The Blind Beggar Who Can See
Mary and I got married the middle of my junior year at Houghton College. She not only sacrificed and typed page after page of chemistry stuff to help me complete my major (not exactly her favorite subject), but she also read out loud so that a blind girl could keep up with her literature assignments.
The girl had a Seeing Eye dog that helped her navigate safely, even over the snowy paths of an Upstate New York winter, but what blew Mary’s mind was how she “saw” exactly what her German Shepherd was doing while Mary read. “Stop chewing on that!” Mary’s reading got suddenly interrupted. “No, it isn’t time for another can of Ken-L-Ration yet.” Mary would come home and shake her head, “I swear that girl can see better than I can!”
A blind person who sees better than a person with eyes—that’s the irony as Jesus comes into Jericho on His way to the show down in Jerusalem. Along the path He meets a beggar—a blind man who sees a lot more clearly than the crowd around him.
“Now it happened as Jesus drew near to Jericho a certain blind man sitting beside the way was begging. When he heard a crowd passing by, he asked about what was going on, and they told him. ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” Then he started to cry out loudly, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those in front of him tried to shut him up, but he cried out even louder, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Now Jesus stopped and commanded them to bring the blind man to Him. When he was close enough, Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do?’ He replied, ‘Lord, let me have my sight!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight! Your faith has saved you!’ Immediately, he could see, and he began following Jesus, glorifying God. And when all the people saw the miracle, they gave praise to God.” Luke 18:35-43
This is the fourth time in Luke’s travel narrative that Jesus proves He’s the Messiah, the Son of David (the crippled woman (12:10-17), the man suffering from edema (14:1-6), the ten lepers (17:11-19), and now the blind man 18:35-43). Two proved Jesus’ point that the Sabbath was the time to do good—not time to focus on legal religious stipulations, and the healing of the lepers taught us about thankfulness. Now Luke focuses our eyes on a man who can’t see but clearly sees that Jesus is the Son of David while the crowd only sees Jesus of Nazareth.
Luke challenges us whether we will see clearly that Jesus is the Messiah, like the blind beggar, and cry out for mercy, or if we’ll only see Jesus the man from Nazareth. It’s only our pride and self-sufficiency that keeps us spiritually blind.
LORD, in the episode before this the rich young ruler thought his riches meant everything and he remained blind in his sin. Thanks for using this seeing blind man to drive home again our need to join him and cry out for mercy to Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of David. Move me today to burst into praise because You still give sight to those who simply cry out for mercy and ask to see.
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