Blind

Blind

Mark 10:46-52.  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. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

When your eyes have been opened, it becomes your choice whether to see.

What has been an eye-opening experience for you? Maybe it involved ingredients in one of your favorite foods or visiting a certain place or being immersed in poverty.  Maybe it involved a painful conversation or a look behind the curtain or something you didn’t mean to stumble upon. Maybe it involved something God wanted you to see about yourself or someone else—a flaw or sin or prejudice or issue, or perhaps it involved seeing Jesus not as a religious figure but as the true Son of God. For years, we can walk around blind to so many things. Often we don’t recognize our blindness until something or someone opens our eyes. And then and only then, does true sight become a choice. Then and only then, are we given an opportunity to respond to that which we now can see.

In Mark 10, Jesus encounters a man sitting on the roadside who is blind. When he hears that Jesus is coming, he stirs up the crowd to the point that Jesus asks for him personally. And then, Jesus asks Bartimaeus an odd question: “what do you want me to do for you?” Why did he do that? Wasn’t it apparent the dude was blind? Was Jesus’ sarcasm leaking out? Perhaps Jesus asked this obvious question because he knew the life-altering impact of seeing. He knew the power of sight. He knew that once this man’s eyes were opened, he would see things differently than he had created in his mind. He knew this man would be presented with a choice to follow.

And one thing was for certain: he would never be able to go back to not-seeing.

Many times in life, we are given the opportunity of new sight. God unexpectedly opens our eyes both to things that we have longed to see and things we have tried to avoid. We, too, cannot go back to not-seeing. But every revealing situation-- comfortable and uncomfortable, joyful and disappointing, anticipated and unexpected, can become a pivotal circumstance by which we come to rely on God. Our choice is simple: We can cover our eyes and go back to sitting on the road, or, like Bartimaeus, we can allow that new sight to steer us toward Jesus and who he calls us to be.

On Today's Road: To what have you been blind? How has God recently opened your eyes? What will be your response—to follow Jesus or to deny that which you have seen?