When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
— Mark 10:47 (NIV)
Mark 10:46–52 tells us the story of a man sitting beside a road begging. The man, named Bartimaeus, was blind, so we might assume he was unable to work and had to depend on people’s kindness to meet his needs.
One day, Jesus was walking down the road near Bartimaeus and heard him shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (see Mark 10:47). The crowd around Bartimaeus told him to be quiet and stop bothering Jesus. But Bartimaeus ignored them and kept crying out anyway. I believe he was determined to have an encounter with God.
Jesus had a choice to make. He could have pretended not to hear Bartimaeus, or He could have simply kept moving without saying anything. But Jesus was merciful, and His mercy was on full display toward Bartimaeus that day. He stopped and asked some of His disciples to bring Bartimaeus to Him. When Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted Him to do for him and Bartimaeus responded that he wanted his sight restored, Jesus healed him.
I have said many times that mercy precedes healing. Many of us do not cry out for God’s mercy enough. There may be various reasons for this, such as feeling unworthy or spending our time trying to earn it, when we can never do so.
When people in the Scriptures found out Jesus was nearby, they went to Him and asked for mercy. Always remember that Jesus is near to you, too. You can ask Him for mercy at any time, under any circumstances, and He will hear your cry. A father whose son was terribly tormented, to the point of hurting himself, asked Jesus for mercy for the young man, and Jesus healed him (see Matt. 17:15–18). A woman whose daughter needed deliverance from demonic oppression cried out for mercy (see Matt. 15:22–28), and Jesus set her free. Ten men afflicted with the horrible disease of leprosy asked for His mercy, and He healed them all (see Luke 17:12–19). As you can imagine, they were so excited, but only one of them thought to go back to Jesus to thank Him.
A word that is similar in meaning to mercy is compassion. The King James Version of Matthew 9:36 says that as Jesus traveled and ministered, He was moved with compassion toward people. In other words, His awareness of people’s needs touched His heart. He cared about each one, and His mercy and compassion moved Him to action. His mercy is available for you today.
The Bible says that His mercies are new every morning (see Lamentations 3:22–23). When you need mercy from God, all you have to do is ask. And when He gives it to you, remember to thank Him!
Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for your mercy available to me, every single day.