John 09:39: “I came into this world for judgment, that those who don’t see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”
On the sixth Lenten Sunday, our Maronite Catholic Church cites and recalls with great piety Jesus’ healing miracle of the blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus. This amazing miracle that took place in Jericho near the Pool of Siloam is documented in three gospels:Mark 10/46-52. John 9/1-41 Matthew 20/:29-34.
Maronites in Lebanon and all over the world strongly believe that Jesus is the holy and blessed light through which believers can see God’s paths of righteousness. There is no doubt that without Jesus’ light, evil darkness will prevail in peoples’ hearts, souls and minds. Without Jesus’ presence in our lives we definitely will become preys to all kinds of evil temptations.
John 09:5: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world”.
In every community, there are individuals from all walks of life who are spiritually blind, lacking faith, have no hope, and live in dim darkness because they have distanced themselves from Almighty God and from His Gospel, although their eyes are physically perfectly functional and healthy. Meanwhile the actual blindness is not in the eyes that can not see because of physical ailments, but in the hearts that are hardened, in the consciences that are numbed and in the spirits that are defiled with sin.
John’s Gospel gives important details about what has happened with Bartimaeus after the healing miracle of his blindness. As we read in the below enclosed Biblical verses that after his healing Bartimaeus and his parents were exposed to intimidation, fear, threats, and terror. But he refused to succumb or to lie.
He held verbatim to all the course details of the miracle, bravely witnessed for the truth and loudly proclaimed his strong belief that Jesus who cured him was The Son Of God. His faith made him strong, fearless and courageous. The Holy Spirit came to his rescue and spoke through him.
Romans 8:26: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans”
Sadly our contemporary world hails atheism, brags about secularism and persecutes those who have faith in God and believe in Him. Where ever we live, there are opportunists and hypocrites like some of the conceited crowd members that initially rebuked Bartimaeus, and tried with humiliation to keep him away from Jesus, but the moment Jesus called on him they changed their attitude and let him go through.
Meanwhile, at the present time, Christian believers do suffer dire persecution in many countries on the hands of ruthless oppressors, Jihadists and rulers who refuse to witness for the truth. But despite of all the dim spiritual darkness, thanks God, there are still too many meek believers like Bartimaeus who hold to their faith no matters what the obstacles or hurdles are.
Lord, enlighten our minds and hearts with your light and open our eyes to realize that You are a loving and merciful father. Lord Help us to take Bartimaeus as a faith role model in our life. Lord help us to defeat all kinds of sins that take us away from Your light, and deliver us all from evil temptations.
NB: The Above Piece was first published in 2016, republished with minor changes
Biblical Verses Telling the Healing Miracle Of The Blind Man
Healing Miracle Of The Blind Man John/09/01-41/: And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
Healing Miracle Of The Blind Man The Miracle: Mark 10/46-52: ” They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, “Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, “You son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still, and said, “Call him. ”They called the blind man, saying to him, “Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!” He, casting away his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “Rabboni, that I may see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way. The son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, the blind beggar who was born to two blind parents truly believed in Jesus. His heart, mind and spirit were all enlightened with faith and hope. Because of his strong faith he knew deep inside who actually Jesus was, and stubbornly headed towards him asking for a Godly cure. He rebelled against all those opportunist and hypocrites who out of curiosity and not faith came to see who is Jesus. He refused to listen to them when they rebuked him and tried hardly to keep him away from Jesus. He loudly witnessed for the truth and forced his way among the crowd and threw himself on Jesus’ feet asking Him to open his blind eyes. Jesus was fascinated by his faith, hailed his perseverance and gave him what he asked for. He opened his eyes.”
Two Blind Men Receive Sight Matthew 20/29-34: As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.