The Beggar’s Coat

begging

During a recent study, I learned something interesting about the beggar’s coat during Jesus’ time on earth. The government had regulations for beggars. If a person had a valid reason to beg, they were given a beggar’s coat. This let passersby know the beggar truly was in need.

The story is told in Mark 10 of a blind beggar named Bartimaeus. One day as he sat along the side of the road, he heard a large crowd approach. The Bible tells us Bartimaeus asked what was going on. Someone told him Jesus of Nazareth was nearby. When he heard this news, Bartimaeus shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”

I’ve read this story many times and never really paid attention to the fact the people said, Jesus of Nazareth. But Bartimaeus said, Jesus, Son of David. That distinction makes a huge difference, don’t you think?

Bartimaeus recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. Because he recognized Jesus as the Messiah, Bartimaeus, in faith, was willing to throw off his beggar’s coat, jump up, and go to Jesus.

Don’t miss that like I have all these years. Bartimaeus’ beggar’s coat was his means of supporting himself. It was his security. It was his identity. Still, he threw it away when he went to Jesus.

His faith was so strong, he believed Jesus could and would heal his sight. He believed he had no further need of his beggar’s coat.

Bartimaeus didn’t hold onto the coat. He threw it off. He didn’t hold onto his identity as a beggar. He threw it off. Bartimaeus believed once he saw Jesus, there was no reason to ever want his beggar’s coat back.

Such faith.

I imagine by the time Bartimaeus reached Jesus, someone else already snatched up that government coat which allowed them to sit on a corner and beg.

In response to Bartimaeus’ faith, Jesus healed him. In fact, Jesus told the former blind man his faith was what allowed him to see.

That would be a lovely ending to Bartimaeus’ story if it ended right there. But that wasn’t the end. Mark 10:52 tells us, Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road. 

Bartimaeus threw off his beggar’s coat in faith, was healed, and followed Jesus. Is there anything we need to throw off in faith that is keeping us from following Jesus down the road?

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Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”  And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road. Mark 10:50-52 (NLT)

You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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I Once Was Blind

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

There is a story told in the Bible in the book of John Chapter 9 about the healing of a blind man by Jesus. The man had been blind since birth and at that time in history, people falsely believed sin had caused the blindness.

For the sake of my illustration, I’m going to call the man Simon.

Jesus spat on the ground, made mud with the spittle, placed it on Simon’s eyes, and told him to go wash his eyes in the Pool of Siloam.

So Simon went, washed, and came back seeing.

Simple as that.

When Simon’s neighbors and those who knew him as a beggar saw he was no longer blind, they questioned if it was indeed Simon, or someone who just looked like him.

“This can’t be Simon. He’s blind. Always has been. Always will be.”

“It is me! I can see!” Simon probably shouted.

“How’d you get your sight?”

Simon told them all about what Jesus had done.

The custom of the day was to present yourself before the religious leaders when healed. So Simon’s neighbors took him before the Pharisees.

“How’d you get your sight?” they asked.

Simon told his story again.  “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and now I see.”

Because Jesus healed Simon on the Sabbath the Pharisees were livid. They weren’t excited and happy for the miraculous healing. Nope. They were upset because it occurred on a day they said healing could not take place.

Are there ever times when we question whether someone we’ve know for a long time could possibly change for the better, the way Simon’s friends questioned that he wasn’t the blind beggar they’d always known?

Do we want to define them as who they were? Not who they have become once in contact with Jesus? Do we only remember them for the times they failed, constantly reminding them of their failures, and refuse to believe they could succeed? Are we unwilling to accept they have changed?

Jesus redeemed Simon from a life of blindness. Not only did Jesus restore Simon’s physical sight, but upon Simon’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah, he received spiritual sight, as well.

Jesus came into this world to pay the price to redeem each of us from our sins … from our spiritual blindness. When we follow Jesus as our LORD and Savior, he gives us spiritual sight. As a result, we become new creations in him.

Jesus told the man who was born blind to go wash, and he did. His healing came after he was obedient. Same with us. Our healing also comes after obedience.

Leave your comments below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“Yes, Lord,” the man said, “I believe!” And he worshiped Jesus.

Then Jesus told him, “I have come into the world to give sight to those who are spiritually blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”

The Pharisees who were standing there asked, “Are you saying we are blind?”

 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But your guilt remains because you claim to know what you are doing.  John 9:38-41 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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