THE INSIGHT OF BLIND BARTIMAEUS (Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ )

esus was on his way to Jerusalem for the last time with his disciples. When they were getting out of Jericho town a blind man sitting by the road met them. He was Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus. Jesus miraculously gave sight to the blind man and he followed Jesus on the road.

Jesus during his public life cured many people miraculously. He cared those who were suffering from long sickness. He gave sight to the blind Bartimaeus and he followed Jesus on the road.

Jesus during his public life gave new life to many people. He cured those who were suffering from long sicknesses. He gave sight to the blind. But in all four Gospels we hardly get the names of the persons whom Jesus has cured. Still we get the name of Bartimaeus in the Gospel according to Mark. All the three synoptic Gospels give a picturesque description of Bartimaeus encountering Jesus. From noise of the crowd following Jesus and his disciples Bartimaeus realized that something unusual is on the way.

When he enquired about the crowd he learnt that Jesus and a big crowd were passing. He must have heard about Jesus before and so he began to shout, Jesus! Son of David! Take pity on me!

The words Son of David, Take pity on me say much about Bartimaeus. First, he must have heard a lot about Jesus from the people before. Bartamaeus is encountering Jesus first time. It is towards the end of about three years public ministry of Jesus. So Bartimaeus must have heard about Jesus miracles and messages, Jesus disciples and the crowd, which followed him. He must have also heard about the encounters of Jesus and the religious leaders.

Second, the three synoptic Gospels note that many people scolded him for shouting and told him to be quiet. But Bartimaeus shouted even more loudly, Son of David, Take pity on me (Mk 10, 48).

Third, Bartimaeus with his insight recognizes Jesus and he calls himSon of David. Among the Jews,Son of David means the Redeemer; because the Prophets have for told that the expected Redeemer would be Son of David. In fact, the Jewish people were expectantly waiting for the Redeemer for centuries. Hence there are references in all four Gospels to Davids Son or Son of David. (Mt 22, 45; Mk 12, 35; Lk 20, 41 & Jn 7, 45).

When Bartimaeus shouts Jesus, Son of David, the crowd does not pay any attention to the blind man sitting on the road but see him as a nuisance and ask him to be quiet. But Jesus response and his gift of eyesight to the blind Bartimaeus call for our special attention. Let me quote the passage from Mark:

Jesus stopped and said,Call him.

So they called the blind man.Cheer up! they said.Get up, he is calling you.

He threw off his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asked him.

Teacher, the blind man answered,I want to see again.

Go, Jesus told him,Your faith has made you well.

At once he was able to see and followed Jesus on the road (Mk 10, 49-52).

Mathew and Luke too have narrated the event of Jesus giving right to the blind man. But both of them do not give the name of Bartimaeus. In fact, Mathew has narrated Jesus giving sight to two blind men. (Mt 20,29-34; Lk 18, 35-43)

The most striking thing in this whole event is that blind Bartimaeus recognizes Jesus as Son of David, that is the Redeemer and proclaims him as such! But the people who followed Jesus saw him with their sight but did not recognize him! Hence many of the people scolded him and told him to be quiet. The blind Bartimaeus recognizes Jesus as the Redeemer. But he also knows what he wanted. He wanted to get back his sight. So he says to Jesus Teacher, I want to see again.

Jesus immediately recognized and appreciated his faith. Go Jesus told him, your faith has made you well.

 

અમારો સંપર્ક કરો

ફાધર વર્ગીસ પોલ, એસ.જે.
(ડિરેક્ટર, સી.આઈ.એસ.એસ.)


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