Blind Bartimaeus Vs The man by the pool of Bethesda
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you. 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
These are the stories of a blind and a lame.
Bartimaeus recognized that Jesus could change his situation. He had many reasons why he should have given up even if he started to call Jesus because all the passersby discouraged him to do so (see Mark 10:48). But thank God, he didn’t give up! Therefore, the Creator of the universe “stood still” and responded to the desperate call of the man (see Mark 10:49).
The Creator of the universe “stood still” and responded to the desperate call of the man.
However, the man by the pool of Bethesda didn’t do what the blind man did. It might be because he was either misinformed, ill informed or never informed about Jesus! I am not sure what the reason was. But one thing I’m sure is that he did not recognize the One Who asked him, “Do you want to be made well?” (See John 5:6). He didn’t recognize that He was the One Who was able to change his thirty-eight years long situation. If he did, he wouldn’t have to be bothered even if he had no one to put him into the pool when the water was stirred up (See John 5:7)!
We don’t even know the names of these two men because Bible does not give their names. But their stories are very significant stories.
But see the difference between them!
“Bartimaeus could have made a different choice. With all the people going by, he could have made more money begging that day than he would have made in months. This was the break of a lifetime. Beggars think that way. But Bartimaeus turned from being a beggar to being a believer that day. He wasn’t thinking about an opportunity to succeed in his beggarly existence; he was thinking of a brand-new life, a life free from begging, an independent life where he could see to make it on his own and help others. What choices are you making? Are you so occupied with continuing the status quo that you’re missing the opportunity Jesus is giving you to change your life? Are you so busy making a living that you don’t take time to study or pray? Are you unable to go to church because of the demands of your business? That would be like Bartimaeus not calling out for his healing because of his great opportunity to beg. Don’t let the demands of everyday life cause you to miss Jesus as He passes by you today. Throw off all your beggarly clothes and act like a believer.” Bartimaeus must have thought that it is much better to know to catch fish than to be given fish. He was not just satisfied, people giving him fish these many years but he wanted to catch fish himself.
Don’t let the demands of everyday life cause you to miss Jesus as He passes by you today.
In contrast, the man by the pool of Bethesda was on the verge of missing his miracle because his mind was stuck on how the rest of the world were getting their needs—stepping into the water when it is stirred up before anyone does—competing with one another — a social norm! What’s the social norm? You must be the best, smartest, quickest, first, wisest, the most intelligent, and the most educated if you want to succeed in life. That’s the social norm. And that’s what the man by the pool of Bethesda thought. But that’s not so for the kingdom of God! However Jesus defied that world view by changing the life of this poor, sick and helpless person, who was probably the weakest, poorest and the sickest among those who were lying in the five porches by the pool of Bethesda.
Jesus defied that world view by changing the life of this poor, sick and helpless person, who was probably the weakest, poorest and the sickest among those who were lying in the five porches by the pool of Bethesda.
We must understand that God has innumerable ways to meet our needs, not only the “way” the world are running after. Unlike the blind Bartimaeus, he was not able to think out of the box. He was so occupied with continuing the status quo that he was on the verge of missing his miracle. If it weren’t for the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ he would surely have missed his miracle! But thank God for the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. He received his miracle on that day in spite of him!
Even if the man by the pool of Bethesda also received his miracle there is something more we can learn from the ex-blind man Bartimaeus!
Let’s be like the ex-blind man Bartimaeus when we are in a crisis! Let nothing hinder you to call on Him no matter how much your friends, relatives and society try their best to discourage you to do so!
God bless you richly.