CHARACTERS FROM THE PASSION – BLIND BARTIMAEUS

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blind-bartimaeus

Blindness in Jesus’ lifetime was quite common.  Actually blindness was a contagious disease carried by flies and the only way to avoid catching it was to stay away from those afflicted with it.    The hot desert sun would close the water duct under the eyelid and the eyes would become red and swollen, resulting in blindness.  Because the blind were often considered unclean they had to earn their living by begging at the city gate.

Bartimaeus was one of those afflicted with blindness that sat on the roadside of Jericho when Jesus passed by.  The Jews had heard the prophesies of Isaiah which claimed that the Messiah would heal diseases like blindness, deafness, physical disabilities and relieve the suffering of the poor.  These words were echoed by Jesus, when answering John, the Baptist’s question about whether Jesus was the Messiah.

Poor Bartimaeus, had spent his life as an outcast.  He couldn’t possibly…

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