The gospels contain four separate accounts in which Jesus heals a blind man. Of all the miracles of Jesus, none occur more frequently than giving sight to the blind. Why is that? Our gospel passage from Mark gives us insight into why curing the blind was a special interest of Jesus. We learn that blindness referred not only to a physical defect but also to a spiritual one.
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.
Jesus healed Bartimaeus because he had the faith to know that Jesus was able to heal him. His words were a powerful profession. He wanted to see. To see what others could see, yes, but also to see the truth of who Jesus was.
Do we truly want to see? Are we ready to accept the responsibility that comes from knowing Jesus and his mission? Do we have the courage to change our world?
Or do we prefer to remain blind?