True fulfillment in a relationship with Jesus comes not from a miracle encounter but in walking with Him, no matter which road He takes.
This month’s reading brings us to the story of Bartimaeus, a blind beggar. There truly is a great deal we can learn from this short passage from the Gospel of Mark.
First, Bartimaeus knew about Jesus. “When he heard it was Jesus of Nazareth he began to shout” (Mark 10:47). Second, Bartimaeus knew that is was Jesus’ character to “have mercy” on the people with whom He interacted (vv. 47-48).
Third, Bartimaeus did not hesitate when Jesus called him. He threw off his cloak (quite possibly his only possession), jumped to his feet and went to Jesus. Last, Bartimaeus knew exactly what he wanted from Jesus. “I want to see,” he said.
Reflect now on your own life. Do you really know and understand God’s character? Are you assured that it is God’s character to give His creation (you) good things, to show you mercy? And then do you actively seek Him? (Shouting in a crowd as Bartimaeus did is very active.)
The first two steps are easy. But they are where we often stop. We may seek God, but do we listen for His answer (His call)? Do we throw off what holds us back (our safety nets) and go to Him?
Finally, consider your requests. What are you praying for? Do you ask God to give you a vision of His purpose and will for your life? After Jesus healed Bartimaeus we find that “he followed Jesus along the road” (v. 52).
Consider the testimony of “Sally,” who found Christ in a country closed to Christianity. She made two Christian friends who invited her to church.
“From the very beginning my heart was touched by worship and songs. Later on ... I asked the pastor to pray for my very important exam. He said: ‘I hope you will pray with your own faith.’ So I simply prayed and I asked Him to meet me or somehow prove to me that this is the right way!
“And He did. I found there were no more doubts about Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I gave my heart to Him and I started to serve Him right after that. Now Jesus is the first priority in my life, and knowing and doing His will is much more important than even my job and my dreams.”
To truly “see” is to understand that life is fulfilling only when we are following Jesus down the road. It is important to realize that physical healing or financial stability or whatever you are seeking is only the starting point on the road, the beginning of a lifelong journey.
Adapted from Principles 4Life (Life Publishers International), available free of charge at lifepublishers.org.