Bartimaeus healed & Jesus visits Zacchaeus (Journey 47)

Jesus continues to do His ministerial work, as He journeys from Perea to Jericho. We are reading this time in Mark 10:46-52; Matthew 20:29-34; Luke 18:35-19:28.

Matthew mentions two blind men, while Mark and Luke describe one, probably the more conspicuous one (Bartimaeus). Jesus heals them. There seems to be a discrepancy as to the place of healing (“As He went out from Jericho,” and “as He drew nigh unto Jericho”). This is best explained by the recent suggestion that the healing occurred after He left the old Jericho, and as He was approaching the new Jericho, which Herod the Great had built at some distance away.

Jesus has healed several blind beggars while passing through Jericho, and the men were determined to attract the attention of Jesus, so they called out loud to Him by His title, “Son of David.” Jesus called the men to Him, and clearly saw their need, so He asked them what they wanted. He wanted them to decide their own faith boldly to strengthen it. In response to their faith, Jesus healed them.

Visiting Zacchaeus

Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector of Jericho and he was a wealthy man. He wanted to see Jesus and Jesus wanted to talk to him; therefore, Jesus went to his house, even though the locals didn’t like it. The outcome of His visit with Zacchaeus was that he repented and believed on Christ Jesus.

To show his repentance as sincere, Zacchaeus repaid those he had cheated and gave freely to those he had not cheated. Because he was so despised by fellow Jews, he was not worthy to be called a “son of Abraham.” However, that was not a reason for him to be excluded from Salvation, as sinners such as this were just the people that Jesus came to save. Once he was saved, he was a true “son of Abraham.”

What can we learn from this?

Those who sincerely desire Christ will break through opposition, including persecutions, to see Him in His Glory and accept His Grace! Christ comes to us and opens our heart so that we may receive Him more! Let’s always receive Him joyfully and help others do the same!