Scripture: Mark 10:46-52
Key verse: (50) “So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus”.
Reflection: It seems like a small narrative detail, but when Bartimaeus stands and throws his cloak off to run to Jesus, we should take note. This is because Bartimaeus was blind, and as a blind man in his society, he would have been consigned to a life of begging at the city gate. There, at the gate, Bartimaeus would have sat on his cloak, keeping his material possessions nearby, so as not to lose track of them. This was his lot in life. Nobody expected much of old Bartimaeus.
But Bartimaeus expected much of Jesus – so much, in fact, that when Jesus summons Bartimaeus, the blind man stands and flings his cloak and goes. It is a sign than Bartimaeus expects something to happen. He expects transformation at Jesus’ hand, and he asks for it with boldness: “Let me see again.” In the words of the apostle Paul: the old life has gone, a new life has begun.
This is why Bartimaeus is held up as a paragon of faith. It is because he expects something of the power of God to be present in Jesus, and that this power will restore him, will move him from sitting on the side of the road to following Jesus in the middle of it, will give him a whole new life.
Imagine what the church would be like if we all shared a bit of Bartimaeus’ expectancy! Where might we take a new, but faithful risk in following Christ? How might our prayers come to life? What comforts of the old life might we fling off as we venture out onto the road, following the One who travels in mercy and truth and grace?
Prayer: Gracious God, when I have forgotten your power to heal, to bring wholeness, to call me out of my place and onto the road, forgive me. Show me the power of your grace, that I might walk in faith all my days. Amen.
Author: Anna Dickson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].