And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they called the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.—St. Mark x: 4.6—52.
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NOTE BY THE ARTIST
The site of Jericho is still an oasis in the surrounding desert, but neither its fertility nor its dimensions bear comparison with those which it attained in former days; and hardly a tree remains of the celebrated groves of balsam, spice, and fruit-bearing trees, and the palms which earned for Jericho the title of “The City of the Palm Trees,” and which made its neighboring plain the garden of Palestine—the “divine district” as Joseph us calls it. This fertility was owing entirely to skilful irrigation, traces of no less than twelve aqueducts having been discovered. No class of sufferers more frequently claimed and obtained from Jesus the exercise of his compassion and healing power than that represented by blind Bartimaus. The malady of blindness is grievously common in Palestine, the proportion of those thus afflicted being one in every hundred of the population, whereas in Europe the proportion is only one in a thousand.
And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples. Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them. And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.—St. Matt, xxi: 1-4., 6-11.