Hitting Rock Bottom

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:46-52

Word had spread far and wide about this Jesus. Even a blind man heard about it, so when He actually arrived in town and heard the commotion, Bartimaeus yelled for help. How long had he been yelling before someone close to Jesus took notice? I doubt the people heard him on the first call. Still, they tried to quiet the man.

Did they have a good reason to silence a man who wanted help? Did they think his shouting would disturbe Jesus’ concentration? On the contrary, it was the very reason He came this way in the first place.

The question Jesus asked has always intrigued me. What other answer could the blind man have given?

Money. Status. Clothes. Food. Drink.

But Bartimaeus’ most pressing need was to see.

So, Jesus healed him, and then he followed Jesus.

Here was a man who hadn’t seen in years, perhaps his entire life, now for the first time seeing. What did he do with his newfound eyesight? Bartimaeus followed the man who healed him.

How long did he follow Jesus along the road? We don’t know, but that’s not the point. He was given sight and he put it to good use, for the kingdom of God. No doubt he was a living breathing testimony to the man he was following.

But first Bartimaeus had to be brought to the end of himself. He was destitute and needed help that only Jesus could provide.

There will be people in your life who need to be in the proverbial gutter before they reach out for help. It’s painful to watch and let happen, but we know it’s the best way to see their way up. Our tendency is to try to fix their problems but they’re not ready. They have to be at the end of themselves before they realize they need help that only Jesus can provide.

I know some of you are watching that happen with friends and relatives. You may even be praying for that eventuality (for them to hit rock bottom), but it certainly isn’t easy to watch. You just need to be ready when they come to their senses, as the Prodigal Son story puts it.

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