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.
Once we admit our blindness and place our belief in Jesus as our only Savior and Lord, we can then be bold in our requests which then lead to the fourth thing that happened:
4 – Blessing
Bartimaeus blindness led to begging, but his belief led to blessing. In verse 42, it says, “Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.’” Here we see a spiritual principle that we should never forget, Jesus responds to faith. This is the consistent message of the Bible that we are called to respond in faith. Today instead of walking by faith we want to walk by feelings. Feelings are centered on our current circumstances where faith is centered around Christ. Why does that matter? It matters because feelings fluctuate and are fleeting, but trusting in Christ allows us to plant our feet on a firm foundation. Instead of walking by feelings and flip-flopping back and forth we are called to focus on faith and put our confidence in Christ. While Bart was cast aside by the culture He was cared for by Christ. Today many of us are more caught up in being accepted by the culture than we are in being cared for by Christ. So we cater to and clamor after the culture in the hopes that the world will accept us. But notice that it was Christ, not the crowd that accepted Bartimaeus. We need to stop wasting our lives chasing after worldly approval and start finding our approval in God’s Word. When Bartimaeus received his sight he responded with rejoicing and turned his focus to following. He marveled not at the miracle but at the Messiah. Sadly many of us today are celebrating a change in circumstances instead of celebrating Christ. We are trying to find our praise in a problem fee life instead of in the provider of life. Notice that his cry of praise was contagious and quickly spread through the crowd. His response to the Redeemer changed the culture around him, as the crowd went from shouting to singing, from animosity to applause. So let me ask you is your attitude like Bart, an attitude of adoration that changes the culture, or is the anger of the culture changing your attitude? Sadly many Christians have angry attitudes instead of attitudes of adoration because they are focused on the culture instead of focusing on Christ. As a result, they are letting the culture change them instead of changing the culture. It’s time to stop listening to the lies of the world and start listening to the Lord. We are letting man instead of the Messiah dictate our attitudes and our actions. But because Bart put his trust in Jesus he went from depending on man to being delivered by the Messiah. He went from experiencing man’s provision to the Messiah’s power, from the peoples silver shekel’s to the Providers sight. From hopeless to healed, from begging to blessing, and his blessing then led to the blessing of others as they were led into worship. What about you, is your walk with Jesus leading people into worship? Is how you are following Jesus leading others to focus on Him? Is your walk and your talk one of praise or pouting? Is the way that you are living pointing people to a life of praise or one of pity? Many of us, when faced with problems, choose to live in the pity instead of praise. As a result, our witness to the world is one of whining instead of worship. Bart could have been selfish with God’s blessing but instead, he chose to use his blessing to bless others. He recognized his blindness, exhibited his belief by crying out with boldness and then received a blessing, which spilled over into blessing other people’s lives. Bart went from a blind man to a believer. An authentic encounter with Christ always leads to change. Like Bart we will experience four changes:
A change of focus: from darkness to deliverance that’s conversion
A change of direction: from sitting to serving that’s discipleship
A change of purpose: from a pleading pauper to a praising prince that’s worship
A change of scope: from being a beggar to being a blessing that’s evangelism
Bart didn’t sit still he seized the moment and met the Messiah. Don’t let Jesus pass by and miss an opportunity for praise. Just as the crowds tried to keep him from Jesus, so too the culture will try to keep you from Christ. Don’t listen to them, stand up., be bold and go against the grain. Boldly express your belief in Jesus by recognizing your blindness so that you can receive a blessing that will spill over into the lives of others. When it comes to the Savior where are you at today, what stage?
Today Jesus is asking you the same question he asked Bart, “What do you want me to do for you?”