In the 1980s, Barbra Streisand captivated movie goers in “Yentl,” a poignant portrayal of a young Jewish girl who had a passion for studying the word of God. Her Father (Papa) taught her in secret. After his death, she hatched a plan to conceal her female identity and was accepted into a religious school to study the Talmud. Her song, “Papa can you here me?” represents well the heart cry of those who are crying out to be heard, to know and to touched by God.
This passion to cry out to God is seen in the Bible in the story of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52 NLT. “Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road.When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ ‘Be quiet!’ many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, ‘Tell him to come here.’ 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. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked. ‘My Rabbi,’ the blind man said, ‘I want to see!’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Go, for your faith has healed you.’ Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.
In this short passage we can learn so much about relating to and crying out to God in our time of need. Please let me share nine points from this beautiful interaction.
1. The beggar was recorded by name ...probably because he followed Jesus and became his disciple. Many miracles occurred but most of those who received them were unnamed. When we choose to be a disciple and follower of Jesus, he knows us by name! We are never lost in the crowd.
2. He called Jesus “Son of David,” declaring publicly for the first time that Jesus was the Messiah. Privately Peter had declared, “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.” But this was the first public declaration. I often tell people to be successful as a Christian you only must know two things — who you are and who God is.
3. The crowd told the blind beggar to be quiet. He got louder! Again, declaring Jesus as Messiah and asking for mercy. There will be people in your life who discourage your passion. Don’t listen to them. Seek God with your whole heart!
4. Jesus stood still. He always stops when we cry out to him in faith. Then Jesus said, “call him and tell him to come me.” When Jesus hears our cry, he stands still. He listens for every nuance of our petition. Many times, we want him to come to us, when the admonition is for us to go to him. Don’t be lazy in your relationship with God. Get up and go!
5. The beggar threw off his coat. He left the past behind and came to Jesus. This was a bold statement by Bartimaeus. His coat was issued by the government and it gave him legitimacy and qualified him to collect alms. When Bartimaeus threw off his coat, he was declaring his healing and his dependency on Jesus and not the government or the help of other people. He seemed to be saying “goodbye” to all he had known and “hello” to a new life in Christ. He didn’t gently lay it down, so he could come back for it. He threw it off as if he would never need it again. He had been heard!
6. Jesus asked Blind Bartimaeus, “What do you want?” (Wasn’t it obvious?) Be ready to declare your needs. Know what you need to ask for or discuss when you come into the presence of the Lord. He always has the right to adjust your wishes if they are not in accordance with the word of God. But he wants you to approach him by faith and boldly ask.
7. “I want to receive my sight” was blind Bartimaeus’ simple, non-begging declaration. He was saying, “I’m tired of who I am, and I want to be whole!
8. Your faith has made you whole, go your way” was Jesus’ response to Bartimaeus’ declaration. No hoops to jump through, just receive. Faith is the substance, the building block of things hoped for according to Hebrews 11:1 AMP “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen (the conviction of their reality — faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses).
9. Bartimaeus followed Jesus along the road. Once Bartimaeus had been heard by “Papa” and had received his healing, he followed Jesus. Many times, we cry out and bargain with God only to walk away when we receive. We pick up our old life only returning to Jesus when we have a new crisis. Distance causes us to have to cry out again, when walking along the road with Jesus allows for normal conversation.
Be encouraged in your faith today! Let’s learn about approaching “Papa” and walking with him where ever he goes.