The road side was a place where the blind man, Bartimaeus, sat begging for daily food. His physical blindness allowed him to see no one but it didn't stop him from recognizing someone who was approaching near him. He could not see with his eyes but he felt the sound of their coming. He didn't see someone who gave him a coin but recognized the act of charity by the sound the coin as it clinked on his basket and instantly uttered the word 'thank you'. Bartimaeus knew what was happening around him no matter if it was a single pedestrian or a group of people or if it was a nice sunny day or a cloudy day. He knew it all because he was aware of it and stayed awakened. He saw what we can't see with our physical eyes.
We sometimes don't know what we want. We think we want this and that but when we have it we don't want it anymore and go on searching for something else. This man Bartimaeus couldn't see but he knew exactly what he wanted. From any ordinary pedestrian he expected an act of charity but when he heard Jesus was approaching he was asking for the gift of sight. 'Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me' and 'Master, let me see again'. His request was in contrast to last Sunday's reading when two of Jesus' disciples asked for something that they didn't know, as Jesus later told them.
'You do not know what you are asking' Mk 10,38
The blind man asked for the gift of sight because he had faith in Jesus while the two disciples were blinded by lack of faith. To see is to believe but there is no guarantee that what we see is always correct and true.
Many people scolded the blind man to keep quiet. The voice of many couldn't stop him from asking Jesus for his sight. Jesus told people to let the blind man go to him. His voice was blended with the voice of the crowd and yet the blind man could hear His voice. Jesus' voice was not the loudest one but rather soft and gentle and inviting him to come. The blind man wasted no time and jumped for joy running to Jesus. It was not his persistence that saved him but his strong and firm faith in Jesus that saved him. His inner faith was demonstrated through his actions, namely jumping for joy, shouting aloud and quickly running to Jesus and finally following Jesus along the road.
Jesus told the blind man 'go, your faith has saved you'. The blind man didn't go but instead he became a disciple and followed Jesus. He left everything behind to follow Jesus even his earnings he had begged for the day. He left behind the good location, the spot that he earned food for years. He left behind the cloak that kept him warm and comfortable and finally he left behind the old way of life to adopt the new one which made him a new person, totally dependent on Jesus for direction and instruction. He was able to do all of that because he had faith in Jesus and in return his faith had saved him as Jesus confirmed the faith of the blind man to the crowds who were following him.
It is not the farther you travel the deeper faith you have. The blind man has travelled nowhere and yet he has faith in Jesus. His faith comes from inside, from his heart through reflection and pondering the words of Jesus.