In today’s Gospel, a blind man recognises who Jesus is. Bartimaeus addresses Jesus as ‘Son of David,’ and as ‘Rabbuni’ – Teacher. Bartimaeus is a beggar, pushed to the edges of society. People would look down on him because of his disability. Even when he cries out to Jesus, many in the crowd scold him and try to shut him up. But Jesus sees Bartimaeus, and heals him, telling him, ‘Your faith has saved you.’ The blind man knew that Jesus had the power to heal him, while Jesus’ own disciples showed again and again that they had not understood his teaching.
Jesus not only gives Bartimaeus his sight, but also his dignity. While others ignored the blind beggar and tried to silence him, Jesus had compassion for him. Mark tells us that Bartimaeus became a disciple of Jesus on the spot, and ‘followed him along the road.’ The road would lead to Jerusalem and Jesus’ death on the Cross. Bartimaeus would be there.
There are many people who are pushed to the edges of our society, ignored and despised. As Christians, we should see them and care for them, as Jesus does.