The Beggar’s Coat


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.


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