Friends the Gospel of Bartimaeus has so many implications for the Christian life. What made him so unique was that he saw himself rightly and he saw Jesus for who he is. So he was able to ask wholeheartedly and with pure intentions say: Master I want to see!
Can we see? Of course we can see the physical world, but can we see spiritual? I think if we are honest with ourselves we all can have a false sense of security in our own vision. We may be able to see the physical reality of the world, but do we see the world through the lens of faith, through God’s eyes? “Our problem is that we think we already see… [So], we first need to be healed of the illness of worldly vision.”
We need to be healed of worldly vision… Worldly vision obscures how we see God, other people, and ourselves. We are invited to pray with Bartimaeus, “Master, I too want to see!”
How do we see God? Whenever suffering or bad things happen in this world, it can become a moment where we begin to wonder, “God do you really care.” Unfortunately, these moments can also lead us to doubt God’s existence and God’s love for each of us. Sometimes, we even blame God for these terrible things. “God why did you give me cancer?” “God why did you do this to me?” Other times, people around us encourage us in this… “Aren’t you upset with God for all of these horrible things he has done to you?” It’s interesting… Its so easy for us to blame God for our problems, but its so hard for us to thank God for our blessings… This way of looking at God is what needs correction. We need corrected vision.
But I think we would all admit that it is so inspiring to meet someone who has faith and trust in God in the midst of great suffering? Tyler Trent and Scot Van Pelt (ESPN anchor) had an interview that was inspiring. SVP: Tyler I believe wholeheartedly that you will feel our prayers. God will help you! Tyler Trent, the Purdue super fan who has terminal cancer, is proclaiming the Gospel with his faith and trust in God in the midst of his suffering. Tyler sees God rightly. Master we want to see…
How do we see others? There are many examples in which we do not see others rightly. We can see others as less than us, or as means to an end, or as an object. Here’s one example of how we have obstructed vision with others. Think of the person we just don’t like. What’s the first thought that comes into our minds? My guess is most of us didnt think, “that person is a beloved son/daughter of God…” Don’t we treat people differently based on who they know? It happens all the time (and not for the best of reasons). But I wonder, how different this world would be if we looked at each other and first saw a child of God, and not that person that we dislike so much… Master I want to see…
How do we see ourselves? This is a big one. Consider our sinfulness. So many of us when we ask for God’s mercy we struggle to receive His love? Why? Because we don’t see what he sees. We see our sins, our imperfections, and so we are literally blind to God’s love in our lives. God how could you love this?!? And yet, our imperfections and sins can lead us into a deeper appreciation of God’s love. When we see ourselves rightly, all of our weaknesses, imperfections together with our gifts and strengths, we are able to see that we are lovable. We are able to see that we are precious in God’s eyes. Master we want to see!
So our prayer this weekend is to share in the the prayer of Bartimaeus the blind man. Master, I want to see. Help me to see this world with your eyes. Master, heal me from worldly vision.
In Christ’s love,