He was not to be denied. Wouldn’t be ignored. Nobody, but nobody, was going to “Shush!” him. The blind beggar, Bartimaeus, saw an opportunity (pun intended). And by faith–a loud, boisterous, crying out faith–he was going to seize it.
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47 ESV)
As if to reveal the heart of the blind man, Mark records that though Bartimaeus was told it was “Jesus of Nazareth” that was passing by, as he cries out to Him he addresses Him as “Jesus, Son of David.” Light had already begun to penetrate this man’s darkness. He believed that this Jesus was more than just the son of a carpenter, but that He was the promised Messiah, the Son of God.
And Jesus stops. Calls the blind beggar to Himself and asks him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man says, “Let me see!!!”
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)
Amazing! A bit of faith, a whole lot of crying out, and the man once blind sees.
But then, I move on to my next reading and it hits me, this guy ain’t seen nothin’ yet!!!
When Jesus told the beggar delivered from darkness that he had been made well, I think He was referring to far more than just having received the physical ability to see. Jesus knew that, not only had the blind man’s optic nerves been rewired for sight, but that his spiritual DNA had also been so rewired that he was about to embark on a life of insight that he couldn’t even imagine.
But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. . . . And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
(2Corinthians 3:16, 18 ESV)
The veil was removed. Not only was the curtain of physical darkness removed from Bartimaeus’s eyes, but the thick veil of spiritual deadness was removed from his heart. And that, says Paul to the Corinthians, “Only through Christ is it taken away” (2Cor. 3:14).
And once that veil is gone, then the glory is revealed. And the glory is capable of being beheld. And the beholder, with eyes increasingly able to behold increasingly intense degrees of glory, is transformed as “from one degree of glory to another.”
The glory beheld is the glory imparted. To see Jesus with eyes that see, to hear Jesus with ears opened to hear, is to be made more and more like Jesus through the Spirit come to make Him known.
I’m not a lot different than Bartimaeus. I think back to that day I first called out to Jesus with some feeble prayer asking for something I had very little understanding of. Reflecting on it, it occurs to me that the only word I got right was “Lord.”
But that was enough. For when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
A sliver of a mustard seed of faith, sufficient in the hands of the Healer to open my eyes and set me on a path of increasing glory. By His grace, to increasingly behold His glory. By His Spirit, to increasingly, in some measure, reflect it.
I once was blind, but now I see.
The veil removed.
By His grace. Beholding His glory.