretense has blinded you to.
"...By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones)” Ephesians 1:18(Amp)