And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47–48).
Blind Bartimaeus was a man who was gripped by a sense of his sinfulness, and his need for mercy. As Jesus began to pass by he felt driven to cry out for mercy, but the crowds tried to hush him up. This beggar was an embarrassment. He had no need for Jesus. “Be silent”.
Bartimaeus’s experience is still common today. Someone is stirred, and feels the need to take a serious look at Christianity. The surrounding friends try and quench the flickering flame. It’s all made up. The Bible’s nonsense. God doesn’t exist. You’re just tired, or down. Come down the pub (remember those?!). Come to the cinema.
If this is your experience - or has been your experience in the past - don’t give up! Follow the lead of the blind beggar. Continue to cry out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”. The world around you might offer all sorts of entertainment, pleasure and distractions. Your friends might tell you to be silent, or at least stop being daft. In the end, though, it is only Jesus who can give you answers to the questions you have. Only God can respond to the stirring you feel.
Bartimaeus persisted and was granted his sight. Many others have persevered and received their spiritual sight. Never be silenced!