When you think of Jesus’ disciples, who comes to mind? Impulsive Peter and doubting Thomas? Surely. James and John, the Zebedee boys? Of course. Mary Magdalene and some of the other women mentioned in Luke 8:1-3? Yes, if we remember that Luke’s list of Jesus’ followers was much larger and more inclusive that just “the twelve.”
But blind Bartimaeus? Hardly. We think of his story—if we think of it at all—as a healing story of Jesus, on his way to Jerusalem to die, taking time to have pity on one more person in need, a blind beggar by the side of the road in Jericho. But many commentators on Mark see something more. They see a call story.