Bartimaeus listens to everything around him. He knows the stories people have been telling about this so-called healer, Jesus. He knows that many people believe Him to be the Son of God, or at least Son of King David, though he’s not completely sure what that title means. Today, he hears a commotion near his post in front of the wall. He calls out, “What is going on?” Someone in the crowd yells back, “Jesus is coming!” Another man sits down next to him, obviously a newcomer. Nobody who knows Bartimaeus would ever sit next to him willingly. “Who are you?” he grumbles in irritation. The man replies, “Am I trespassing? My apologies, sir, for I am blind and knew not where I was going. But I heard that the Healer was coming this way and asked a friend to guide me here. He led me to this spot and told me this was where I might have the best chance at Jesus seeing and healing me.” Bartimaeus is startled at this, and just mumbles something unintelligible. The new man takes this as an invitation to stay and settles in silently to wait for Jesus to notice him. Bartimaeus, meanwhile, has a lot to think about. Is he willing to take a risk and ask Jesus to heal him? What if all the rumors are just lies? Then people won’t fear him anymore, they’ll laugh at him instead. And besides this, if he is no longer blind, what will he do for money? He does not know any trade, and he has no friends to help him. He, too, sits silently, contemplating his options.
Matthew 20:29-30a, Mark 10:46, Luke 18:35-37