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 »
In all the highways of life there are souls to be saved. The blind are groping in darkness. Give them the light, and God will bless you as His laborers.—Letter 60, 1903. Ev 553.1
Plans for the High Classes Will Reach All—Bring your minds up to the greatness of the work. Your narrow plans, your limited ideas, are not to come into your methods of working. There must be reform on this point, and there will be more means brought in to enable the work to be brought up to the high and exalted position it should ever occupy. There will be men who have means who will discern something of the character of the work, although they have not the courage to lift the cross and to bear the reproach that attends unpopular truth. First reach the high classes if possible, but there should be no neglect of the lower classes. Ev 553.2
But it has been the case that the plans and the efforts have been so shaped in many fields that the lower classes only are the ones who can be reached. But methods may be devised to reach the higher classes who need the light of truth as well as the lower classes. These see the truth, but they are, as it were, in the slavery of poverty, and see starvation before them should they accept the truth. Plan to reach the best classes, and you will not fail to reach the lower classes. Letter 14, 1887. Ev 553.3Read 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 »