Being the major city on the route between Lake Galilee to the north and Jerusalem to the west, Jericho was a center for merchants and travelers. With voluminous springs from an oasis, Jericho was also a resort city where people of wealth and power from Jerusalem and as far away as Egypt had palatial villas. As such, it afforded a decent income for Bartimaeus, the blind man in today’s gospel. Beggars would claim their spots, and Bartimaeus had a prize location near the western gate of the city where crowds would gather each morning to travel together for safety on the 17-mile journey to Jerusalem. Listening to their conversations, Bartimaeus had undoubtedly heard much talk about Jesus’ miracles. On hearing that Jesus was in the crowd one morning, Bartimaeus boldly shouted out to get his attention, not wanting to miss what could be his only opportunity for healing. His name in Hebrew means “son of value”. People commonly considered physical ailments like blindness to be a divine punishment for sins. As such, most people would not have seen much value in the blind beggar, but Jesus looked deeper than the physical appearance and saw value in Bartimaeus to which other people were blind.