October 15th

Bartimaeus and Healing

46Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
48Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
49Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." 50Throwing 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.
Mark 10:46-52 NIV 

The story of Bartimaeus illustrates several principals of healing that we can apply to sex addiction recovery.  The overall point of the story was that Bartimaeus had the kind of faith that brought about his healing.   He didn’t care what the people thought of him.  He was passionate and persistent in trying to connect with Jesus, even against the rebukes of the crowd.  When he heard Jesus call him, he obeyed without hesitation.   He told Jesus exactly what he wanted and was healed. 

Just as Bartimaeus recognized his blindness, sex addicts need to recognize how they have been spiritually blinded through their sin.  Jesus said that the eye is the lamp of the body and with it we can either fill ourselves with light or darkness (Luke 11:34).  For example, pornography fills our minds with all kinds of lustful thoughts and memories which pervert our thinking.  Realizing how our habits have affected us will help us recognize our desperate need for Jesus. 

Once we see our need for Jesus, we must direct our attention and efforts toward connecting with Jesus.  Bartimaeus didn’t let anything distract him from pursuing Jesus.  Likewise, we must not let temptations distract us from seeking Jesus.  For example, a daily Quiet Time with God is a great habit to develop for seeking God, yet many things in our lives may try to distract us from having one.  If we can filter out the distractions and keep our focus on God, we’ll be best prepared to connect with him. 

When Jesus called Bartimaeus over, he heard and readily obeyed.  Jesus may call us during a prayer time, a church service, the commute to work, or any time he wishes.  Hopefully we’ll be listening for Jesus and ready to respond to him.  Some people find it hard to ask for anything from the Lord, especially when they’ve been living in sin.  We can remember that the Lord shed his own blood so that we would be completely cleansed for our sin. We have peace with him, and he hears our requests.  With that in mind, we should feel free to ask the Lord for the healing that we desire, just as Bartimaeus asked for healing of his sight.   

Don’t miss the last verse of this story.  Bartimaeus followed Jesus after he was healed.  Just like in a tennis serve, the follow-through can make all the difference in how accurate the serve is.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, thank you for the story of Bartimaeus.  Lord I want to have faith like he had.  I want to be ready for your call and quick to respond. Please help me see my need for you and have a passion to connect with you.  Lord I desire to be healed of ______________ (specify).  I believe that your death on the cross paid for the forgiveness of my sin and cleared the way for me to live as a new person. I believe that you can heal me and please help me overcome any unbelief in my heart.  Thank you, Master! Amen.”