46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Bartimaeus throws off his cloak. Perhaps woven into the fibers of that cloak were a lifetime of expectations. A life of hardship. A life without sight. A life that depended upon the perceptions of those around him. He knew their voices well. A mixture of pity and resignation. To revive a hope extinguished is too wearisome a journey for most to take.
But on this occasion, he would not listen to the voices. Not the ones that fell upon his ears or even the ones that whispered silently in the corners of his mind. He would not settle for the warm familiarity of a cloak that weighed more with each passing day. He knew eventually the weight of it would be too heavy to discard.
It would have been easier to give in to the pressure of the crowd. Easier to wrap himself in the expectations of the past. We are sometimes like that. We permit our oldest fears and lies to creep in and dominate our thoughts. We come to Jesus clothed in an old way of doing things. Clinging to the comfort of the past even if it is holding us back. In an instant, Bartimaeus recognized that God's grace had come to him. Throwing his cloak aside, he lept to his feet. Seizing the moment, in the face of adversity, he left his cloak behind.
What cloak may God be asking me to cast aside?
Lord, I recognize myself in Bartimaeus. I have clothed myself in the expectation that nothing can exist beyond what I have known to this point in my life. Reveal yourself to me. Let me see what can be. Let me find hope in your power over my past. Wrap me in a new expectation. Help me believe that you are mighty to save me, to heal every affliction, to give me a future with you that surpasses the life I knew before you.