There are all kinds of reasons people give for not taking advantage of an opportunity that comes their way. Some may say that they didn’t realize it until too late, while others may blame not having enough knowledge to make the most of the opportunity. Blind Bartimaeus diffuses such arguments and reasons with his actions in this instance.
Blindness is no excuse for not taking advantage of an opportunity.
Even if people can’t see all the possibilities, people who want out of their current situation are desperately looking for a change! Bartimaeus was most certainly physically blind but that did not prevent him from seeing and seizing an opportunity! In cases where “blindness” obstructs we must learn to use other senses to our advantage.
There were several things that helped Bartimaeus make use of this opportunity. He had been sitting in a place where activity and information would pass. He was on a roadside. People passed along there everyday and even if they didn’t give him money, they could give him information. He may have been a blind beggar but he was not an ignorant one! He paid attention to news about a certain man Jesus. He heard the rustling of the crowds as they drew near. He sensed the dust rising in his nostrils and took advantage of the chance he got.
Seeing doesn’t just happen with our eyes.
Bartimaeus couldn’t see where Jesus was. He had no idea how close he was to Jesus nor what Jesus looked like. All Bartimaeus could do was cast cries for mercy toward heaven and the general direction from which noise seemed to stir. He was listening. He was hoping. He was dreaming. He may not have seen Jesus at this point but he could most certainly see that his future lay in Jesus’ hands. Bartimaeus had faith. Without eyes, he had to listen more intently and closely for the voice of God. John 10:27 tells us that God’s sheep “hear His voice”. Bartimaeus’ faith came as a result of using His next greatest sense of sound. Many times people may miss opportunities God has for them because they are too fixated on God doing one thing or another and unwilling to see or act with eyes of faith. Bartimaeus “heard” and then he cried out. If we want to see again, listen for His voice. It’s then that everything becomes clear. “Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17. In other words, don’t look for God if you’re unwilling to listen to God.
Just because you can’t see the future doesn’t mean you don’t have one.
Bartimaeus was not content to be a beggar the rest of his life. He had a dream and that dream would require a miracle. Most dreams do! However when the dream-maker came near, Bartimaeus took full advantage of the chance he had been given. It was a “now or never” moment. Bartimaeus may not have been able to see with his eyes presently but he could certainly see what kind of future he desired. Don’t allow a present limitation to prevent you from asking God for a future without limits . Bartimaeus was no idiot; a beggar but a believer and dreamer as well! His belief was not in himself mind you but in the one who could give him a future beyond his present status and situation. But it all came down to the present: what would he do with Jesus so close by? This is also the case for us. What will we do when Jesus passes by? Will we miss the opportunity given us? Take advantage of every opportunity to see Jesus…even if you have to see with your ears for that’s when it’s a vision to hear!
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and Youth Pastor of New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA