I have long held that Blind Bartimaeus is not the main character in his own story, or at least the only main character.
When we take Bartimaeus as the focus of this passage in Mark, we do receive many important lessons. We reflect on things like persistence, trust, and responding to the call of Jesus, being brave enough to walk toward him even when we can’t see where we’re going.
There’s also a deeply meaningful interpretation around the significance of Bartimaeus “throwing off his cloak,” as the text says. A beggar’s cloak was a vital part of his economic viability and daily survival, and to throw it away was a huge risk.
But I realized several years ago that there is another moving story layered under the main story in this passage.
Bartimaeus is not the only one whose life is changed irrevocably in this encounter with Jesus.
This is a conversion story, but it’s not necessarily Bartimaeus who is converted. Continue reading