Verses 46–52

This passage of story agrees with that, Matt. 20:29 Only that there were told of two blind men; here, and Luke 18:35; only of one: but if there were two, there was one. This one is named here, being a blind beggar that was much talked of; he was called Bartimeus, that is, the son of Timeus; which, some think, signifies the son of a blind man; he was the blind son of a blind father, which made the case worse, and the cure more wonderful, and the more proper to typify the spiritual cures wrought by the grace of Christ, on those that not only are born blind, but are born of those that are blind.

I. This blind man sat begging; as they do with us. Note, Those who by the providence of God are disabled to get a livelihood by their own labour, and have not any other way of subsisting, are the most proper objects of charity; and particular care ought to be taken of them.

II. He cried out to the Lord Jesus for mercy; Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David. Misery is the object of mercy, his own miserable case he recommends to the compassion of the Son of David, of whom it was foretold, that, when he should come to save us, the eyes of the blind should be opened, Isa. 35:5. In coming to Christ for help and healing, we should have an eye to him as the promised Messiah, the Trustee of mercy and grace.

III. Christ encouraged him to hope that he should find mercy; for he stood still, and commanded him to be called. We must never reckon it a hindrance to us in our way, to stand still, when it is to do a good work. Those about him, who had discouraged him at first, perhaps were now the persons that signified to him the gracious call of Christ; “Be of good comfort, rise, he calls thee; and if he calls thee, he will cure thee.” Note, The gracious invitations Christ gives us to come to him, are great encouragements to our hope, that we shall speed well if we come to him, and shall have what we come for. Let the guilty, the empty, the tempted, the hungry, the naked, be of good comfort, for he calls them to be pardoned, to be supplied, to be succoured, to be filled, to be clothed, to have all that done for them, which their case calls for.

IV. The poor man, hereupon, made the best of his way to Christ; He cast away his loose upper garment, and came to Jesus (Mark 10:50); he cast away every thing that might be in danger of throwing him down, or might in any way hinder him in coming to Christ, or retard his motion. Those who would come to Jesus, must cast away the garment of their own sufficiency, must strip themselves of all conceit of that, and must free themselves from every weight, and the sin that, like long garments, doth most easily beset them, Heb. 12:1.

V. The particular favour he begged, was, that his eyes might be opened; that so he might be able to work for his living, and might be no longer burthensome to others. It is a very desirable thing to be in a capacity of earning our own bread; and where God has given men their limbs and senses, it is a shame for men by their foolishness and slothfulness to make themselves, in effect, blind and lame.

VI. This favour he received; his eyes were opened (Mark 10:52); and two things Mark here adds, which intimate, 1. How Christ made it a double favour to him, by putting the honour of it upon his faith; “Thy faith hath made thee whole; faith in Christ as the Son of David, and in his pity and power; not thy importunity, but thy faith, setting Christ on work, or rather Christ setting thy faith on work.” Those supplies are most comfortable, that are fetched in by our faith. 2. How he made it a double favour to himself; When he had received his sight, he followed Jesus by the way. By this he made it appear that he was thoroughly cured, that he no more needed one to lead him, but could go himself; and by this he evidenced the grateful sense he had of Christ’s kindness to him, that, when he had his sight, he made this use of it. It is not enough to come to Christ for spiritual healing, but, when we are healed, we must continue to follow him; that we may do honour to him, and receive instruction from him. Those that have spiritual eye-sight, see that beauty in Christ, that will effectually draw them to run after him.