His eyes may not have worked . . . but there were no problems with his vocal chords. He was a blind beggar with a loud voice. And on this day, hearing that Jesus was approaching, his cry turned from, “Alms for the poor,” to, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Though many tried to “shush” him . . . he would not be “shushed” . . . but shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and took notice of him. (Mark 10:46-49)
His name was Bartimaeus . . . literally “son of Timaeus” . . . not too original . . . perhaps pretty instructive. Timaeus means “unclean” . . . and this blind beggar was the “Son of Unclean” . . .a chip off the ol’ block . . . like father, like son . . . a product of a generational malady . . . unclean begetting unclean. But things were about to change.
Jesus calls the blind man. Mark records that the blind man didn’t need to be beckoned twice . . . that “throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus” (10:50) . . . obviously, in addition to his voice, his legs were also in working order. So, with what he has, “Son of Unclean” presents Himself before the Son of David . . . the beggar comes before the King. Jesus asks a question, “What do you want?” . . . Bartimaeus answers, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” Bam! . . . faith on the line. He cries out . . . he comes before . . . and he asks . . . believing that Jesus has power to heal. And here’s what grabbed me this morning . . .
And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed Him on the way.
(Mark 10:52 ESV)
Usually when I read this passage, the take away is that it was the blind man’s faith that made him well . . . his belief that allowed the power of Christ to change his life forever. But what’s caught my attention this morning is Jesus’ command for the now clean “Son of Unclean” to “go your way” . . . and Bartimaeus’ decision that his way was to follow Jesus “on the way.”
“Go your way” . . . no strings attached . . . no two-year contract to sign for having received his sight . . . no compulsion to repay what could not be repaid. Just a new set of optic nerves . . . a new lease on life . . . a new world of choices . . . a new independence, not needing others to lead him . . . a new freedom to “go your way.”
And Bart . . . can I call him that? . . . Bart says, “My way is Your way, Lord!”
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem . . . and this wasn’t going to turn out good (Mark 10:33-34). And Bart, the guy who could now independently navigate his way, who had been given the choice of going any way he wanted, decides he wants to go to Jerusalem, too.
It was his call. He could determine his next steps . . . and take them . . . not needing to rely on anyone else to lead him. In fact, with seeing eyes and able body, if he wanted, he never had to be led again . . . he could get in front of the parade . . . he could determine never to be subject to someone else’s direction. But when a Man gives you sight . . . when the Son of David invites you into His royal court . . . when the words of the Rabbi remove your blindness and touch your heart . . . then His way is the way you choose as your way.
Who else would he follow? What else would he pursue? Where else would he rather be found? But following in the steps of the Healer . . . of the Master . . . of the King.
Go your way . . .