30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 24/10/2021 - Gospel: Mk 10, 46-52
We hear people say when one door is shut, a new door is opened. This belief applied well to Bartimaeus, the blind man of Jericho. He couldn't read but his memory was incredible. He knew God has promised to send a Messiah to reunite the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and the Promised Messiah would come from the line of King David. Bartimaeus was well aware of what was going on around him. One day he heard people talking about the man named Jesus, Who opened the eyes of a blind man of Bethsaida (Mk 8:22-26). Since that day onward, the name Jesus stuck in his mind. Day and night he wondered Who the man Jesus was. No one could give sight to a man blind from birth. Jesus gave sight to the blind man of Jericho, He must be the Promised Messiah. This insight gave Bartimaeus hope. In his heart, he had already accepted Jesus as His Lord.

With faith in Jesus, Bartimaeus recognised Jesus as the promised Messiah. When Jesus was on his way. He yelled out aloud 'Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me' v.47. He wanted to be sure, nobody else, but Jesus, Son of David, was the One he was longing to follow. This point alone certified that Bartimaeus believed, apart from the Messiah, no one could help him. The crowd scolded him for crying out for help, but he would not stop. He cried out even louder. His faith overcame his fear of the crowd. Jesus confirmed his faith, saying 'Your faith has saved you' v.52. Jesus gave him his sight, and he followed Jesus.

Bartimaeus' faith in Jesus came not from seeing, but hearing. Hearing gave him insight. This insight fostered knowledge which nurtured his faith. The crowd was wrong when they challenged his faith. Bartimaeus was a lone voice, but his voice was loud and clear. Jesus saved him. On the matter of faith, it is wise not to follow the crowd. Jesus preached to the crowds but when He called someone to follow, He never called a group. No, He called each person as an individual to follow. The crowd stopped Bartimaeus crying out for help, indicating blind people of that society had no voice, - even a desperate voice calling out for help would be suppressed.

Throwing off his cloak was a sign of hope and confidence. It implied Bartemaeus discarded his former life to have a new life. He strongly believed, Jesus would give him a new life. He would need the cloak no more. His hope in Jesus was fulfilled. He was hoping to meet Jesus when he first heard about Jesus, Who gave sight to another man before him. Unlike other beggars, they begged for food and money; Bartemaeus begged for the sight- 'Master, let me see again' v.51. The change of title from 'Jesus, Son of David to master' revealed from now on Jesus became the man's Master. He enrolled at the new school, the school of faith trained by Master, Jesus. Bartemaeus followed Jesus to enter the Holy City. His faith was mature enough to accept the cost of discipleship. The Passion of Jesus was sandwiched between the two stories of blindness: the blind man of Bethsaida and the blind man of Jericho. In between there were the triple predictions of the Passion. Physical blindness would not stop a person from having faith in Jesus, but spiritual blindness does.