“And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus” (Mark 10:50, ESV).
Can you see Bartimaeus with your mind’s eye? We don’t know how long he had been blind, but we know that this condition had condemned him to a life of begging. Let’s call him Bart, to help us connect better with how real of a person he was. Poor, poor Bart. Aside from the beggar lifestyle, there was no other way for him to feed himself. That’s why the above verse is so amazing. Let’s look at it again: “And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus”
In Bart’s society, his cloak identified him as a blindman. The particular kind he wore was a visual cue. Only pitiable men like him wore cloaks like this. It was his license to beg and receive alms from passersby. This cloak represented not only his income, but his identity as a pathetic, helpless man.
When Jesus called him, he threw it off! Notice that Jesus did not ask him to do that. He did so completely of his own initiative. In doing so, he aggressively threw off the shackles of the past. He threw off the limitations that had defined him. He cast aside the identity of a victim. Notice also that he did not gingerly pick himself off the ground either. There was no wariness or weariness in his posture. Rather, full of anticipation, he sprang up and eagerly approached the Savior of the world.
Anticipation. That is our number one key for today. Bart obviously was fully expectant that he would receive his healing. He knew who Jesus was. He had been crying out to Him at the top of his voice, “Son of David!” This was a Messianic title. He fully recognized in his spirit that the hope of the ages was walking down the road right beside him. He was not going to sit by quietly and miss his chance. His raucous insistence apparently was annoying to those around him, as they tried to silence him. However, the hushers, haters, and naysayers were not going to steal this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from him. With everything in him, he cried out to Jesus.
What was Jesus’ answer? “Go your way; your faith has made you well” (v. 52). He offered no further explanation than that. Bart’s faith had made him well. He immediately received what he had fervently anticipated: his sight. Handed a brand-new life on a platter, he joyfully followed Jesus along the way.
Jesus is the image of the invisible God. When we see glimpses of Him like this one, we come to know the Father better. When we cry out to our Daddy God, full of anticipation that He wills our wholeness, Heaven responds. Heaven answers.
Are you eagerly anticipating your answer today?
Do you think God likes audacity in prayer? Is “audacious faith” an appropriate term?