One Biblical principle that I have particularly noticed over the last year of Bible reading is this: God is especially attracted to folks who are passionate. Here are just a few places in Scripture where this point is noted…
God engaged in an all-night wresting match with a passionate Jacob (Genesis 32:22-32).
Among his 12 apostles, Jesus was particularly drawn to Peter’s passion (evidenced throughout the Gospels).
When we are called to love our God, we are to passionately give it everything we’ve got (Mark 12:28-30).
Regarding lukewarm, apathetic Christianity, Jesus finds it so appalling that He promises to spit it out of his mouth (Revelation 3:15-16).
So, it isn’t surprising when we see that Jesus was drawn to a passionate blind man who was calling out for help in Mark 10:46-52.
This short account begins as Jesus was leaving Jericho and a huge crowd followed Him. With such a following, we could assume that Jesus would do what He always did – take advantage of a teaching moment. He saw people as sheep who needed to be cared for and instructed and He often told them things to help them through life and prepare for eternity (Mark 6:34).
But, Jesus was about to stop everything He was doing to pay attention to one man. The crowds would have to wait. One, lonely, destitute man sitting on the side of the road would do something that would cause Jesus to stop what He was doing and take notice. Look for clues as to what would catch Jesus’ attention…
“Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'”
‘Be quiet!’ many of the people yelled at him.
But he only shouted louder, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!'”
Baritimaeus was passionate in his begging. He wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. He was blind and so he probably couldn’t work and take care of himself. He would have been dependent upon others for charity. Added to this would have been the stigma attached to those with physical maladies – they had supposedly committed sin to bring it on themselves (John 9:1-2).
So, he really had nothing to lose. People were trying to shut him up but his passion for mercy from Jesus just kept growing. And that passion caught Jesus’ attention…
Mark 10:49-50 (New Living Translation)
“When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, ‘Tell him to come here.’
So they called the blind man. ‘Cheer up,’ they said. ‘Come on, he’s calling you!’ Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.”
But, Jesus didn’t simply invite the man into His presence. He granted Bartimaeus’ desire. Bartimaeus wanted to see. He was passionate in his desire and he had faith that Jesus could do it. So, in this particular case, Jesus granted the desire…
Mark 10:51-52 (New Living Translation)
“‘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.”
How is your prayer life? Are your prayers so boring and lifeless that you often nod off or lose your train of thought? When we realize in our Bible reading that God is drawn to passion, we also realize that when we offer up boring prayers, they may be met with the same amount of enthusiasm in Heaven. Not good!
So, God calls us to pray with passion. Call out to Him with all of your heart! Expect great things from Him and don’t stop until you get them! Be passionate in your prayers!
James 5:16 (New Living Translation)
“…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”