Background: As Jesus was leaving Jericho, he met a blind beggar who identified him as the son of David. One thousand years earlier, God had promised King David that his son would sit on the throne of Israel forever (2 Sam 7:12-16). Since then, the Jews had been waiting for a new David who would deliver them from their enemies, at the moment from Roman occupation. The Romans, of course, would not tolerate talk of Israelís former, let alone present, kings.
What do you think would be the worst thing about having to beg for a living?
Think about what a normal day was like for the blind Bartimaeus.
What does it show that this man was not called by his first name, but only by his patronymic “the son of Timaeus”?
What had Bartimaeus learned about life, people and politics from sitting year after year along a busy road?
Bartimaeus had heard rumours about Jesus and probably hoped to meet him one day. What were the options he could use to reach Jesus if he ever happened to come to Jericho?
What does it show that no one had taken Bartimaeus to Jerusalem to be healed, even though the city was only 20 miles away and Jesus was known to visit it on religious festivals?
Verses 47-48. Most people did not know that Jesus was a descendant of David. He had only been called the son of David once before, and that was by a Canaanite woman outside the borders of Israel.
Do you think that Bartimaeus himself had concluded that Jesus was the Son of David, or had he heard it from others? Why do you think so?
Why wasnít Bartimaeus afraid of the Romans when shouting after the Son of David, in other words, after the king?
Why did the people want to silence Bartimaeusí cry for help?
In which two ways did the cry of Bartimaeus change when people tried to silence him?
What should the people around him have done instead of forbidding Bartimaeus to cry out? (Why didnít anyone take Bartimaeusí hand and lead him to Jesus?)
Why is it so easy for us too to pass by those who need help?
How did Jesus show the crowds around him that he was indeed the son of David?
Why didnít Jesus go to the beggar, but told others to bring him to him?
Imagine how Bartimaeus felt when he heard that Jesus was calling him?
Just a little while ago, the people had told the beggar to keep his mouth shut, but now they were saying kindly, “Take heart, he is calling you.” What brought about this change in them?
Verse 50. Probably his cloak was Bartimaeusí most precious possession, and it also served as a mattress and blanket at night.
What does it show about Bartimaeus that he left his precious cloak lying on the ground? (What if he never found it again?)
Why did Jesus ask Bartimaeus a self-evident question?
Why was it important for Jesus to talk to exchange a few words with the blind beggar before healing him?
What did that little conversation reveal to the people around him about a) Jesus and b) Bartimaeus?
Today Jesus asks you the same question he asked Bartimaeus: “What do you want me to do for you?” You can answer him just in your heart.
In what way did Jesus heal the eyes of Bartimaeus?
Jesus is talking here about the faith of the blind beggar. What in Bartimaeusí behavior had shown that he had believed in Jesus all along?
The Jerichoites had not until then regarded Bartimaeus as any kind of believer. What might they think about Jesus praising his faith in this way?
Why did Bartimaeus want to follow Jesus to Jerusalem?
What happened then
On the next day, all the people hailed Jesus as the son of David at the gates of Jerusalem (11:9-10). How much do you think Bartimaeusí cry from the previous day affected their behavior?
Just a week later, Bartimaeus saw with his own eyes his benefactor being nailed on a cross. How do you think he took it?
How do you think Bartimaeus received the rumours of the resurrection of Jesus?
Glad tidings: Bartimaeus regained the light of his eyes. Jesus, on the other hand, had to die on the cross in pitch darkness, rejected by God, so that neither Bartimaeus nor the rest of us would have to go into the eternal darkness of hell.