46They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” 52Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
Reading Scripture to Know:
- What is happening/being said? (Observation)
- Why is this happening/being said? (Interpretation)
- What does the rest of Scripture say about it? (Evaluation)
- What does it mean? (Understanding)
- What does it mean for us? (Application)
Reading Scripture to Grow:
- What words or phrases stand out to you? Why?
- Where do you hear the voice of God in this Scripture?
- How do you see the character of God reflected in this Scripture?
- How does this Scripture reveal God?
- How does this Scripture expose humanity and its need for God?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in your life?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in our world?
- What might God want to communicate to you (us) this week through this Scripture?
Scripture Reads Me:
- This passage makes me feel…
- This passage makes me think about…
- This passage reminds me of…
- This passage teaches me that God is…
- This passages teaches me that I am…
- This passage challenges me to…
Reflection: Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Have you ever felt desperate for God? Sometimes we get to a point spiritually in which we understand more deeply that nothing will satisfy us other than God. Only God holds the power to make us whole. Last week we spoke about the three “i”s that Jesus took upon himself on the cross: our iniquities, our infirmities, and our injustices. The result of Jesus taking our iniquities upon himself is that we find holiness in Jesus Christ. The result of Jesus taking our infirmities upon himself is that we find healing in Jesus Christ. And finally, the result of Jesus taking our injustices upon himself is that find wholeness in Jesus Christ. That is what God has in store for us: holiness, healing, and wholeness. This is God’s grace-filled response to our sin.
Bartimaeus was desperate for the power of God to bring healing to his life. He would not let any obstacle get in between him and Jesus: not his “disability,” not the disapproval of the crowd, and not the sound of the din around him. When told to be quiet, he just shouted louder for mercy. His desperation for God was met by Jesus’s merciful response of healing. But the work of God did not stop in opening his eyes and bringing him physical healing. Notice that the response of Bartimaeus to this act of physical healing was to follow Jesus. In following Jesus, he most certainly found wholeness and holiness, as well as a deepened experience of healing that reached beyond body to heart and spirit.
In what ways do you need to experience healing, wholeness, and holiness? Have you gotten to the point where you recognize that your only hope for these realities is Jesus Christ? Has following Christ become your fail-proof remedy for iniquity, infirmity, and injustice? God’s works of healing, wholeness, and holiness do not always look the way we would imagine them. And often our spiritual healing has a greater impact than any other form of healing. There are deeper wounds within us than simply the wounds we carry in our bodies.
I love the image from the psalmist in Psalm 42:1-2: “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” When we thirst after God, we will be filled. When we cry out to God, we will be answered. When we are desperate for God, knowing that God alone will satisfy, we will find healing, wholeness, and holiness. May you desperately thirst for God this week, finding the peace and power of Christ in return.
Journaling Focus: Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
Healing from God can come in many different forms. Sometimes healing comes in the miraculous and instantaneous moments. Sometimes healing comes more slowly and is less noticeable to those on “the outside.” How have you experienced healing? Reflect on the healing power of God and how you or others you know have experienced that divine healing. As you write, consider the ways in which you need to experience the healing of God. How might God bring that healing to you?
Prayer Focus: As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.
It would have been easy, with a big crowd around him, for Jesus to ignore Bartimaeus like everyone else was. But Jesus saw people that were overlooked by society and he responded to them with compassion and healing. This week pray for Christ-like vision. In other words, pray that God will allow you to see the hurting, lost, and ignored. As you begin to see these persons with compassionate eyes, ask God to reveal Godself to them in power and peace. Ask God how you might be an active source of strength and hope for the overlooked. Trust God to teach you about God and life through the lives of the overlooked. Never forget that they are persons of sacred worth and wisdom as well!
Meditation Focus: Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.”
Imagine that you are standing in a large crowd and Jesus is there. He looks over toward you and calls your name. You look up and see Jesus gesturing for you to come near. Everyone in the crowd turns their heads to look at you. All of you are wondering the same things: “What will Jesus say to him? Why does Jesus want him to come forward?” As you approach Jesus with trepidation, you notice the look on Jesus’s face. What does the look communicate to you? You reach Jesus, who has called you to him, and you take a deep breath. What does Jesus say to you? Why did Jesus call you near? Listen to Jesus’s words and watch his actions. What does Jesus want with you?
Take some time to reflect upon your day or your week. Follow the process below and open yourself up to the presence and work of God in your life this week. Every week the structure is the same, but some specifics are changed to reflect the Scripture of the week.
- Find a place and posture that will prepare you for prayer.
- Begin by breathing in deeply through your nose and breathing deeply out of your mouth.
- Invite God to lead you through the previous day or week. For instance, if it is Tuesday night, reflect back on Tuesday morning, afternoon, and evening. If it Saturday or Sunday, reflect back on Monday through Friday.
- Ask God to guide you through these questions:
- How have you experienced healing?
- How have you experienced wholeness?
- How have you experienced holiness?
- Thank God for this journey of reflection on your day or week. Ask God to continue to reveal Godself to you tomorrow.
Listen to someone this week. Really listen to them – not to respond, but to hear them deeply. Jesus was listening to Bartimaeus when others were trying to silence him. Give someone a voice this week by listening to them. You might bear witness to their pain and be a channel of healing for them.
Breath Prayer: LORD God, open our eyes.