My husband, Bob, is forever misplacing his glasses. I was not at the lake with him when one pair of glasses took a dive into the water, never to be found (by him, anyway, but maybe by a hungry large mouth bass). Another time his expensive prescription sunglasses went missing from the car, and guess who got blamed for that one…?? Our house isn’t really that big, but enough so that treasure hunting for a pair of spectacles can make you late for work. (Has that ever happened? Perhaps I shall never know, since I leave first each morning.)
Now, me, I just have to wear mine all the time. I finally succumbed several years ago and allowed my doc to put me into some multi-focal lenses, so I’ve joined the exclusive Head-Tilters’ Club anytime something comes up close to be read. (If you’re one of the club, that one needs no explanation…) My glasses are just part of my physique at this point; without them, I’m not much good. So I have a second pair (also multi-focals, same prescription) “just in case”, and grateful, too, since I’ve needed them a few times. It’s one possession I’m pretty careful with.
So the story of Blind Bartimaeus is poignant to me. Many lessons have been drawn from the account: people telling him to be quiet but he yells all the more for Jesus; Jesus asking him what he wanted (as if the Son of God didn’t know), things like that.
But probably one of my personal favorites is what Bartimaeus does when Jesus calls to him.
“So they called the blind man. ‘Cheer up,’ they said. ‘Come on, he’s calling you!’ Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.”
Here’s a guy so disenfranchised by society that we don’t even know his real given name, (Bartimaeus merely means “son of Timaeus”). Blind, nameless, and a helpless beggar dependent on others for everything, he didn’t possess much, and probably one of his only—if not his prized—possession was his coat. Old and ragged though it may have been, it helped warm him at night and provided some shade during the day.
And he cast it aside with seeming wanton abandonment in preference to following Jesus. Either he knew he would be able to find it again with his own eyes, or he just didn’t care in comparison to meeting this Man.
So what have I cast aside in preference to knowing Jesus?
- Worries and fears?
- Plans and goals?
- Financial stability? (as if there ever were such a thing!)
To many, it may seem like similar wanton abandonment to follow “this Man”, but discipleship calls for nothing less. Besides, I wonder how I’ll see these things differently once I’m in His own presence.
Shoot! Maybe some of them won’t even be worth going back to pick up again!
Mark 10:49,50 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.