THE BEGGAR’S COAT
Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 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!”
Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.
Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
He threw aside his coat. Why did Mark even acknowledge Bartimaeus’s coat when he wrote this gospel? Why was that significant?
This coat was very important to Bartimaeus, after all, this was the only way he could survive. This coat was issued by the government, it gave the wearer legitimacy. This qualified you to collect alms. When Bartimaeus discarded this coat, he was making a bold declaration, he was saying that he would no longer need this coat, Jesus had come, he was going to be healed. He would no longer be dependent on the government, or the help of man, he was becoming dependent upon the Lord. From this day forward, he began to experience the life of God in all of the aspects of his life.
There is something else about Bartimaeus’s garment we need to notice. This coat was a picture of our coat of sin. Each one of us are clothed in our own sinfulness until we are washed in the blood of Our Lord. Bartimaeus was, in essence, putting off his old life and putting on the garment of Christ. He took off the garment of human depravity and put on the righteous garment of Christ.
Bartimaeus was tired of his old life, he was walking away from that life forever. He recognized he could not have it both ways. He could stay by the side of the road for the rest of his life, living his life based on the circumstances of the day, or he could put off his old beggars coat and follow Christ.
Which coat are you wearing today? Are you wearing the old coat of human depravity and dependency, or have you put on the garment of Christ? Are you tired of the boring life of just living for yourself and your basic natural needs? Like Bartimaeus, you have to get tired of that old life. He felt like he could not take another day. When Jesus came to Jericho, he was ready. He put off his coat, came to Jesus, received the opening of his eyes, and followed Jesus down the road. If you are tired of that old life, get up, throw off that coat of human works, put on Christ, and follow Jesus down the road.