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 10:52).
Jesus has done a lot of healing in Mark: I count eight healing stories thus far.
All these have at least one thing in common: we don’t know their names.
The only healed person whose name we know in Mark is the subject of our text: Bartimaeus. We first meet him at Jericho sitting in the road begging. He may be blind, but there is nothing wrong with his hearing! He hears that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. He’s heard of this Jesus fellow. He’s heard of the amazing things he has done. He believes Jesus can make him see and when he gets a chance, he asks for precisely that – despite the fact that a host of people stand in his way.
The story concludes a long section (beginning in 8:1) that has to do with blindness. The disciples are blind to what Jesus’ power means for their lives. They are blind to the will of God. They are blind to who Jesus is and what it means to follow him.
But Bartimaeus, blind though he is, sees Jesus as the cure and when Jesus heals him, he does what no other healed person does; does what few sighted people do: he casts everything aside and follows Jesus.
Spiritually blind people struggle with discipleship. But those who see clearly have only one goal: to follow the Lord and they let nothing, particularly the influence of the crowd, deter them. At heart though is this: you gotta want to see.