The story of Bartimaeus is a story of persistence. He was a blind man who knew Jesus could heal him. And he begged for Jesus to do so, even as the crowd kept him from Jesus. And Jesus heard his cries. Jesus heard him above the din of the crowd and called the blind man to himself. Bartimaeus quickly sprang to his feet from his beggar’s corner of the road. He came to Jesus and made his request face to face. Jesus answers him right to the point of the need this man had. And Jesus gave him the freedom to do what he wanted with his new gift of sight. He chose to stay with Jesus.
What I find in this passage is a spiritual persistence. I think that if I was suddenly blinded, I’d be desperate to have my sight back. I would pursue all options. I’d give all my energies to receiving healing. Persistence would be driven by physical need. But Bartimaeus had a spiritual persistence. Even after Jesus gave him what he so desperately wanted, he returned to follow Jesus. This time it wasn’t about sight or healing. It was about relationship with the man who had given him sight. He would not stop following.
Persistence is vital to Christian growth, so I find encouragement from good ol’ blind Bart. Many times I want to follow Jesus when I get something good from Him. But after the fact… well, it is easy to go my own way. But real faith makes following Jesus the way I want to go at all times. It is enough to know and follow Him. He is all I need.