And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; rise, he is calling you.’ And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ And the blind man said to him, ‘Rabbi, let me receive my sight.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.” (Mk 10: 46-52)

Bartimaeus has nothing, and he knows it. So he has ”given up” in all senses but one. He has given up in terms of his own ”image” and what other people think of him, but recognizes the Messiah, ”the Son of David,” and cries out to Him in a way that stops our Lord in His tracks. The blind beggar’s dire need and blindness have enabled him to ”see” both himself and His Lord in a way that the seeing crowds did not. And when Bartimaeus is called, he ”throws off” his mantle, which may have slowed him down, and literally jumps to come to Christ.

I need to ”see” as Bartimaeus did, and ”give up” as he did, in order to cry out like that; I need to see that I have nothing, and ”throw off” what it is I presume to have, which may be slowing down my movements toward Christ. Let me not be afraid to surrender today, and come to my Lord with nothing, that I may recognize the Everything in Him.


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