"Casting away his garment"

In the tenth chapter of the gospel of Mark, the story of the healing of blind Bartimæus stands as vividly etched as a picture hanging against a wall, surrounded and shut in by its own frame and setting. We read: "And they came to Jericho: and as he [Jesus] went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimæus, the son of Timæus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me." Jesus, so ready to respond to every cry of need, "stood still, and commanded him to be called.... And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus." One reader of this story found much healing in the statement that as Bartimæus rose to come to Jesus, he cast away an impeding garment. Did he not do this that he might be able to come more easily and quickly?

There were a great number of people with Jesus. They were not blind. They were not begging by the wayside. Because they were not blind, and because they were not begging, they understood not the need of Bartimæus; and they told him to keep still. If they had been blind and begging, would not they also, knowing their great need, have called as did he, "Thou son of David, have mercy on me"?

June 20, 1925

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