The Lord Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem when He passed through Jericho. For Bartimaeus, this was likely the only opportunity he would have of meeting the Saviour. Jericho was remembered as the city of the curse (Josh 6:26). God had once judged it because of its sin, and any who rebuilt it would pay the price of their disobedience. It was outside this city, alongside the highway, that Bartimaeus sat begging.
When he heard that the Saviour was passing by, he shouted his plea, “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me” (v.47). The blind man saw what the crowd did not! They saw a man from despised Nazareth. He saw the true Messiah. Equally, he called for the Lord to have mercy, befitting one who was Israel’s Messiah. The Saviour “stood still” (v.49). As the command was issued, Bartimaeus responded with haste, casting away his outer garment.
This man’s financial need was evident – he was begging. His physical need was equally clear – he was blind. But what of his spiritual need? In Bartimaeus’ reply we see a little more of his appreciation of the Saviour. When he said, “Lord, that I might receive my sight”, there was no question in his mind as to the Saviour's ability.
We can learn from the path that Bartimaeus chose when the Lord said to him “Go thy way” v(.52). He could have thought of all the things he might do now that he could see. His choice? He “followed Jesus in the way”!