“35 As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging.
36 Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. 37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ 39 Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’
40 And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, 41 ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ And he said, ‘Lord, I want to regain my sight!’
42 And Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.’
43 Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.” [Luke 18]
I am focusing [pun intended] on the last portion of the chapter, but I encourage you to read the entire chapter. Please notice the chapter is bracketed [book ended] with two stories on persistence in prayer.
1] The woman who persistently sought what she NEEDED [legal [righteous] justice]
2] The blind man who Jesus asked what he WANTED [vision to fulfill his purpose]
God is interested in both what we need and want! He only wants us to want what He wants for us.
Let’s look at the text about the blind man for a moment.
There is much to unpack in our text, but I will point out certain truths we need, must, see!
By the way, Matthew says there were 2 blind men [unidentified] and Mark identifies one man, Bartimeus.
First, Jericho means fragrance [sense of smell]. Bartimeus was sitting in a place where his sense of smell was heightened, but he could not see what he could smell. Smell and taste are closely aligned so I am sure at times he was tortured knowing he could not see what he could smell. The scents may have sent him into depths of adventure.
Second, Jericho comes from a word meaning “moon”. The moon is the light God put in the sky that governs the night [time of darkness, or when seeing is not as easy – meaning vision is not fully experienced].
Third, the Jericho of that day sat 5 miles from the Jordan River and 8 miles from the Dead Sea. Five = grace and eight = new beginnings.
It would appear Bartimeus was positioned [sitting] perfectly for God’s grace to introduce him to his new beginning.
Fourth, as we dig deeper into the root system of Jericho’s meaning we discover it means lunar cycle, or something that occurs repeatedly. The Jewish calendar is lunar, not solar, so their year is 360 days, not 365 like ours.
Twelve 30 day cycles make up their year!
This tells me Bartimeus was on a repetitive cycle [or repeat cycle] where he had plenty of time to think about what he wanted, and what he wanted was to not be on this cycle, or on this vicious visionless cycle.
Bartimeus means son of one who is highly prized [very valuable], but for some reason was unclean, impure. It comes from a word meaning contaminated.
Bartimeus’ lineage was promising and prophetic, but not conducive to health or wealth, and he became a beggar.
Beggar means applicant, one who earnestly asks. Bartimeus was so earnest Luke uses two different Greek words for ‘call [cry] out.’
The first usage is boáō [bo-ah’-o ] which means to raise a cry of joy or pain. It also means to speak or cry out in a strong voice for help.
The second usage is kraugázō [krow-gad’-zo] which means to be vehement to the point of brawling. Because his first attempt was not getting the result he desired he was willing to get physical.
This reminds me of the woman at the beginning of the chapter who refused to be denied. The Greek text indicates the judge finally realized she would physically assault him if he kept refusing her righteous request for protection.
Bartimeus wanted to apply himself. He wanted to be gainfully employed but he was not hirable or workable. His life was not working out according to his prophetic purpose. And he was over it!
Jesus opened Baritmeus’ eyes which enabled him to see the world, for the first time possibly in a long time. His eyes [vision] were closed to all the possibilities that were around him. By opening his eyes Jesus gave him the opportunity to see what was possible.
Bartimeus wanted to see – again!
What did he remember seeing that he could no longer see?
What did he see internally that made him want to see again externally?
I am reminded of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1 – “That the eyes of your inner [redeemed, spiritual] man be opened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling.“
I believe what Bartimeus saw repeatedly was he was very valuable, a highly prized individual, who was trapped in a life that limited what he could see and do.
I believe Bartimeus never gave up hope his vision and his purpose would be restored.
Do you know “what?”
Does what you need, and want, line up with what God wants for you?
I want you to think about what you want that will require you to see with your spiritual eyes so that when God opens your physical eyes you will be focused only on what He shows you!
Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity, and purpose!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
Revolution Movement Co-Founder
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