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Faith Imagined: Bartimaeus's Gumption

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

June 14, 2011

Bartimaeus's Gumption

Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, heard that Jesus was arriving. A crowd surrounded Jesus, so Bartimaeus yelled, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many of the people Jesus healed were brought to Him by friends, but not Bartimaeus. Instead of helping him, the crowd told him to be quiet.

But Bartimaeus did not let his blindness and the lack of help stop him from calling out to Jesus. He couldn't see, but he could yell. So he yelled even louder, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" The title "Son of David" alludes to the Messiah: "Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root" (Isaiah 11:1 NLT). Bartimaeus knew that the Messiah was in his presence, and he was determined to reach Him.

Jesus picked Bartimaeus's voice out from the crowd and called him over. Bartimaeus threw aside his coat (probably the most expensive thing he owned), jumped up and ran to Jesus. Jesus asked him what he wanted, and Bartimaeus said, "My rabbi, I want to see!" Instantly, Bartimaeus was healed, and he followed Jesus (Mark 10.46-52).

My husband read me this story a few nights ago, and I couldn't help but feel encouraged. Bartimaeus didn't have sight, but he had a voice and he used it. When no one would see for him and lead him to Christ, he used the resources at his disposal. Bartimaeus's voice might not have sounded the best, but he used it with power and determination. He focused all His energy on Jesus and found himself at the foot of love, mercy and grace.

My weakness is my voice. I have nodules on my vocals cords, so I'm not supposed to yell, sing or talk too much. However, I have three young kids, and I find myself losing my voice a lot. I have to tell my oldest son--who happens to ask a lot of questions--that I have to take a break from talking because my throat hurts. I can't sing at church, I can't holler when I'm excited and I can't read out loud to my kids or talk on the phone very long. I have to be careful to conserve my voice because I don't have much of it to spare.

Since I can't use my physical voice to call out to Jesus, I write. My writing may not be the best, but I will use it to reach Jesus. I will not let the negative jeers of the crowd cause me to give up. Jesus tells me to come to Him, and I let go of all my desires so that I can run to the foot of His love, mercy and grace. I know He'll give me a voice to call attention to Him, and I will use it to give praise to His name and glory to God.

What giftings do you have that can call attention to Jesus? How can you use your strengths to overcome your weaknesses? How does God use your weaknesses to show His glory?

"They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination" (Nehemiah 6.9 NLT).

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Blogger The Unknowngnome said...

Yes, yes, yes! Not only did Bartimaeus have voice but he had an ear to hear.

They cannot discourage us.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)

1:56 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Enjoyed your insights for today, Alisa. It's good to understand that when we know Christ there will always be an "up" side--a positive alternative that outweighs the negative.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

First of all, Alisa - I had no idea about your voice. If it's any consolation, I think your writing *voice* is one of the best I've ever heard.

I loved this post about Bartimaeus. I never thought of his story in the way you portrayed it. Yes, his heart sensed the Messiah - and he was NOT going to let Jesus slip away without noticing him. Faith requires persistence, doesn't it?

I am doing my best to bring attention and glory to Jesus by writing and speaking about Him. I am doing my best to yield my voice to His purposes.

And, by the way, I LOVE that verse from Nehemiah! It's such an inspiration. We must not let the enemy silence us...

Greater determination is key.

Thanks for this one - GOD BLESS!

1:52 PM  
Blogger Marletha Booker said...

I love the story of blind Bartimaeus!! His determination and faith are admirable. Great post!!

Royal Heiress

6:35 PM  
Blogger lynnmosher said...

Loved your post, Alisa! Your writing voice is great! I'm wondering...did you know you can have the nodules removed? The worship leader at our church had his removed, although he was not allowed to speak for one year! But he sings like an angel again!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Shauna Renee' said...

You are in my prayers, my friend. That has to be frustrating. May God heal you and bless you during this trial. Your writing is your voice, and a beautiful one for God. Thank you for sharing,

12:43 PM  
Blogger Judy (Lazarus) said...

Bartimaeus - persistent faith in action. I heard a speaker once tell how the beggar's coat identified him as a beggar - people took one look and knew that he made his living off the generosity of others because he could not earn his own living. When the blind beggar tossed aside his coat he was responding to Jesus in such a way that he was burning his bridges, leaving behind the vestiges of his old existence and letting the Messiah give him his new identity...!

God has gifted me with many things and I consider them gifts of love that I give back to Him. Which is why, when I do give something back to Him and someone else tells me, "Good job!" I take exception to it. If it was a job, a question of earning approval, it would lose its joy.

One of your giftings is that gentle and quiet spirit that expresses itself in your writing. Perhaps needing to be quiet so frequently has "forced" you to listen to and for His voice. I trust that He will share His heart with you more and more.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Marja said...

I agree with Lynn, your writing voice is great! And I just LOVE that scripture from Nehemiah, what an encouragement.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Connie@raise your eyes said...

Oh Alisa, I'm so sorry for your voice...but look at the wondrous insight He's showing you!

On this earth we have weakness, yet He promises that, in our weakness He will be Strength.

10:41 PM  

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