35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. 36 When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. 38 So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see!” 42 And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” 43 Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.
It’s here that Bart goes from blindness to:
It was belief that broke through his blindness. He cried out to Christ and notice how he addresses Jesus, in verse 38 “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” What a contrast to how the crowd referred to Jesus. The crowd told him it was Jesus the Nazarene, that’s like saying you are from Nebraska, it tells me where you are from but not who you are. While the crowd focused on Jesus earthly heritage, Bart focused on His eternal heritage. What is strange is that it took a blind man to actually see the Savior. Perhaps he had heard what Jesus said in Luke 4:18 when He stood up in the temple and read from the book of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind…” It was in that moment when Bart called out to the Son of David to have mercy on him, that he expressed his belief that Jesus was the Messiah, and that He could heal his blindness. What do you believe? Who is Jesus to you, is He just a man from Nazareth or the Messiah? Jesus is much more than just a good teacher, He is the promised one, the Messiah, the Savior of the World. Not only was Bart aware of his blindness, He was also aware of the answer to His bondage, but he did more than just believe, He acted on what he knew to be true with:
Bart didn’t just believe he was bold in his belief. When it comes to Christ there will always be a commotion. But the truth is it doesn’t matter what the crowd thinks of Christ it matters what you think. But some of us instead of being courageous have become complacent. We are content with a life of begging instead of boldly believing. Bart knew that he needed the Messiahs mercy, that on his own there was nothing he could do. So he cried out to Christ and as he did I want you to notice the reaction of the crowd, they were bothered by blind believing Bart. They yelled at him and told him to be quiet. When it comes to the Savior society will always try to silence you, when you cry out to Jesus as the answer they will always be angry. But I love the second half of verse 39: “But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Instead of caving to the crowd he continued to courageously cry out to Christ. Are you going to listen to the crowd and shut up or look to the Lord and shout out? Don’t let society silence you, cry out to the Savior. Here was a man who broke all the cultural rules of etiquette, why because he needed the Messiahs mercy more than man’s approval. Not only did the rebuke of the crowd not silence him but it did not change the content of his cry, his cry contained the same message, I need the mercy of the Messiah. What about you, do you have this same kind of boldness and courage when it comes to calling out to Christ for help? Some of you don’t cry out to Christ because you don’t see the seriousness of your situation and the condemning condition of your blindness. For others, you keep silent because you don’t really believe in the Savior. Hebrews 4:16, tells us to “come boldly before the throne of grace. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” We do not need to cower to the culture, we can come boldly to Christ with confidence. As a result of Bart’s boldness, verse 40 says that Christ commands those in the crowd to bring Bart to Him. Can you imagine how the crowd must have felt, especially those who had rudely rebuked Bart? While he was cast aside by society he was sought out by the Savior. What a contrast between the callousness of the crowd and the compassion of Christ. You matter to God, no matter what the crowd says Christ cares about you. Then Jesus asks Bart a powerful question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Isn’t it obvious what Bart needed? Jesus knew what Bart wanted but He asked the question for Bart’s sake and for the crowd of people who had gathered around. He wanted Bart to verbalize what it was that He wanted. I love Bart’s answer: “Lord, I want to see.” What do you want Jesus to do for you? Have you ever put into words the cry of your heart? Have you ever verbalized your deepest needs? Have you ever shouted out for mercy to have Jesus save you from your sins? If not, Jesus is waiting for you to be bold and to ask Him for what you need. James 4:2 says that we have not because we ask not. If He can restore sight to the blind, He can grant you the deepest longing of your heart. What about you are you responding based on your belief or your blindness. Are you cowering to the culture or being courageous for Christ?