“And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way” (Mark 10:50-52 ESV).
Bartimaeus had undoubtedly heard stories about Jesus, and how many people had been healed of a multitude of conditions. But it would seem that he had never been at the right place at the right time. That all changed as he sat by the roadside one day.
When he heard that Jesus was coming down the road he began to call out to him. Many of those walking in the crowd were angry at him and told him to be quiet. But Bartimaeus had faith, and he wasn’t going to be dissuaded. He continued to call out to Jesus until he was heard him and called for Bartimaeus.
This is where we come to our text, and a treasure! “And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.”
You can find various descriptions of just what purpose this clothing item may have had. Some say that it was something that identified his status as a beggar. Some say that it was a warm outer layer. Whatever it’s use, it was important to Bartimaeus. In those days, it was uncommon for the average Joe, let alone a beggar, to have a second set of clothing. If he had lost his cloak, he would likely have to go without.
But, in an incredible act of faith, Bartimaeus tossed his cloak and jumped up to rush to Jesus. Living in a cold climate, the image that comes to my mind is of Bartimaeus tossing his winter coat to the ground and leaving it behind. He had a certain expectation that he was going to see again. He wouldn’t have any trouble finding his cloak then!
Like the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25), and Jairus (Mark 5:22), Bartimaeus had an inner “knowing.” He was certain, not only that Jesus could heal, but that He would heal. That faith was affirmed when he tossed his cloak. He didn’t ask for a sign. He didn’t put out a fleece (Judges 6:36-40). He simply acted in faith.
Like many of you, I often overcomplicate things. I oftentimes fail to act in a “faith moment” because I want to understand. I think that if I had been in Bartimaeus’s cloak I probably would have missed my miracle, being too busy wondering if I were worthy of one. But by its very nature, faith cannot be understood. It can’t be rationalized. It must be acted upon. Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing!
I believe that we can be so blinded by our “rational” minds. We prefer to stay warm and comfortable on the side of the road rather than allowing ourselves to take a risk, which really is no risk, believing in the power of God.
Opportunities to trust God, stepping out in faith, frequently come our way. As mindful disciples, we need to determine beforehand how we will respond to God when when the Holy Spirit prompts us to act. Will we follow His promptings immediately? And we need to be alert, keeping watch for those opportunities, so that we don’t miss even a single one.
**Image from: https://deweybertolini.com/tag/bartimaeus/ Give him a visit if you get the chance!