One of the ways many religious people mistakenly believe they are Christians is by looking at themselves doing religious things. They look at themselves praying and think that must mean they are Christians. They look at themselves going to church or participating in a Bible study, and they think they must be Christians. Others know that salvation is by faith and not by any works, but they spend most of their time looking at their faith, looking at themselves believing, and trying to believe really hard. But Christianity is the opposite of all of that. The Christian faith is deliverance from looking at yourself. The Christian faith is fundamentally looking at Christ.
Blind Bartimaeus couldn’t see a thing but when he heard that Jesus was coming by, he simply started crying out for him, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” It was awkward and embarrassing for him to yell out like that, and the people around him tried to get him to be quiet, but he cried even louder, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And it says that Jesus stood still. Jesus heard Bartimaeus calling and commanded that he should be brought to Him. Bartimaeus cast aside his garment and came to Jesus. And if you know anything about poor beggars, a garment might have been all that Bartimaeus had in the whole world. But he was coming to Jesus. And Jesus asked Him, What do you want me to do for you? And Bartimaeus said, that he wanted to receive his sight. And Jesus said, go your way, your faith has made you whole, and immediately Bartimaeus received his sight and he followed Jesus.
This is how salvation works, and this is how Christians walk with God. And there is no other way. If you are looking at yourself, even looking at yourself trying really hard, looking at yourself praying really hard, looking at yourself believing really hard, you’re doing it all wrong. You can do that and be very religious, and not be a Christian at all. In order to come to Christ, to walk with Christ, you must cry out to Him, not care what anyone thinks, and leave everything behind. Simply look to Christ. And don’t look at yourself looking to Christ. Just look. See Him crucified and risen for shameful, beggarly sinners. Cry out and say, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.