And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus…
How can it be otherwise? Can such poverty be independent? In outward poverty, a well-furnished mind, a wealthy soul may be an inward solace. But when it is the soul that is bankrupt, there is no region still within, where it may retire and comfort itself. It will seek for happiness, and it must look without — it is forced to beg. And thus I see poor, guilty, blinded souls begging — begging of earth and sky, and air and sea, of every passing event, of one another, of all but the great and merciful God, who would supply all their need through Jesus Christ. They must beg. The vast desires of the soul, which God gave that they might be filled from Himself, and which nothing but His own fulness can satisfy; the noble powers degraded to work with trifles; the aspirations which thrill only as they mount heavenward, but now struggle and pant like an eagle with broken wing, and his breast in the dust; the deathless conscience, filled with guilt and touched with unappeasable wrath, drugged indeed, and often sleeping heavily, but waking surely, and then lashing the soul inexorably — all these compel it to be a beggar.
(Prof. W. J. Hoge.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.