And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus…
If we would commune with Christ, we must draw near to Him. If we would hear His voice, we must fall down before Him. It is only there that heaven and earth may meet in peace. "What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? "A goodly word, indeed! What would not a soul, struggling in the depths and entanglements of sin, give once to hear it from his Lord? Let us admire —
I. The FULNESS OF THE GRACE. The tender love of Christ to lost souls is a great deep, without bottom and without shore. The wing of no angel can bear him so high that he can look over all its extent. The guilt of no sinner has been able to sound all its depth. King Ahasuerus said unto Queen Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of my kingdom shall it be performed. And so the monarchs of the East delighted to speak. But their utmost premise was half the kingdom, and their kingdoms were earthly, bounded and unsubstantial, and their pompous generosity often but the flourishing rhetoric of lust, pride, and wine. But Jesus puts no limit to His offers. Ask, it shall be given you. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do. In Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All power is given unto Him in heaven and in earth.
II. Let us also admire THE FREENESS OF CHRIST'S OFFERS TO LOST SINNERS. The freeness of the offer springs from the fulness of the grace. "What wilt thou?" Choose for thyself, Bartimeus. If thou dost not carry away a noble gift, it is thine own fault. I do not set bounds to thy desires. The treasure is infinite, and thou hast it all to choose from. The Spirit of the Lord is not straitened, and if we are, it is in ourselves. God's grace is always larger than man's desire, and freer than his faith. If we take little pitchers to the well, we shall carry little water away. Though the golden bowl be full of golden off, the lamp will burn dim, if the golden pipe be narrow or choked. The ocean itself can pour but a scanty stream through a slender channel.
III. SEE HOW CHRIST'S GRACE CONDESCENDS TO EVERY SOUL'S PECULIAR NEED. He will suit His granting to our asking. To every soul He says, "What wilt thou?"
IV. This question teaches that, though CHRIST KNOWS WHAT WE WANT AND WHAT HE WILL DO, HE WILL HAVE US EXPRESS OUR WANTS. Through all the cold, dark night the petals of the flower were shut. So the sun found it and poured his rays upon it, till its heart felt the warmth. Then it yearned to be filled with these pleasant beams, and opened its bosom to drink them in. And so it is with man's prayer and God's grace. How pointless are the prayers we often hear. They scatter weakly over the whole ground. They have no aim and do no execution. If we would pray well, we must have something to pray for, something we really crave, we must know our wants, feel our wants, express our wants. We must have "an errand at the Throne." I learned that expression from a pious old slave. He was asked the secret of the fervour and spirit with which he always prayed. "Oh," said he, "I have always an errand at the Throne, and then I just tell the Lord what I come for, and wait for an answer." Thus, too, shall we wait for an answer. Even the sportsman, who cares not for his game, follows the arrow with his eye, till he sees it strike. But how many never cast a second glance after a prayer which has left their lips!
(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.