When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. - Mark 10:47-52, NRSV
These verses stop me every time I read them. I have sat and thought of myself as the one by the road, instead of Bartimaeus. I have played it over and over in my head. The truth is that Bartimaeus happens to be blind. I happen to be a sinner. We all happen to be something.
As soon as he realizes who stands before him, Bartimaeus asks for mercy. At this demonstration, voices dismiss him. Jesus wouldn’t be interested in someone like you. Contrary to their purpose, his pleadings became louder.
The voices do not understand the heart. Jesus sees mine. He silences the crowd, the intolerant, the doubters, those who create the models of Christianity. There is only one thing left to do. Go.
Bartimaeus sprang up to stand before the voice of One.
This question has a grip on my heart.
It is a question for me, about me, to me.
It asks of my faith, how big do you believe I can be?
How far do I reach?
How complete is your word “sovereign”?
My answer is a photograph of everything I understand about love.
It is the question for every believer who cries out for mercy.