As Jesus approached Jerusalem for the final time he stopped to perform one last healing outside of the city of Jericho.
There was a heavily travelled pilgrimage road from Jericho to the Holy City of Jerusalem. Since Jewish males were required to come to Jerusalem three times a year for festivals to Yahweh (Exodus 34:18-23) many blind and poor people sat on the roadside begging for money from the worshippers. As Jesus and the crowd following him ascended to Jerusalem one man caught the attention of Christ.
Mark tells us that, "Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'" (Mark 10:46b-47 ESV).
Bartimaeus heard that Jesus the miracle-worker was passing by and he didn't want to miss his opportunity. He began to cry out to Jesus begging for mercy. At first his cries are met with stiff resistance from the crowd with Jesus. Mark says that, "Many rebuked him, telling him to be silent" (Mark 10:48a). For some reason they wanted to silence Bartimaeus, but this didn't stop his resolve. The text says that, "...he cried out all the more" (Mark 10:48b).
In other words, Bartimaeus wasn't going to let the negativity of the crowd keep him from getting Jesus' attention. He refused to be silenced. He was going to do whatever it took to get God's attention.
What a beautiful picture of perseverance in prayer! I'm challenged by Bartimaeus to keep crying out to God no matter the obstacle that I'm facing. I can keep crying out all the more in the face of the odds. Sometimes things (or people) tell us to stop calling out to Jesus, but true faith perseveres despite the opposition.
Let me encourage you today to keep crying out to Jesus. Like Bartimaeus make up your mind to be stubbornly committed to getting God's attention. Don't let the voice of the crowd silence your prayer. Keep lifting up your voice. God hears you and God will eventually stop and call you to him!