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In the lands and times of the Bible, people who did not have a financial need would beg for their healing. The Scriptures tell us that Bartimaeus was blind, but was he poor? The Scriptural account says, “Blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.” If he were begging out of financial need, in other words, poor and destitute, there would have been no mention of his lineage; his father’s name would have not been given.
Therefore, Bartimaeus was on the highway begging for his healing. People in the lands and times of the Bible did this to obtain mercy from God. They became as low as a beggar, in other words, he humbled himself despite who he was. He was in a public place, hoping that a holy man might pass by and they could receive healing.
When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, he cried out saying, “Jesus thou son of David, have mercy on me.” And then those around him told him to shut up. But instead, he kept crying out for Jesus to have mercy on him.
The Scriptural account next includes another detail that is often overlooked but has great significance. The Bible says, “And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.” No one told him to cast away his garment. The garment he cast away was his robe. Those who begged for healing as opposed to financial need often wore their robes. Seeing someone begging in a robe instead of rags would be a very obvious indication the person was begging for healing.
A person’s robe indicated his status, his authority, his position in the community, his standing, as well as his dignity. When Jesus called for Bartimaeus, he cast away his robe and went to Jesus, empty (of status). He went before Christ empty of all pride, dignity, standing, and status; he stood before him with great humility, to obtain mercy. Isn’t it inspiring to see Bartimaeus choosing to lay aside all his pride? No one told him he should do that. It was his choice.
We can all learn from Bartimaeus. When we go before the Lord in church or anywhere else we need to humble ourselves and remove everything that is about us. Also in our daily lives, we are representing Christ and therefore everything should be about Him and not about who we are, what we do, or how much money or possessions we have but about Christ and what He has done for us.
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