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Getting Back Your Spiritual Sight

by David A. DePra

And it came to pass, that as He was come nigh unto Jericho, a

certain blind man sat by the way side begging. And hearing the

multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him that

Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, "Jesus, Son

of David, have mercy on me." And they which went before rebuked

him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more,

"Thou son of David, have mercy on me." And Jesus stood, and

commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come

near, He asked him, saying, "What will you that I shall do to thee?"

And he said, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." And Jesus said

unto him, "Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee." And

immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God.

And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

     This blind man, who Mark tells us was named Bartimaeus, was

sitting by the roadside, begging. We don't know whether he was

blind from birth. But presently, he was blind. He could not see.

     This is the story of how Bartimaeus was given his sight. As

always, this account is more than just a Bible story, with a miracle

ending. It is a picture of how Jesus Christ deals with people today.

And in this case, it is a picture of how Jesus deals with those who

cannot see.

Lost Sight

     Many of us cannot see. We have either never had sight, or we

have somewhere along the line lost it. Of course I'm talking about

spiritual eyesight. I'm talking about FAITH. Have you lost your

faith? Your hope? Your vision and purpose in life?

     I am not really talking about denying God, or walking away from

Him. I'm not talking about throwing in the towel. No. This is not a

matter of throwing away faith. Or denying faith. Or refusing faith. I

am talking about LOSING faith. In other words, I don't know where

my faith is. I cannot find it or God. I don't know where I am, or where

God is. I am lost as to my understanding and as to my faith.

     There are many ways a loss of faith is expressed. The picture of

not being able to see is a good one. Some of us CANNOT SEE

why God is allowing certain things in our lives. Some of us CANNOT

SEE any purpose for it. We CANNOT SEE how God could possibly

fix our circumstances. Perhaps we CANNOT SEE how God could

save a loved one, or bring them a spiritual healing. Maybe we

CANNOT SEE how God could still love us and let a certain thing

happen. We are groping in the dark for some kind of sanity or

stability -- groping with our minds, wanting to understand. But we

cannot find any. We CANNOT SEE God. And we have no idea

where to start looking. We are as BLIND.

     How do we lose our faith? Well, usually it happens when our

faith is overwhelmed. There comes something which dashed it to

pieces. But don't misunderstand. This is not God's fault. He never

allows more than our faith can handle. Thus, if we have lost our

faith, we are at fault. Somewhere along the way, we COULD have

stood in faith, but didn't.

     Another reason we may seem to have lost our faith is that we

never really had REAL faith. What has gotten dashed to pieces is

a fake faith. The fact that it has been dashed to pieces is good, and

of God, but now we are left without anything -- or so we think. We are

blind and alone.

     Faith must be tried so that it can become pure and strong. But

the process is not easy. King David, for instance, had many times

when he lost his faith. He had no clue where it was:

LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from

me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer

thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy

terrors have cut me off. (Psalms 88:14-16)

I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I

water my couch with my tears. My eye is consumed because of

grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. (Ps. 6:6-7)

     And then there was Job:

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot

perceive Him. On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot

behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, but I cannot see Him.

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall

come forth as gold. (Job 23:8-10)

     Job could not see God. In that respect, he was spiritually blind.

But if you notice, wrapped up in this passage is the answer -- an

answer we are going to see in the story of Bartimaeus: Job did not

see God, but he knew that God could see him. That is faith. And if

we could understand it, it is spiritual eyesight.


     Bartimaeus was a blind man whose handicap had brought him

to the side of the road. There he begged. Apparently, it was the

only way he could survive. He would cry out to those who traveled

by. He looked to them for his money or food.

     Today society provides for people like Bartimaeus. Usually we

try to empower them to earn a living. But back then, being blind left

you few options. There was no public assistance or programs. You

were pretty much on your own.

     Thus, we find Bartimaeus begging. But again, Bartimaeus is a

type of those of us who have lost our spiritual eyesight: Our faith.

When you lose your faith you cannot find your way around either.

You might be able to see physically, but you cannot see God. You

cannot find Him. So you resort to other means for your living. You

park yourself at the side of the "road of life" and look to other

sources for your living.

     Some people turn to things like drugs. Or alcohol. But many

Christians simply turn to living for this life. We have lost our vision

for God and His purpose, so we find purpose in this world. There

are any number of substitutes for faith in God. They will all, to a

degree, get us by for a while. But none of them can restore our


     Begging is a desperate measure. It shows that at least you know

you do not have any way of helping yourself. But that alone is not

enough. We have to take our spiritual poverty to God -- rather than

try to get what we need from an earthly source.

Hearing Jesus

     Bartimaeus was sitting by the wayside begging. It is certain that

he was used to hearing many sounds. But this day he heard a

multitude passing by. This must have been something special, he

probably reasoned. Maybe he could get something out of a crowd

this large.

     Bartimaeus had no ability to see. But he did have the ability to

hear. And it was there that God met him. For it may be a fact that we

have no spiritual eyesight. But God ALWAYS has a way. And if

there is no way, He will make one.

     Here we see the initiative of God. Bartimaeus had done nothing

to seek out Jesus. He had not even stumbled upon Him. No. It was

Jesus who had come upon him. And despite the fact that

Bartimaeus had no vision with which to see Jesus, God got his

attention. The blind man HEARD something.

     The ways of God are amazing. Bartimaeus had indeed heard

something. But he had no thought of Jesus at that point. Yet he did

ask about the noise -- for other reasons. He hoped there would be

many from which he could beg money. Thus, we see that God got

the attention of Bartimaeus by simply using the one thing which

would get that attention. God prompted the question from the blind

man: What does this noise mean?

     Often, God cannot storm into our lives and announce Himself. It

would scare us away. So He will take something that is important to

us and make a noise about it. He will use it to get our attention.

Then we will start asking questions.

     Bartimaeus asked what was going on. They told him that "Jesus

of Nazareth" was passing by. If you read our passage, it seems

clear that Bartimaeus had heard of Jesus. He seemed to know

there was help available from the Son of David.

Son of David

     When Bartimaeus was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing

by, he cried out, "Son of David, have mercy on me." There is

something about Jesus passing near us. Just His presence draws

us to Him. In our passage, it might be said that Bartimaeus was

already starting to SEE. For the moment any of us begin to call out

to Jesus Christ, we ARE believing.

     Of course, this "crying out" is PRAYER. We cry out to Jesus for

help in our time of need. And just as Bartimaeus, at this point, could

not see the One to whom he cried out, so we ought to nevertheless

cry out to the One whom we may not be able to "see." For we know

that He is near to us; passing by.

     The name, "Son of David" is significant because it is the name

of the Messiah. It is the name of the One who God was to send to

"preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to

preach deliverance to the captives, to give SIGHT TO THE BLIND,

and to set at liberty them that were bruised." (Luke 4:18) So the

fact that Bartimaeus called Jesus "the Son of David" means that

he rightly believed Him to be the Messiah. And it meant he also

believed Jesus could restore his sight.

The Rebuke

     Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus, but those who were walking in

front of Jesus, perhaps a good distance in front, rebuked him. They

basically told him to shut up.

     Why? We don't know for sure. But the implication is that they

did not think that Bartimaeus was important enough for Jesus to

be bothered with. And perhaps more importantly, they were

suggesting that Bartimaeus was hoping for more than he had a

right to hope for.

     The enemy is able to use even unsuspecting people to try to

get us to give up our faith and hope in God. But there are also

"voices of doubt" inside of us that would tell us to shut up and stop

crying out to Jesus. It is here that we are once again either going to

lose our faith or press on and refuse to give up.

     There are always going to be obstacles and contradictions

which try to keep us from Jesus. Always. That's a promise. But if

we refuse to listen to them and "cry out all the more," we cannot

fail to find the will of God.

     So Bartimaeus "cried so much the more," "Son of David have

mercy on me." He paid no attention to the scoffers and voices of


Jesus Stood Still

     Jesus stood still. That is quite remarkable. In other words, Jesus

heard Bartimaeus and took notice of him. Bartimaeus had gotten

Jesus' attention.

     The picture which unfolds here is striking. Jesus stands still and

commands that the blind man be brought to HIM. He doesn't go to

Bartimaeus. In other words, Jesus waits for him.

     Why? Because we have to get up and leave behind where we

have been living. We have to go over to where Jesus is.

     There are many people today who are living OUT of the will of

God. And they know it. I am not talking about sins we cannot help.

I am talking about a deliberate choice to live out of the will of God.

But then these folks pray to God that He will give them HIS WILL!

He cannot. For the first thing He will say to them is that they must

choose to obey Him.

     We need to understand that God does not GIVE us His will. No.

He REVEALS His will. But it is up to us whether to embrace it. And

that always means LIVING it. If you and I are not LIVING the will of

God, then we are OUT of it. You cannot "have" the will of God, all

the while you are living outside of it.

     Bartimaeus had to get up and leave where he was. If he had

not done so, there would have been no miracle. But he did do so.

And Jesus waited for him; stood still.

     Jesus asked, "What do you want Me to do for you?" This almost

seems like nonsense. What did Jesus THINK he wanted? But of

course, as is the case so often, Jesus wanted a confession of need.

Bartimaeus said, "I want to receive my sight." Jesus granted that

request. Bartimaeus immediately received the sight he had lost.

Bartimaeus followed Jesus from that point on. This is probably

why his name is known to Luke. Jesus had healed a number of

people. But few of their names are actually ever recorded for us.

     The story does not end there, although we never hear again of

Bartimaeus. It doesn't end because Bartimaeus had regained his

sight. For Bartimaeus now had to WALK in the Truth he had seen.

All Things Possible

     Jesus promised that "all things are possible unto him that

believes." But today we have mostly dismissed these words. We

say, for instance, that miracles were for back then, but not for today.

Or, we hold miracle services and claim dozens of miracles that

never happen. What is the Truth about this?

     It is very difficult for me to believe that the words of Jesus are

recorded as they are, but that we are left to figure out and to

conclude that He was only talking about back then. A more likely

explanation is that we don't have the miracles because we don't

have the faith. That DOES agree with scripture, doesn't it?

     Bartimaeus was asking the impossible. He dared to do that.

He saw it through to the end. The result was that he received his

sight. Could it be that we are the blind ones? Because we do not

believe that God will do the impossible?

     Now, someone is liable to say, "I believe God can do anything."

That's nice. But it is an easy statement to make if you leave it in

general terms. Of course, God can. But are you willing to involve

yourself in an impossible situation, and pray it through to Jesus

Christ? Are you willing to stand your ground against all of those

voices of rebuke, and refuse to settle for less than God's will?

     There are many situations each one of us know about -- such

as a loved one -- which seems to be impossible. As mentioned

earlier, we CANNOT SEE how it can be fixed. Are we willing to

admit that if we see this person needs God, that God sees it all the

more? And that He has a will for that person -- starting with

salvation? Are we willing to cry out to God on their behalf?

Some of us aren't even willing to cry out on our own behalf. We

don't even believe for ourselves. How will we then be used of God

on behalf of another?

     Let's get something settled: God has a will and purpose. He is

not unclear about what that is. He knows exactly what it is -- for each

person. In each situation. Add to that the fact that God can do the

impossible, and what do you have? You have a God who wants to

do the impossible, and a God who is able to do it.

     So what is the problem? The problem is that God wants to do the

impossible through US. It isn't that God cannot do anything He

pleases without our help. He can, has, and sometimes does. But

that is not the way He usually wants to work. He wants to use us to

do His will.

     Why? Well, think about it. If God simply did stuff without using us,

or without involving us, then stuff would get done, but we would not

benefit from the growth of being involved. We would simply be

casual observers to God's works, but not vessels. There would be

no obedience, no faith, and no ministry. In effect, there would be

no need for a body of Christ.

     But put us into the mix. Let God use us for the majority of what He

wants to do, and there is a tremendous spiritual work which is

accomplished. Warfare, faith, and obedience. God gets His will,

and we get God in us.

     So we do have a God who has a will to do the impossible, and

the ability to do it. But does He have a people who are willing to

invade the impossible? To refuse to listen to the voices of doubt?

The reality is, if we would put aside whether we think something

is impossible, and pray it through to the end, we would find that it

was only impossible from our point of view. With God it was always

possible. He was simply waiting for someone to use to bring it to


     Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying we should be presumptuous

or crazy. We should not assume God is going to do this or that. But

we need to believe that God will do one thing: HIS will. THIS we

can be sure of -- no matter how impossible it might seem to be right


Seeing God

     So what does it mean to regain your spiritual sight? It does NOT

mean that I can see HOW God will do something. Rather, it means

that I see God Himself -- by faith. Once I see Him then I AM seeing.

Then I am no longer blind. The purpose God unfolds as He works

in our situation must begin there.

     Scientists tell us that the human eye is capable of seeing only a

small portion of the spectrum of light. Most of the spectrum of light is

outside of our abilities. Add to this the fact that there may be light

which we have yet to discover, and you begin to realize that what we

see is not all there is. There is much that exists outside of our vision.

The same goes for sounds. There are sounds which are outside

of the capability of human ears to hear. Dogs hear high pitches

which we cannot hear. And elephants hear low pitches which are

impossible for us to notice. Thus, again we see that what we see or

hear does not indicate what is there TO see or hear. What we see

or hear is simply what we able to access.

     If there is one thing we are going to have to discover if we want

to walk with Jesus Christ, it is that God is able to see more than we

see. There are things which we simply CANNOT see. But this

does not mean they are not there. It does not mean God does not

see them. He does.

     There is more to God than OUR perception of Him. And there is

more to reality than our perception of it. There is more to what God

wants to do, and is able to do, than we can perceive, or grasp. In

fact, there are possibilities in Jesus Christ for this life, now, that may

have never even occurred to us.

     What all of this means is that we are Bartemaeus, at least on

some level. We may need a miracle to see. But Jesus is close at

hand, passing by. If we cry out to Him, He will open our eyes. *

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