In (Mark 10:46-52) we are told that a blind man asked Jesus to restore his sight, which meant he was probably not born blind but lost it at some point afterward. It must be terribly hard to lose your sight. We are further told that he was sitting along a road that was greatly used, which would have given him the maximum amount of people from whom to beg since he could not work. The word used for sitting refers to being in a fixed position; he was resigned to that spot because of his condition. He was in a wretched place.
The place was Jericho, a city in history where the walls came tumbling down as a result of faith. Once again a man’s faith was to be tested at Jericho, because Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was near. On the day of Pentecost Peter referred to Jesus as a proven worker of miracles.
"Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-” (Acts 2:22)
We are told Jesus’ miracles were the act of Almighty God, therefore Bartimaeus had a decision to make about the person of Jesus. Furthermore, he had to do so in the face of fierce opposition from an ugly crowd, as in verse 48, “Many scolded him to get him to be quiet…” The word for crowd denotes an ignorant multitude that are together without order. Disciples followed Jesus, until as we are told in (John 6:66), that many followed Him no more when He asked them to trust in Him for eternal life and not in themselves. The crowd was there for the moment, they were not interested for the most part in Jesus or His teaching, they simply wanted to see what He could do.
However, Bartimaeus continued to cry out to Jesus even though “many” scolded him, which means this went on for some time. Bartimaeus persevered. He referred to Jesus as the “son of David”, which meant he believed Jesus to be the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, that said He would be in the line of David. We know that many in the crowd had no regard for this blind man, it is also possible they did not want to hear that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. Jesus always told the truth, and sometimes people despised Him for it. At the start of His ministry, when in Nazareth, His home town, where the people knew him, and should have had some affection for Him, we read,
“And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.” (Luke 4L28, 29)
Bartimaeus however, did not care what the multitude said, he was going to see Jesus if at all possible. When he got word that Jesus wanted to see him he threw off his cloak. The author made it a point to mention this fact, probably because in light of the mob it showed a reckless abandon to get to Jesus. Running to Jesus became more important to him than his important covering, which he would probably loose in that crowd. If he thought he could regain his sight, he would be able to earn money to buy another cloak, but where else could he go to regain his sight – nowhere!
Jesus asked Bartimaeus a question, which was His custom to ask, "What do you want Me to do for you?" It may seem like a silly question in light of the fact that Bartimaeus was blind, but considering the state of everyone’s soul it is not. If we consider the word Jesus used when He said, “your faith has healed you”, there were distinctly different possibilities.
“to rescue from danger or destruction (from injury or peril) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save in the technical biblical sense to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment or to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance
Jesus is always primarily concerned about a man’s soul, even though as men and apart from divine grace we always care about the temporal more than the eternal. After Bartimaeus asked for his vision to be restored Jesus told him to go; He did not tell him where to go but simply to go. Upon being healed he followed Jesus. Our hope is that he continued to follow Jesus all the days of his life, because it is those who persevere to the end that will be saved. We hope that he was saved from more than his physical blindness, but from the wretchedness of soul that condemns us all to eternal damnation. Salvation is an act of Almighty God, and when God saves a person He does it forever. Those who persevere to the end prove that there salvation is an act of God and not merely a fleshly decision of their own. Just prior to many disciples falling away from Jesus in (John 6) we are told,
“But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father." (John 6:61-65)
It is not those who say they are saved that are truly saved, but those whom God saves and declares the same in the final judgment. Let us trust in Jesus for our eternal salvation and not ourselves.