Have You Seen Him? by Keith Wheeler
Sometimes I think as Christians, we can “clean up” the Scriptures so much that we can fail to truly see Jesus in them. We can so spiritualize the Bible that many times, we can’t really see Jesus alive and at work in our everyday lives. Yet, I believe seeing Jesus is the key to finding hope in times of darkness.
Do you remember the story of Bartimaeus? Mark 10:46 niv reads, Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging.
What do you imagine when you read that verse? Think about it for a moment. I imagine what everyday life must have been like for Bartimaeus. And since I’ve carried a wooden cross from Bethlehem up to Jerusalem and then down into Jericho and on up to Nazareth, I have a sense of what that region is like.
When I read about Bartimaeus, I hear camels and dogs. I hear children playing, people begging, and a large crowd. I imagine that someone is selling pomegranates and kumquats on the corner. I see, hear, and smell life.
In my mind, I imagine it’s a hot day. I feel the sweat trickling down. I feel the dust blowing up in my face. The sights, the smells, and the sounds of life are going on all around Bartimaeus as Jesus approaches him.
Mark 10:47–48 NIV tells us, When he [Bartimaeus] heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” That just means Bartimaeus got louder.
When Jesus heard Bartimaeus, He stopped and said, “Call him.” Wow! Our cries for God’s mercy can stop Jesus right where He is.
Verse 49 says, So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” The same people who had told him to be quiet now said, “Cheer up. Jesus is calling you.”
So Bartimaeus threw his cloak aside, jumped to his feet, and came to Jesus. And Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The Light Dawns
Now, think about this man Bartimaeus. He has never seen a rainbow or a rose. He’s never seen a sunrise or a sunset. His world has been one of darkness. He knows his wife’s face by touch, but he’s never seen it. He knows his children too—knows every line on their faces—but he’s never seen them either. He’s never, ever seen anything but a world of darkness.
Naturally this man answers Jesus excitedly, “Rabbi, I want to see!”
Verse 52 tells us that Jesus said, “Go…your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
What was the first thing that Bartimaeus saw? It wasn’t a rainbow, a sunset, his wife, or his kids. He didn’t see the guy selling pomegranates on the corner. He saw Jesus! He looked on Jesus’ face and into His wonderful eyes. Can you even imagine what that must have been like?
We’ve all been blind
For so many years of my life, I was Bartimaeus. Oh, I was a good Christian. I read my Bible, prayed, and was baptized many times. I’ve never smoked and never been drunk. I was good, yet my life was still in darkness because I’d never really seen Jesus.
So I cried out like Bartimaeus, “Jesus, I want to see.” And when I truly saw Jesus for the first time, it changed my life.
So many of us have been like Bartimaeus. Some of us have been blinded by looking at the wrong things. Some of us have been blinded because someone has hurt or offended us. Many of us have simply chosen not to see.
But that can change in a moment, just as it did for Bartimaeus and for me. Today, if you want to see Jesus, you can! That’s my prayer for you—that you will cry out to Him with all your heart: “Jesus, I want to see You!”
If you’d like to know Jesus and His love in your life, if you’d like to truly see Him today, pray this simple prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I want to see You. I want to know You. I repent of my sins, and I ask You to come into my heart. Fill me with Your love, and show me how to share Your love with others. Thank You, Lord. Amen.