Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, heard that Jesus was arriving. A crowd surrounded Jesus, so Bartimaeus yelled, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many of the people Jesus healed were brought to Him by friends, but not Bartimaeus. Instead of helping him, the crowd told him to be quiet.
But Bartimaeus did not let his blindness and the lack of help stop him from calling out to Jesus. He couldn’t see, but he could yell. So he yelled even louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” The title “Son of David” alludes to the Messiah: “Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root” (Isaiah 11:1 NLT). Bartimaeus knew that the Messiah was in his presence, and he was determined to reach Him.
Jesus picked Bartimaeus’s voice out from the crowd and called him over. Bartimaeus threw aside his coat (probably the most expensive thing he owned), jumped up and ran to Jesus. Jesus asked him what he wanted, and Bartimaeus said, “My rabbi, I want to see!” Instantly, Bartimaeus was healed, and he followed Jesus (Mark 10.46-52).
My husband read me this story a few nights ago, and I couldn’t help but feel encouraged. Bartimaeus didn’t have sight, but he had a voice and he used it. When no one would see for him and lead him to Christ, he used the resources at his disposal. Bartimaeus’s voice might not have sounded the best, but he used it with power and determination. He focused all His energy on Jesus and found himself at the foot of love, mercy and grace.
My weakness is my voice. I have nodules on my vocals cords, so I’m not supposed to yell, sing or talk too much. However, I have three young kids, and I find myself losing my voice a lot. I have to tell my oldest son–who happens to ask a lot of questions–that I have to take a break from talking because my throat hurts. I can’t sing at church, I can’t holler when I’m excited and I can’t read out loud to my kids or talk on the phone very long. I have to be careful to conserve my voice because I don’t have much of it to spare.
Since I can’t use my physical voice to call out to Jesus, I write. My writing may not be the best, but I will use it to reach Jesus. I will not let the negative jeers of the crowd cause me to give up. Jesus tells me to come to Him, and I let go of all my desires so that I can run to the foot of His love, mercy and grace. I know He’ll give me a voice to call attention to Him, and I will use it to praise God and give Him glory!
What giftings do you have that can call attention to Jesus? How can you use your strengths to overcome your weaknesses? How does God use your weaknesses to show His glory?
“They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination” (Nehemiah 6.9 NLT).