Luke 18: “Walk By Faith, Not By Sight”

I love my son. He’s a bundle of seven-year-old who sometimes gets so overwhelmed with all that’s going on around him that his head starts to spin and pea soup shoots out his mouth. If you are a parent you know the story I’m about to share.

I’m out working in the garage on a project that somewhat needs a little more of my concentration and attention. Suddenly I’m bombarded with the greatest need ever known to man kind. “Dad, dad, dad…!” “Hold on son.” “Dad, I need you. I really need you.” “Just a second son.” “But dad I really need you right now!” “Okay, what is it?” (Long Pause) “I can’t remember…”

My son needed me so bad, but yet when I asked him what he needed he couldn’t remember. How is this possible? How can you be so desperate yet you can’t remember what it was you needed in the first place? I’m sure there are some gifted child psychologists who can answer this question, but if they did they would just ruin my point.

My point is: When the person who can help you is paying attention, you need to be ready to tell them what you need!

This is just the scenario from our reading today. For time sake I’ll assume you’ve read the passage, but if you haven’t click here to read Luke 18:35-43.


Not by Seeing

It would have been normal for Jesus and the crowd to encounter a blind person sitting on the side of the road just before you enter a city. Matthew recalls this story with two beggars (Matt. 20:30), but Mark mentions there was only one beggar and gives him a name, Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) (Mark 10:46).

Wouldn’t have been embarrassing if Luke said, ” and he saw the crowd going past…?” I make this joke to help us understand the power of the next point. Bartimaeus is blind, we get that, but his reaction to Jesus just proves he has heard of this man before. In fact, not only is it obvious he’s heard of Jesus, but he calls him, “Son of David,” the official title of the Messiah! Blind Bartimaeus couldn’t rely on his site, but he had to rely on the testimony of the people around him to know who Jesus was. 2 Corinthians 5:7 helps us understand that he could only rely on faith: “for we walk by faith, not by sight (ESV). The crowd however didn’t appreciate Bartimaeus’ attempt at getting Jesus’ attention. 

Shush!

Have you ever been shushed? If you’ve ever seen the DreamWorks movie, “Home,” you know that King Boov walks around with a Shusher Stone and uses it to stop the people from speaking out of turn.

The crowds shushed Bartimaeus, because to them, Bartimaeus was just like every other blind and crippled beggar. They didn’t want Jesus to be slowed down or bothered by an insignificant street beggar.

But isn’t is amazing to read story after story about how Jesus stops!? He stops and he calls to people, or he reaches out a hand, or how he talks to the lowly, but most importantly, he stops!

Now What?

This next part has always been a little comical for me. Blind Bartimaeus is brought to Jesus and Jesus asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Seriously Jesus? His name is Blind Bartimaeus; they brought him over to you; the dude’s blind and you ask, “What do you want me to for you?”

Here it is! The moment of truth…literally! The person who can help you is paying attention, you better be ready to know what you need!

Bartimaeus responds, “Lord,” (this is important because it shows Bartimaues acknowledges who Jesus is) he said, “I want to see!” Jesus says, “Receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight (ESV).

Exercise For Today

 Picture Jesus looking right into your eyes and allow him to ask you this question: What do you want me to do for you?

Take a minute today and identify five spiritual needs you have. Don’t be general, like, “make me a better Christian.” Be specific. Recognize that Jesus is the Messiah, He is stopping to talk to you, He is asking you, What do you want me to do for you?