Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you."
Imagine there's a blind man at the street corner where you turn in for work. He's there every day with a sign asking for help. He's there every day…for years. Most people just walked by him, avoiding eye contact by not look his way…maybe out of shame, maybe out of uncaring, maybe out of being annoyed. After all, he doesn't amount to anything; he doesn't contribute to society…he's nobody but a beggar. What is he to you and I. The gospel reading from Mark this weekend finds the blind man, Bartimaeus, calling out for help from Jesus. Now, here's a man who, only by word of mouth, has heard that Jesus was in his town of Jericho. We presume that he had heard of the miracles Jesus had performed in other villages; in chapter 8, we hear about Jesus healing the blind man in Bethsaida. So Bartimaeus finds that Jesus is in town and begins to cry out for help. He is putting everything out there to come in contact with Jesus. He's making such a ruckus that Jesus hears him and immediately tells others, "call him." They encourage Bartimaeus to, "get up, Jesus is calling you." Jesus asks him what he wants and Bartimaeus replies, "I want to see." Jesus says, "your faith has saved you" and he immediately can see. This story has a deeper meaning that just healing the blind. We are all blind in our own little comfortable worlds. We are guilty of looking down on others, of judging their worth, and turning a blind eye. In the reading, Mark puts not only a name on the healed, Bartimaeous, but that he has a father, Timaeus. Why did he include the father's name? Maybe to show that this blind, no-account individual, has worth. He is a son of someone, someone who loved him, who raised him in a difficult time. We do not know the circumstances of what brought people to their stage in life. Many times these situations are out of their control and it was bad luck, illness, catastrophe…we don't know, so we shouldn't judge. What we should do is help. Jesus healed the blind man. It was his faith that saved him. He cried out for help. There are many in our world who cry out for help. Are you Jesus for them? Be Jesus for others today.