When the Lord Jesus Christ drew near to the city of Jericho, by that city’s gates was wrought one of the last miracles for the good of suffering man.
By the gates sat paupers begging alms. Amongst them was the blind Bartimaeus. Hoping for a good collection of alms, he had no idea of what happiness awaited him. Hearing the unusual noise of the people passing by, he learned that coming through was Jesus of Nazareth, Whose miracles were causing a stir throughout the country. This aroused a joyful hope in the blind man, and forgetting about the alms he was waiting for he began to cry, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” the people wanted to make him be silent, considering his loud clamoring indecent in the presence of the One who is about to enter into Jerusalem as the Messiah of all the people. But Christ heard his cry and His compassion heart was touched by it. He stopped and asked that the blind man be brought to Him. Then the crowd changed its tone and said to the blind man, “Don’t be afraid, arise, He is calling you.” In a burst of joy, as the Evangelist Mark testifies, he hastily threw off his cloak, jumped up and came to Christ. “What do you want from Me?” the Savior asked him. “Rabboni,” answered the blind man, “I want to receive my sight!” “Receive your sight,” said Christ, “your faith has saved you.” He then touched the eyes of the blind man, whose eyes could then see that very instant. And the recently blind man followed after Christ, glorifying God.
The blind man received not only physical sight; his heart touched the Light about which the apostle John wrote: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (Jn. 1:5). That is why Bartimaeus followed after Christ, glorifying God, and became a herald of the True God, Who through Jesus Christ told us that to all people is given the power to be sons of God (Jn. 1:12); that all of us, even the weakest and most sinful of us, are children of God, who have the Heavenly King as our common Father, and that as His children all people are equal in worth, and therefore any differentiation between Hellenes and Jews, slaves and free has no power, because we are all equally children of God.
In Christ shone forth true life over the world, and this light is inextinguishable and unconquerable, although it is surrounded by an impenetrable, thick darkness; it is stubbornly surrounded from the light by the hidden evil will of the sons of rebellion. In Thee is the fountain of light... and it Thy light shall we se light (Ps. 36), as once exclaimed the prophet and psalmist David. He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death, says the righteous Job the Much Suffering (Job 12:22).
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Christ is the Light of Truth, Who illumines every man who comes into the world; we have celebrated the days of the feasts of the Nativity and the Theophany. Now the Lord in His Providence calls us to follow the example of blind Bartimeaus, for whom Christ became not an object of faith, but the whole content of life, the Teacher and Guide, the life strength of one who was only recently blind.