Are you longing for more in your life? Whatever your longing or your desire, Jesus invites us to come to Him. In Mark’s Gospel 10:46-52, we hear the story of a blind man, Bartimaeus, who was longing for more and who knew who to ask to fulfill that longing.
As the story goes, when Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus who was passing by, he began to shout, “Jesus, son of David. Have mercy on me.” Jesus listened, responded, and invited him to come unto Him. And as Bartimaeus heard the invitation, he threw his cloak aside, jumped to his feet, and immediately came to Jesus.
Scripture doesn’t say how long the beggar was blind; it may have been only recent blindness, but perhaps he could have even been blind since birth. Nonetheless Bartimaeus couldn’t see. He was longing for more in his life and he knew that Jesus could provide him with a restored sense of vision and clarity, the ability to see a whole new world, to see things that he’d never seen before… literally.
What a picture this is for us as we consider those things in our own lives the Lord is inviting us to “come and see.” The blind beggar cast off his cloak and threw it aside, and literally jumped to his feet to respond to the summons of Jesus as He called for him to come. Bartimeaus didn’t wait to gather his belongings by the roadside, but rather, he left what he did have, he cast it aside, jumped up, and immediately responded to Jesus and went to him with his request.
When Jesus calls us today, it invokes a response to throw our cloak aside (so-to-speak), to throw off the old and put on the new. Such a call invites us to “let go” of those things that we may have known for quite some time. Not knowing what the picture of your future looks like, are you willing to let go of what you are familiar with in order to live into God’s purpose and plan for your life? (Jeremiah 29:11) Had not Bartimaeus cried out to the Lord, believing that Jesus could do something about his own blindness, he never would have been able to see again. It required of him to let go and let God transform him. That’s faith isn’t it? Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Bartimaeus’ world was completely changed forever. He was longing for more. He knew what he was longing for, he knew whom to ask, and he named his desire before the Lord.
Jesus bids us to come to Him, naming our longing, our deepest desires, hopes, and dreams. He invites us to let go of what we know or what we’re familiar with, to let go of our own perspective and to hold onto to what we can’t yet see. Jesus invites us to trust Him with the “un-seen” outcome. Bartimaeus physically couldn’t see Jesus, but by faith he knew that Jesus could do something. And by faith, we too are to believe that Jesus can and will do something in our lives as well. Naming our desire before God in prayer, petition, and holy listening on a regular basis, takes a willingness to do so and a belief that God will hear and answer our prayers according to His plan and purpose for our lives.
What are you longing for? joy or security in your current job? financial provision and peace? a renewed sense of love within your marriage? A healthier relationship with your parents or children? physical, emotional, or spiritual healing? Whatever your longing, concern, ailment, struggle, or hic-up, Jesus is passing us by in our own blindness saying, “come unto me”….. O, might we hear that invitation, letting go of what we may have always known, of how we’ve always “seen” (or not seen things)… letting go of our own understanding of how things may or may not work out. May we lean not on our own understanding, but acknowledge Him in all our ways, that Christ might direct our path as Proverbs 3:5-6 remind us. And by faith, not by sight, might we stand up and follow Jesus wherever He might lead us.
Rev. Mark Muckler is minister at Central United Methodist Church in Mount Airy.