Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and His disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:46-52, NIV)
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It can be easy to read about the miracles Jesus performed and fall into thinking that they are just good stories. But in fact, every miracle reveals who Jesus is, and invites us to experience His miracle-working power today, both in our lives and in the lives of others as we minister in His name.
In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus says, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues…they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Notice that it doesn’t say, “And these signs will accompany those who have platform ministries, those who fasted 40 days and nights, those who live a sin-free life, My chosen few…” The beauty of the gospel is that it includes everyone who believes. There is no one on earth who is exempt from it. If we simply believe, then miracles, signs, and wonders will accompany our lives.
What a privilege you and I have, that we may be walking testimonies to God’s love and power.
I love Bartimaeus, because he was one who believed Jesus. He was a man who had heard the stories about Jesus’ healing, and instead of being skeptical, instead of passing them off as just good stories, he took them as an invitation to experience healing for himself. I believe there are two keys that we can learn from the faith of Bartimaeus:
1. THOSE WHO BELIEVE ARE HUNGRY
Bartimaeus’ cry, “Have mercy on me!” reveals his hunger. He was so desperate for Jesus to touch him that cried out to Him loudly in public.
My husband always says, “Hunger never goes unnoticed in the Kingdom.” I believe it is against God’s nature to see His children hungry for a touch from heaven and for Him to do nothing. I have this sense that hunger is a currency in heaven, that God is moved by our desire to have more of Him and more of His kingdom manifest on earth.
I love the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. The NIV says in verse 6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” What a beautiful thought that our hunger for God creates space within our lives for Him to fill us.
There is a different level of intimacy that only cultivation of spiritual hunger can create. The great news is that we get to choose how hungry we will be, and therefore how much God will fill us!
2. THOSE WHO BELIEVE ARE BOLD
Bartimaeus was bold. He not only shouted to gain the attention of Jesus; when all those around him rebuked him, he shouted even louder. We could all learn this invaluable lesson from Bartimaeus: boldness attracts heaven.
In Acts 4, Peter and John preached the gospel in Jerusalem and were thrown in jail for their boldness. Upon their release, they gathered with fellow believers and prayed in verse 29: “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” Hold on—wasn’t it their boldness that had just landed them in prison? And now they are asking for even more boldness! Notice how heaven responded, verse 31: “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” God responded with even more boldness.
I have found that a lot of people use their personality as an excuse for why they are not bold with their faith. But boldness comes in many shapes and sizes, and is compatible with every personality type. It is not limited to outgoing extroverts.
The beauty of God is that He created us all differently, and boldness doesn’t need to look the same on you as it does on me. Boldness can look like preaching the gospel in an open square to hundreds and it can look like sharing God’s goodness over a cup of coffee.
I pray that God will fill us all with the Holy Spirit, that we may speak the word of God boldly.
-Are you hungry for more of God? In what areas of your life do you want to see heaven move—your relationships, your healing, your finances, etc.? Ask God to give you more hunger to see Him come and invade your situations and circumstances.
-Ask the Lord in which areas of your life you need more boldness. Is it sharing the gospel with others or stepping out and asking to pray for someone who is sick? When you identify these areas, pray the same prayer the apostles prayed in Acts, and ask for more boldness.
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[guest writer, Renee Evans, @collectiverevival]