Beggars like Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52) often depend upon public pity for their existence. Without love and pity, most-likely, he was largely ignored. Yet, despite his desperate situation, Bartimaeus never succumbed to self-pity. Self-pity is deadly to faith and especially poisonous to those who need healing. It is deadly because it is self-condemning. I like what John says. “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.” (1 John 3:20-21) Self-pity is self-condemnation from the heart. And although the people repeatedly ordered Bartimaeues to be silent in the presence of Jesus, (Mark 10:48) he never allowed their words to condemn him and he cried out even more regardless.
A person with self-pity will never cry out for help. Trying to help themselves, they become frustrated by their own best efforts.
Bartimaeus, like a prince in disguise, threw down his beggar’s rags to come to Jesus. (Mark 10:50) In his mind, I imagine he thought the rags would be an insult to Jesus’ presence. Jesus did not make him to be a beggar. People did. Jesus gives dignity so every man can stand before Him. Men were not made for shame, but for honor. Bartimaeus left his rags to be honored before Christ. In the presence of Christ He refused to leave without his request being honored and he was granted his sight. (Mark 10:52)
We cannot look to the cross and feel pity for ourselves! Through the cross of Christ we are honored with dignity and healing. A beggar has no room for self-pity.
Picture: Another healing from the Philippines!