Sit Down and Shut Up!
Well, that is not exactly what the people in the crowd said to Bartimaeus, but it is close. He was a blind beggar and heard Jesus and his followers coming down the road. He started yelling at Jesus, asking for mercy. Desperate for healing. Willing to be embarrassed, calling attention to himself. Those in the crowd told him to be quiet.
Except that it worked. Jesus called him. Then the crowd began to cheer him on. When Jesus asked what he wanted, Bartimaeus told Jesus that he wanted to see. That faith healed him and restored his vision. Jesus released him to go on his way. Except Bartimaeus did not leave. Instead, he followed Jesus down the road.
We know where that road ended. It stopped at the cross. When you decide to follow Jesus, the road always ends at the cross.
So Bartimaeus is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. One of those people I want to hang out with in heaven. So desperate for Jesus that he will shout his faith.
He inspires me to do outrageous things for Jesus. To be bold in my faith. To be excited to talk about Jesus. To ask for what seems impossible, and to believe it will be done. To follow Jesus wherever he leads.
And his story reminds me to be very careful judging the behavior of others. There are people in my world – and yours – screaming for Jesus. Be sure we are among the ones cheering them on, and never the ones telling them to sit down and shut up.
So be like Bartimaeus. And look for the Bartimaeus in your world.
– Steve Ridgell, Herald of Truth Ministries