Bartimaeus is not the man mentioned in John 9. That man was born blind. Bartimaeus prayed that he could see again! His dark blindness is contrasted with his bright spiritual perception of Jesus as being “Son of David”, a messianic title. His plea “have mercy on me” has come into the Mass as “Lord have mercy”.
Again we see the disciples hindering people from coming to Jesus. This man is persistent in calling out to Jesus. He “shouted all the louder” when they told him to keep quiet. He shouted again: “Jesus Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” This blind man is blessed with a true insight into the nature of Jesus. All the disciples are still looking for higher places in the kingdom. This blind beggar is able to proclaim Jesus as Messiah. When Jesus hears this, he tells the disciples to “Call him here”. So they called the blind man. With a total change of attitude they call him. “Courage, get up; he is calling you”.
This is followed by a strange line. “So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus”. This phrase has a significance in the story. It refers to his change of “habits” in his way of life. We are not told more!
Jesus asks him the same question that he asked James and John last week. “What do you want me to do for you?” What a different answer Jesus got. Bartimaeus asked for the lot! And he got it!!
Jesus said to him “Go your faith has saved you.” His sight was returned immediately and Bartimaeus became a follower of Jesus.
Mark is telling us that there are none so blind as those who cannot see.