No matter how heartfelt and fervent our convictions and beliefs may be concerning a certain issue, they may have no bearing whatever on the truth involved within. I sort of found that out the hard way (or easy?) as I was studying and God was revealing a few behind the scenes details concerning the story of Blind Bartimaeus from Luke 10:46-52(please read). I had felt for a while that my own personal pursuit of Jesus was pretty strong, being involved in full-time ministry with the Men’s Freedom Dream Center. However, sometimes not just the world, but also “tasks for” Jesus can come to compete with actual “relationship with” Jesus. This is always our fault, not His.
At any rate, examining the facts of Blind Bartimaeus pursuit of Jesus contrasted with my own pursuit revealed a pale comparison on my part. To start with, I had to realize, (and if you’re reading this maybe it’s true for you too) that in this story, I am Blind Bartimaeus. From where we all now sit, Jesus is walking right by us too, and like him, we may never have this opportunity again! Blind Bartimaeus didn’t realize it at the time, but if we look ahead just a few verses into Chapter 11, we see that this incident took place on Palm Sunday, which tells us that Jesus only had 5 more days to live! He would never pass through Jericho again like this. Blind Bartimaeus seized this moment, this opportunity of a lifetime during the ever so brief lifetime of the opportunity. He cast aside every obstacle between him and Jesus, as we will see, and received not just healing, but deliverance and a completely new life and destiny! What an evangelist he must have made.
Specifically, we notice that when he knew it was Jesus walking by, he addressed him as the “Son of David” a clear Messianic reference; He was God in the flesh, his (and our) only hope for a new life. He immediately started shouting for Him, and when people scorned and tried to silence him, he shouted even louder. He pursued Jesus even more fervently than I do when the people around me are actually encouraging me to do so!
Next, we notice after Jesus heard and called him, in verse 50 an interesting thing happens. It says he threw aside his cloak, jumped to his feet, and made his way to Jesus through the large crowd as quickly as he could. Now in that day, a beggar’s cloak was by far their most valuable and important personal possession, in fact maybe about the only thing that he even owned. During the day he would spread it out, sit on the edge of it, and collect what few coins were dropped to him onto it in front of him. It was his coat against the cold, and his blanket at night. Yet he threw it aside as if it were nothing, in favor of something even better. It was his one chance not just for healing, but for eternal life, and he seized the moment. He never went back for it, or for his old life. V. 52 tells us he immediately began to see, and began to follow Jesus on down the road out of town. It would be like us leaving our car or whatever our most prized possession was without a second thought! He understood at that moment what really mattered in life instead of what only he thought had mattered for so long.
Today, let us ask ourselves, what are we holding on to that is keeping us from something better, from God’s best? A lot of times God is only looking for our willingness to trust Him and give up that very thing, and in return He is waiting to give right back to us a life and eternity beyond our wildest dreams. You are welcome to join us here at FCC and start your own pursuit!