rev-joaquin-willis_web.jpgDuring this election season, we’ve all had a hard time seeing the truth because there were so many lies, so much deceit and distortion of the truth by politicians and by the polls.

At the time of this writing, the outcome of the  presidential elections is not known but by the time you read this, prayerfully we will know the truth about the polls and know who the winners are.

To this writer, there is nothing like seeing the gospel truth. I pray that in the election results the truth is ultimately revealed as to who are the just and righteous leaders and that they have prevailed. Only time will tell.

In Mark’s Gospel, 10:46-52, there is a story about a poor blind beggar named Bartimaeus, who, while sitting by the side of the road, heard Christ passing by. Knowing who Christ is, he began to shout, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” Some rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet.” But he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy, on me!”

Many poor people now sit by the proverbial side of the road shouting for help, like Bartimaeus, sitting there begging for food and for their sight, while the rich speed by in million-dollar cars from million-dollar homes to million-dollar boats.

Bartimaeus was the son of Timaeus and scholars assert this is an important point because Timaeus was blind, too. That made Christ’s cure of Bartimaeus even more wonderful because it typified a spiritual cure brought about by the grace of Christ on those who are blind and its impact upon their blind parents, too.

A blind generation cannot lead a blind generation. In Luke 6:39, Christ raises two important questions about blindness: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a ditch?” Today, God calls on us to open our eyes and save our future generations from going blind and heading for a ditch.

There is another kind of ditch also. Four years ago, President Barack Obama compared the economy to “a car driven into the ditch.” His administration spent four years pulling that car out of the ditch, repairing it, getting it road worthy again and headed in the right direction. But more time was needed to get it down the road.

If President Obama is the winner of the election, I believe it was God’s will not only because of the state of the economy but also because too many people are afflicted by proverbial blindness and cannot see their way out of the ditch.

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you … plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” 

That was what Bartimaeus did. He sat there like many sit
today, hungry, homeless, disillusioned and unable to make a decent living, and he screamed to the Lord for help.

Bartimaeus cried out to Christ, “Have mercy on me, Oh Lord.” When Christ heard his cry, Het stopped and bade Bartimaeus to come to Him — as He bids us do today.

Instead of rebuking Bartimaeus and demanding again that he be silent, the others now said, “Be encouraged.” So he jumped to his feet and cast off his loose outer garments. In doing so, he shed everything that might have tripped, restrained or hindered him from going to Jesus.

We too must jump to our feet and cast away the outer garments of pride, arrogance, self-sufficiency, conceit, sin and wrongdoing.

We must jump to our feet and strip away every weight that otherwise might easily keep us from running to Christ and becoming able to see the truth for ourselves.
Christ is calling you and if He calls you He will heal you.

The invitation to Bartimaeus should encourage us, too, and give us hope, regardless of the outcome of the 2012 elections. God will give us the sight to see the truth and then, like Bartimaeus, we too must follow Christ.

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door in Miami’s Liberty City community. He may be reached at 305-759-0373 or