MARK 10:46-52 (NLT) | Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man.“Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.
I’ve seen many blind people recover their sight. I myself have experienced healing for my own eyes. I have seen short sighted, murky-visioned persons with darkness or blinders covering their eyes experience incredible healing. The healing I’m talking about here is not physical (though I have seen that too); but a healing of the eyes of the heart.
For example, I have witnessed people with distorted images of themselves, a dark vision of life, and false images of God, receive new vision. I have known people that couldn’t see God in their circumstances receive a clear vision of Jesus with them in their past or present situations. Others have received an expansion of sight and can now experience God’s Kingdom in their lives, even when life gets hard and painful.
Recently, I was listening to the story of Bartimaeus as I was interceding for a dear one very close to my heart. As I listened to this encounter between Jesus and Bartimaeus, a secondary story was playing in my mind. I saw the gathering of people and then I saw my dear one as the blind person. I noticed Jesus approaching through the multitude and I was the one yelling for his attention. I wanted Jesus to heal my friend’s eyes so he could see Jesus in the midst of his circumstances. But my friend was simply sitting down, missing the opportunity. I looked at my friend with frustration, then realized, “He doesn’t know he’s blind!” Jesus was passing. “Are you going to do something?” I asked Jesus. Then I heard, “I’m doing something you cannot yet see.”
That’s when I understood that I needed to pray for my eyes of faith. I needed Jesus to increase my vision of his Kingdom activity in the life of my friend. I needed Jesus to open my eyes wider so that I could see with faith and hope as I waited for healing. I needed the eyes of my heart opened to trust his timing more than mine.
One of the challenges of being the divine Optometrist’s assistant is that I have limited vision regarding the mysteries of his Kingdom. I am called to expand my vision beyond my capabilities and circumstances. I have to rest in my limitations while leaning into his power and supernatural capacities. I can join him in his healing and be used as an instrument but I cannot deliver healing myself.
Sometimes I get to see miracles of transformation happen before my very eyes. I have seen people’s faces changed as they have a healing encounter with Jesus. I love it when that happens! At other moments God’s timing is not my timing, and I am called to wait and see with eyes of faith. I am called to fix my eyes on him. That is life in the Kingdom—complete dependence and waiting on God, and complete participation inviting him to come and do what only he can do. It’s not always simple and easy. But what we see in the Kingdom is more beautiful than any other sight in the world.
QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION
- As you read the encounter of Bartimaeus and Jesus, who do you see as the blind person in your life and your relationships?
- Would you ask the Holy Spirit to give you the ointment that your own eyes need to see his Kingdom activity?
- If you are interceding for someone that is “blind,” ask God to show you how to continue praying and walking alongside this person with hope in what is not yet seen, but is to come.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Doralicia Gonzales and her husband, Randy, have served with CRM since 1997. They began their work in Venezuela, then Costa Rica, and now live in Málaga, Spain. Doralicia works with CRM’s Ethne collective, walking alongside emerging and missional leaders. She and Randy live in Málaga with their two daughters, Abigail and Sophia.