Then they came to Jericho, and as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road. Mark 10:46-52, NASB
I love this story. Okay, I know I say that about a lot of Bible stories, but this one in particular makes me smile. I can imagine that this day began like any other day for blind Bartimaeus, sitting by the road in his usual spot begging for charity. A stir begins and he notices more people are around him, and they are talking about someone who is passing by. He listens closer to hear what the crowd is saying, “Jesus of Nazareth!” “Son of David!”
Bartimaeus then begins a stir of his own, yelling as loud as he can to get Jesus’ attention. Imagine his cries, “Son of David have mercy on me!” The crowd sternly shushes him, but he ignores them. Perhaps these had been the people he had relied on to feed and guide him every day, but Hope had come to town and Bartimaeus would not be shushed! He could sit by and let the Giver of Life pass him by, or take courage and see great things. He chose well!
Jesus stopped and called for him to come to Him and the attitude of the crowd went from shushing to cheerleading. “Take courage!” they said, “Jesus is calling for you!” I would like to pause here to say that I believe Bartimaeus “Took courage” when he began crying out to Jesus. Bartimaeus was courageous against the reprimands of the crowd. Their discouragement reminds me of our culture today.
Our culture says, “Shush! You can not say the name of Jesus, it is offensive.” Culture says, “Compromise, act cowardly about your faith.” All while the evil one tries to cloud your beliefs and crush your faith. Culture tries to bind you in the chains of fear and in the captivity of its influence. But, God’s Word tells us repeatedly to “Take courage!” God says, “Do not compromise with culture but conform to the character of Christ.” Jesus says, “I claim you as mine, you are changed, and no longer in chains.” You are not crushed, you are more than conquerors!
I wonder how many people tried to shush Martin Luther King Jr.? He took courage! Every day we have the choice to take the courage that is backed up by hundreds of God’s promises to move mountains and see things we never even imagined or to coward our way through another day, blinding and binding ourselves to fear and futility.
What is your need? What is your dream? What has God prompted you to do that requires you to “Take Courage?” Cry out to Him like Bartimaeus and ask others to pray for you. Then, walk in faith, as Bartimaeus did, to see what God has planned for you.
Father, give me courage today to approach You boldly in Jesus’s name as a beloved child of Yours. Amen
Copyright Kathy Branzell.
Kathy has a heart for encouraging Christian educators and currently serves as the President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Prior to this role, she was the founder and president of Fellowship and Christian Encouragement (FACE) for Educators.