Reputation Or Revelation

Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” Luke 18:42

In Luke 18 and Mark 10, we see the account of a man called, “blind Bartimaeus.” From just his name alone we see that he was known to everyone by the condition of his life. He was known as “blind” and the word “Bar” in Bartimaeus means “the son of Timaeus,” so he was actually referred to as the “Blind son of Tamaeus.”

He had probably been blind from birth and would sit at the entrance of the city begging for money as multitudes of people would pass by everyday. On one particular day he heard a great commotion as Jesus was coming in and out of the city.

“As Jesus was leaving the city the same way He came, blind Bartimaeus asked what all the commotion was about. “So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.” Without hesitation and with the loudest of voices he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Those around Bartimaeus were not so kind and told him to be quiet, or as the original language puts it, “shut up.” Maybe he was causing a scene with his fervent cries thus bringing embarrassment to those closest to Him. But as they told him to be quiet, the Bible says, “he shouted all the more louder.” This was his time and he would not be denied.

His earnest cry caught the attention of Jesus and He sent for blind Bartimaeus to come to Him. There was a great multitude with Jesus that day and I’m sure many had been calling out to Him, but the call from Bartimaeus was different. It was a call from revelation.

Again, the multitudes referred to Him as “Jesus of Nazareth,” but Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus, thou Son of David have mercy on me.” Many knew Him based on his reputation as a man from Nazareth who could heal the sick and raise the dead, but Blind Bartimaeus knew why He could do these great things. He knew Jesus, by revelation, as “the Messiah,” and it was because of that revelation that he would not be silenced.

Sadly today, even among those who have grown up in church, many know Him only by reputation. Sure, they may understand that He came to save them from eternal damnation, but they haven’t recognized Him as the one that brings them “Sozo” salvation, which is to be saved, healed, delivered, preserved, protected, to be made prosperous and to be made whole. Many have succumb to the religious pressure of those around them and have given up in their pursuit of more of Him.

Please don’t misunderstand me. My intention is not to be harsh, but it saddens me, and the Father a lot more than me, to see people following the “Traditions of Men” rather than the Word and promises of God for their lives. Though well intended, many believers may have never allowed themselves to press through their own traditions into all God has for them and have remained confined to the “this is all He has for me” mentality.

When Bind Bartimaeus was summoned by Jesus to come to Him, the first thing he did was cast off his beggar cloak. It was his first step of faith. He had the faith to believe that from that day forward he would never be a beggar again. He also knew he would never receive from Jesus what he needed, if he kept seeing Himself the way he always had. The same holds true for us today. Do we see ourselves the way others may see us, or do we see ourselves based on His view of us?

Several years ago, I faced a great crisis in my life and in the life of my family. As a result, I left the ministry for many years, with no real idea I would ever return. Feeling the shame and guilt of my past failures, I somehow felt the need to preface any new relationship with the people God was bringing into my life, with the laundry list of my past shortcomings. One day, after one of these conversations with a new friend, I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Why do you feel you have to re-hash your past failures, that’s not how I see you.” That one word from Him began to change my perspective and set me on the path to restoration.

I’m not sure how others have looked at you based on your past, and to be honest I really don’t care, and more importantly neither does your Heavenly Father. He knows your name and your not a “No name.” Regardless of what you may have struggled with physically, emotionally, or even morally, God knew all that before He called you His and before He gave you your calling.

Bartimaeus got more than just his eyesight that day. He got a whole new vision for his life based on how God saw him. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” The word “well” here, is the word “Sozo,” so he got the whole package that day.

Cast aside any cloak of failure and begin to step into all God has for you.

Today’s Thought: Never allow anyone’s view of you to keep you from seeing the vision God has for you.

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