See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 20:29-34.
Blind Bartimeus - Matthew says there were two. Mark mentions but one, though he does not deny that there was another. He mentions this man because he was well known - Bartimeus, the “blind man.”
Casting away his garment - That is, his outer garment - the one that was thrown loosely over him. See the notes at Matthew 5:40. He threw it off, full of joy at the prospect of being healed, and that he might run without impediment to Jesus. This may be used to illustrate - though it had no such original reference - the manner in which a sinner should come to Jesus. He should throw away the garments of his own righteousness - he should rise speedily - should run with joy - should have full faith in the power of Jesus, and cast himself entirely upon his mercy.
The wisdom of Christ's answer had convicted the scribe. He knew that the Jewish religion consisted in outward ceremonies rather than inward piety. He had some sense of the worthlessness of mere ceremonial offerings, and the faithless shedding of blood for expiation of sin. Love and obedience to God, and unselfish regard for man, appeared to him of more value than all these rites. The readiness of this man to acknowledge the correctness of Christ's reasoning, and his decided and prompt response before the people, manifested a spirit entirely different from that of the priests and rulers. The heart of Jesus went out in pity to the honest scribe who had dared to face the frowns of the priests and the threats of the rulers to speak the convictions of his heart. “And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, He said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” DA 608.1
The scribe was near to the kingdom of God, in that he recognized deeds of righteousness as more acceptable to God than burnt offerings and sacrifices. But he needed to recognize the divine character of Christ, and through faith in Him receive power to do the works of righteousness. The ritual service was of no value, unless connected with Christ by living faith. Even the moral law fails of its purpose, unless it is understood in its relation to the Saviour. Christ had repeatedly shown that His Father's law contained something deeper than mere authoritative commands. In the law is embodied the same principle that is revealed in the gospel. The law points out man's duty and shows him his guilt. To Christ he must look for pardon and for power to do what the law enjoins. DA 608.2
The Pharisees had gathered close about Jesus as He answered the question of the scribe. Now turning He put a question to them: “What think ye of Christ? whose son is He?” This question was designed to test their belief concerning the Messiah,—to show whether they regarded Him simply as a man or as the Son of God. A chorus of voices answered, “The Son of David.” This was the title which prophecy had given to the Messiah. When Jesus revealed His divinity by His mighty miracles, when He healed the sick and raised the dead, the people had inquired among themselves, “Is not this the Son of David?” The Syrophoenician woman, blind Bartimaeus, and many others had cried to Him for help, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David.” Matthew 15:22. While riding into Jerusalem He had been hailed with the joyful shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 21:9. And the little children in the temple had that day echoed the glad ascription. But many who called Jesus the Son of David did not recognize His divinity. They did not understand that the Son of David was also the Son of God. DA 608.3Read in context »
As the branch must abide in the vine to obtain the vital sap which causes it to flourish, so those who love God and keep all His sayings must abide in His love. Without Christ we cannot subdue a single sin or overcome the smallest temptation. Many need the Spirit of Christ and His power to enlighten their understanding, as much as blind Bartimaeus needed his natural sight. “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.” All who are really in Christ will experience the benefit of this union. The Father accepts them in the Beloved, and they become objects of His solicitude and tender, loving care. This connection with Christ will result in the purification of the heart and in a circumspect life and faultless character. The fruit borne upon the Christian tree is “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” 4T 355.1
My brother, you need a close connection with God. You have traits of character for which you are responsible. Your powers have been put to a wrong use. God cannot approve your course. Your standard is that of the worldling, and not that which Christ has given us in His life. You have looked through the eyes of the world and discerned with their unsanctified judgment. Your soul must be cleansed from the polluting influence of the world. You have repeatedly deviated from strict integrity for that which you flattered yourself was gain, but which was really loss. Every act of overreaching in deal will detract from your reward in heaven, should you gain that home. Every man will receive his reward as his works have been. 4T 355.2
You have no time to lose, but should make diligent efforts to overcome the marked traits in your character, which, if indulged, will close the doors of glory against you. You cannot afford to lose heaven. You now need to make a decided change in your words and deeds, to overcome your avaricious spirit, and to turn your thoughts into the channel of sanctified truth. In short, you need to be transformed. Then God will accept your labors in His cause. You should be a man of such undeviating veracity that the love of gain will not seduce you and no temptation overcome you. The Lord requires of all who profess His name a strict adherence to truth. This will be as salt which has not lost its savor, as a light amid the moral darkness and deception of the world. 4T 356.1Read in context »
The following is from an article I wrote for the Review, published January 10, 1856: 2SG 202.1
“We have felt the power and blessing of God for a few weeks past. God has been very merciful. He has wrought in a wonderful manner for my husband. We have brought him to our great Physician in the arms of our faith, and like blind Bartimaeus have cried. ‘Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on us;’ and we have been comforted. The healing power of God has been felt. All medicine has been laid aside, and we rely alone upon the arm of our great Physician. We are not yet satisfied. Our faith says, Entire restoration. We have seen the salvation of God, yet we expect to see and feel more. I believe without a doubt that my husband will yet be able to sound the last notes of warning to the world. For weeks past our peace has been like a river. Our souls triumph in God. Gratitude, unspeakable gratitude fills my soul for the tokens of God's love which we have of late felt and seen. We feel like dedicating ourselves anew to God.” 2SG 202.2Read in context »
And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. Mark 10:51. SD 126.1
It is only when the sinner feels the need of a Saviour, that his heart goes after the One who can help him. When Jesus walked among men, it was the sick that wanted a physician. The poor, the afflicted and distressed, followed after Him, to receive the help and comfort which they could not find elsewhere. Blind Bartimeus is waiting by the wayside; he has waited long to meet Christ. SD 126.2Read in context »