Jesus and His disciples had entered the city of Jericho and were now on the highway leading out of town when blind Bartimaeus got the report. Situated along the roadside where he could beg from travelers, Bartimaeus forgot about money. He had something bigger and better in mind that money could never buy. Eyesight!
Bartimaeus couldn’t go running after Jesus, so he did the only thing he could do. He began to cry out loudly and repeatedly, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38)
Immediately, every one around Bartimaeus tried to silence him. They tried to keep him from calling out to Jesus. He could have listened to the crowd. He could have acquiesced to their demands thinking, “There’s always a next time. I’ll just wait for some other day when there aren’t so many people around. I’ll wait until the next time Jesus comes to Jericho.”
But the fact is, there would be no next time. This would be the last time Jesus traveled through Jericho. It was the first chance and the last chance for Bartimaeus, and he made use of it. Luke goes on to say, “But he only shouted louder, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’”
That’s when it happened. Luke 18:40 says, “And Jesus stood still.” There was a multi-person chain reaction pile-up on the road leading out of Jericho as Jesus stopped to listen. A cry for mercy from a blind beggar stopped the King of Glory in His tracks!
What does it take to arrest the Lord’s attention to the point that He stands still to listen? A sincere cry for mercy? The prayer of Bartimaeus is one of the shortest prayers recorded in the Bible. But it worked! Jesus stood still and Bartimaeus received his sight.
Remember the story of blind Bartimaeus the next time you are faced with a need. Ignore the voices that would discourage you from calling upon the name of the Lord. Run to the throne of grace crying out for mercy. And once again it will be written, “And Jesus stood still.”
Pastor Todd Weston