Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus)


Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him,“What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him,“Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. English Standard Version (ESV)

Mark 10:46-52

Healing the blind near Jericho1)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healing_the_blind_near_Jericho

Each of the three Synoptic Gospels tells of Jesus healing the blind near Jericho, as he passed through that town, shortly before his passion.

The Gospel of Mark tells of the cure of a man named Bartimaeus healed by Jesus as he is leaving Jericho. The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke include different versions of this story.

Narrative development

The earliest version is in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 10:46-52) which tells of the cure of a blind beggar named Bartimaeus (literally “Son of Timaeus”, one of the few recipients of healing who are given names). As Jesus is leaving Jericho with his followers, Bartimaeus calls out: ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ and persists even though the crowd tries to silence him. Jesus has them bring the man to him and asks what he wants; he asks to be able to see again. Jesus tells him that his faith has cured him; he immediately regains his sight and follows Jesus.

Apart from telling a miracle story that shows the power of Jesus, the author of the Gospel uses this story to advance a clearly theological purpose. It shows a character who understands who Jesus is and the proper way to respond to him – with faith. The beggar, on being called to Jesus, discards his cloak, symbolising the leaving behind of possessions. And the use of the title, ‘Son of David’ – the only occasion on which this is used in the Gospel of Mark – serves to identify Jesus as the Messiah.2)Stephen Ahearne-Kroll, The Psalms of Lament in Mark’s Passion: Jesus’ Davidic Suffering (Cambridge University Press, 2007) pages 138-140

The Gospel of Matthew changes this story in a number of ways, and uses it twice: in one version, the blind beggar Bartimaeus becomes two unnamed blind men, sitting by the roadside; there is no mention of a cloak; Jesus does not mention faith, but instead is ‘moved by compassion’; and instead of simply announcing the cure, he touches their eyes. 20:29-34 A version of the same story is told earlier in the narrative, when Jesus is preaching in Galilee. On this occasion, he asks the blind men if they believe he can cure them, and when they assure them they do, he commends their faith and touches their eyes, restoring their sight. He warns them to tell nobody of this, but they go and spread the news throughout the district. (Matthew 9:27-31)

The Gospel of Luke 18:35-43 handles the story in a different way; there is one unnamed blind man, and the author shifts the incident to take place as Jesus is approaching Jericho, so it can lead into the story of Zacchaeus.3)Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke (Liturgical Press, 1991) page 283.

Son of David

Vernon K. Robbins emphasizes that the healing of Bartimaeus is the last of Jesus’ healings in Mark, and links Jesus’ earlier teaching about the suffering and death of the Son of Man with his Son of David activity in Jerusalem.4)Jesus the Teacher: A Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation of Mark by Vernon K. Robbins 2009, ISBN 978-0-8006-2595-5. 41-43. 5)Vernon K. Robbins, “The Healing of the Blind Bartimaeus (10:46-52) in the Marcan Theology,” Journal of Biblical Literature 92 (1973), 224-243 see Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke (Liturgical Press, 1991) page 283.  The story blends the Markan emphasis on the disciples’ ‘blindness’ – their inability to understand the nature of Jesus’ messiahship – with the necessity of following Jesus into Jerusalem, where his suffering and death make him recognizable to Gentiles as Son of God.6)Vernon K. Robbins, “The Reversed Contextualization of Psalm 22 in the Markan Crucifixion: A Socio-Rhetorical Analysis” [see Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke (Liturgical Press, 1991) page 283.] (1992).

Paula Fredriksen, who believes that titles such as “Son of David” were applied to Jesus only after the crucifixion and resurrection, argued that Mark and Matthew placed that healing with the proclamation “Son of David!” just before “Jesus’ departure for Jerusalem, the long-foreshadowed site of his sufferings.”7)Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ, p. 181.  The title “Son of David” is a messianic name.8)Reflections: The blind Bartimaeus: Mark 10:46-52,” October 24, 2009, The Manila Bulletin, The Manila Bulletin website, citing 365 Days with the Lord, (St. Paul’s, Makati City, Philippines) from St. Paul’s website (dead link). Accessed October 28, 2009.9)Barrie Wetherill, “Jesus cures blind Bartimaeus,” from The Life of Jesus Christ, found at easy English Bible study. Accessed October 28, 2009.  Thus, Bartimaeus’ exclamation was, according to Mark, the first public acknowledgement of the Christ, after St. Peter’s private confession at Mark 8:27–30.

Bartimaeus

The naming of Bartimaeus is unusual in several respects:

(a) the fact that a name is given at all,

(b) the strange Semitic-Greek hybrid, with

(c) an explicit translation “Son of Timaeus.” Some scholars see this to confirm a reference to a historical person;10)Vincent Taylor. The Gospel according to St. Mark. 1966 St. Martin’s Press Inc. p 448. however, other scholars see a special significance of the story in the figurative reference to Plato’s Timaeus who delivers Plato’s most important cosmological and theological treatise, involving sight as the foundation of knowledge.11)Mary Ann Tolbert, Sowing the Gospel: Mark’s World in Literary-Historical Perspective 1996, Fortress Press. p189.


What is the story of blind Bartimaeus?12)http://www.gotquestions.org/blind-Bartimaeus.html

The story of Blind Bartimaeus occurs in the Gospel of Mark and concerns the healing of a blind beggar called Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. A parallel account mentions two blind men (Matthew 20:30), but Mark focuses on the one who was no doubt familiar to his readers. On his way out of Jericho, Jesus was surrounded by a huge crowd, when, from the roadside, Bartimaeus called out to Him to be healed. The events that follow tell us something profound about God’s nature and shed light on the type of faith and prayer that are pleasing to God.

As Jesus was walking by him, Bartimaeus heard who it was that was passing and called out to Him: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). By calling Jesus the “Son of David,” the blind man was affirming his belief that Jesus was the Messiah (see 2 Samuel 7:14–16). The people told Bartimaeus to be quiet, but he kept calling out, even more loudly and persistently than before. This is further proof of his faith. In addition to his proclamation of Jesus’ identity as the Messiah, the blind man showed that he believed in Jesus’ goodness and deference to the poor and needy. Bartimaeus believed that Jesus was not like the other religious leaders, who believed that an individual’s poverty or blindness or bad circumstances were a result of God’s judgment. Bartimaeus appealed to Jesus according to the revelation of God’s character in the Psalms—a God who cares for the poor and the brokenhearted (e.g., Psalm 34:6, 18).

Jesus responded to Bartimaeus’s cries by telling His disciples to call the blind man over. Blind Bartimaeus jumped up and went to Jesus, and Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). The beggar could have asked for money or for food, but his faith was bigger than that. Bartimaeus said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” There is no pretension or religious pride in this interchange between God and man. The blind man had a desire, and he ran to Jesus with that desire. He did not preface his petition with a list of good works he had done or with any false humility; he simply expressed to Jesus his desire, trusting that Jesus was both willing and able to fulfill it. Jesus said to him, “Go . . . your faith has healed you,” and Blind Bartimaues instantly recovered his sight and followed Jesus (verse 52).

By saying, “Your faith has made you well,” Jesus emphasizes the necessity of faith. Blind Bartimaeus had the kind of faith that pleases God—a wholehearted trust in the Healer. Jesus showed once again that God “rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Blind Bartimaeus understood this truth. He earnestly sought the Lord, and his actions reflected the kind of faith that is pleasing to God.


Resource Reference Books


Smith’s Bible Dictionary13)http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/smiths-bible-dictionary/bartimaeus.html

(son of Timeus ), a blind beggar of Jericho who, ( Mark 10:46 ) ff., sat by the wayside begging as our Lord passed out of Jericho on his last journey to Jerusalem.14)this entry was also found in Easton’s Bible Dictionary


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia15)T. Rees http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/bartimaeus.html

bar-ti-me’-us (Bartimaios): A hybrid word from Aramaic bar = “son,” and Greek timaios = “honorable.” For the improbability of the derivation from bar-tim’ai = “son of the unclean,” and of the allegorical meaning = the Gentiles or spiritually blind, see Schmiedel in Encyclopedia Biblica.

In Mark (Mark 10:46-52) Bartimeus is given as the name of a blind beggar, whose eyes Jesus Christ opened as He went out from Jericho on His last journey to Jerusalem.

An almost identical account is given by Luke (Luke 18:35-4 3), except that the incident occurred “as he drew nigh unto Jericho,” and the name of the blind man is not given. Again, according to Matthew (Matthew 20:29-34), “as they went out from Jericho” (like Mk) two blind men (unlike Mark and Luke) receive their sight. It is not absolutely impossible that two or even three events are recorded, but so close is the similarity of the three accounts that it is highly improbable.

Regarding them as referring to the same event, it is easy to understand how the discrepancies arose in the passage of the story from mouth to mouth. The main incident is clear enough, and on purely historical grounds, the miracle cannot be denied.

The discrepancies themselves are evidence of the wide currency of the story before our Gospels assumed their present form. It is only a most mechanical theory of inspiration that would demand their harmonization.


genealogy-150-150

Father: Timaeus.

 


SOURCES

1.0) Source: http://biblia.com/bible/esv/Mark%2010.46-52

2.0) Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healing_the_blind_near_Jericho

3.0) Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/blind-Bartimaeus.html

4.0) Source: http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/smiths-bible-dictionary/bartimaeus.html

5.0) Source: http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/bartimaeus.html

6.0) Source: General Resource – bibleresources.americanbible.org | Tittle: “A Guide to Key Events, Characters and Themes of the Bible”


Related: Biblical Overviews List of Key Old Testament Characters

References

↑ 1. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healing_the_blind_near_Jericho
↑ 2. Stephen Ahearne-Kroll, The Psalms of Lament in Mark’s Passion: Jesus’ Davidic Suffering (Cambridge University Press, 2007) pages 138-140
↑ 3. Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke (Liturgical Press, 1991) page 283.
↑ 4. Jesus the Teacher: A Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation of Mark by Vernon K. Robbins 2009, ISBN 978-0-8006-2595-5. 41-43.
↑ 5. Vernon K. Robbins, “The Healing of the Blind Bartimaeus (10:46-52) in the Marcan Theology,” Journal of Biblical Literature 92 (1973), 224-243 see Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke (Liturgical Press, 1991) page 283.
↑ 6. Vernon K. Robbins, “The Reversed Contextualization of Psalm 22 in the Markan Crucifixion: A Socio-Rhetorical Analysis” [see Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke (Liturgical Press, 1991) page 283.] (1992).
↑ 7. Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ, p. 181.
↑ 8. Reflections: The blind Bartimaeus: Mark 10:46-52,” October 24, 2009, The Manila Bulletin, The Manila Bulletin website, citing 365 Days with the Lord, (St. Paul’s, Makati City, Philippines) from St. Paul’s website (dead link). Accessed October 28, 2009.
↑ 9. Barrie Wetherill, “Jesus cures blind Bartimaeus,” from The Life of Jesus Christ, found at easy English Bible study. Accessed October 28, 2009.
↑ 10. Vincent Taylor. The Gospel according to St. Mark. 1966 St. Martin’s Press Inc. p 448.
↑ 11. Mary Ann Tolbert, Sowing the Gospel: Mark’s World in Literary-Historical Perspective 1996, Fortress Press. p189.
↑ 12. http://www.gotquestions.org/blind-Bartimaeus.html
↑ 13. http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/smiths-bible-dictionary/bartimaeus.html
↑ 14. this entry was also found in Easton’s Bible Dictionary
↑ 15. T. Rees http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/bartimaeus.html

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