Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. ~Psalm 119:105
When Jesus was in Jericho, he met a blind man named Bartimaeus. He was a beggar; for him, life is just a dream, and everything can only be imagined. He can only imagine how beautiful the world is, how many colors there are, or what amazing sceneries there are; he can also imagine what people look like, the difference between men and women, young and old, or the people coming and going in the world. He may have heard stories about the adventures of hundreds of people, and would like to experience them in person. However, for Bartimaeus, this is a dream, too far out and almost extravagant.
In Bartimaeus’s imagination, some things are very special. For example, he has heard of the power of Jesus, who can heal sick people, is better than doctors, and can even resurrect the dead; he also heard that Jesus was able to feed five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes, and still have leftovers; he had even heard that Jesus could call on the wind and rain, calm storms, and walk on water; at one time, someone was possessed by a demon, the ghost got driven away by Jesus towards a large group of pigs, which went crazy and jumped off the cliff. Bartimaeus had heard a lot about him, and he had a lot of imaginations about Jesus. He is not only curious about Jesus, but also curious about those who have seen Jesus, knew Jesus, and experienced Jesus. After meeting Jesus, how will life change; what will life be like for those who have been changed? But imaginations are just imaginations, all but a pipe dream.
Until one day, Bartimaeus heard something new. He heard that Jesus was coming to Jericho and would pass by on the road. Bartimaeus suddenly discovered that the stories he had heard in the past were very close to him, so close it was hard to believe; will Bartimaeus become the protagonist in the story this time, knowing Jesus? He wanted to, but he couldn’t, because he couldn’t see. Suddenly, he felt a surge of courage and started shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” This courage made him not ask for help in a low voice anymore. This courage enabled him to break through his self-restraints. He yelled at the top of his lungs to attract Jesus’ attention. No matter how the people beside tried to stop him, they couldn’t prevent him from wanting to know Jesus. Finally, Jesus heard him, called him over, and asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus finally had a chance to become the protagonist in the story. He replied, “I want to be able to see!” Bartimaeus wants to see everything he has heard of. He wants to be a normally functional person. He wants to be on an equal social level with others, instead of relying on compassion and charity. He is willing to sweat hard and enjoy the happiness of hard work in life like others, and he does not want to live an easy life without dignity. Bartimaeus sincerely believed that Jesus could change his life, and tried his best to let Jesus know his needs, “I want to see!” Bartimaeus no longer only hear stories about other people’s lives changing, but became a person whose life has changed.
I think that after Bartimaeus can see, the first person he wanted to see was Jesus, to see what the person who gave him eye sight looked like; perhaps he also wants to see what the people who helped him in the past looked like. He must also be very excited to see everything in this world that he could only imagine before. But when he sees himself, he must also be surprised by the way he looked, because he had no concept before and didn’t know what he was like. Perhaps the first thing Bartimaeus did after being able to see was to take a bath, washing himself clean to welcome this new life. Many people are not blind, but they may not be able to see their own situations or the way to go in the future. It is possible that we do not know what kind of situation we are stepping into, nor may we see any hope or the role we should play. However, Jesus is the Lord who opens people’s eyes. When we meet and know Jesus, we not only see clearly what kind of God this is, but also see who we are. When we change ourselves, we enable ourselves to challenge the future.
People’s lives need dreams, but if the dreams are only pipe dreams, it will be nothing in the end. Knowing Jesus lets us see ourselves clearly and also see the way ahead.