A mouse with a shrill voice, Reepicheep is perhaps The Chronicles of Narnia’s most valiant character. He charged into battle swinging his tiny sword. He rejected fear as he prodded on the Dawn Treader toward the Island of Darkness. The secret to Reepicheep’s courage? He was deeply connected to his longing to get to Aslan’s country. “That is my heart’s desire,” he said. Reepicheep knew what he truly wanted, and this led him toward his king.
Bartimaeus, a blind man from Jericho, sat in his normal spot jingling his cup for coins when he heard Jesus and the crowd approaching. He yelled out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). The crowd tried to silence him, but Bartimaeus couldn’t be stopped.
“Jesus stopped,” Mark says (v. 49). In the midst of the throng, Jesus wanted to hear Bartimaeus. “What do you want?” Jesus asked (v. 51).
The answer seemed obvious; surely Jesus knew. But He seemed to believe there was power in allowing Bartimaeus to express his deep desire. “I want to see,” Bartimaeus said (v. 51). And Jesus sent Bartimaeus home seeing colors, beauty, and the faces of friends for the first time.
Not all desires are met immediately (and desires must be transformed), but what’s essential here is how Bartimaeus knew his desire and took it to Jesus. If we’ll pay attention, we’ll notice that our true desires and longings always lead us to Him.
What do you truly desire? How might this desire lead you to Jesus?
The story of blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46–52) isn’t the only account in Mark’s gospel where Jesus healed physical blindness. The other is in 8:22–26 where He healed an unnamed man in Bethsaida. But physical blindness wasn’t the only “sight” issue that Mark highlights. Spiritual blindness was prevalent. Just before Jesus healed the blind man in Bethsaida He rebuked His disciples saying, “Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear” (vv. 17–18). And just before He healed Bartimaeus, Jesus reminded His disciples that He was destined for suffering and death, but they didn’t get it (vv. 31–33; 9:30–32; 10:32–34). It wasn’t until after Christ’s resurrection that their spiritual blindness was banished.