Luke – Wide Open Doors!
Getting older, our worn eyes cannot see as clearly unaided as we once could. It’s so annoying, right? But consider the alternatives of not seeing at all! Being blind is a little like waking up in the middle of the night in darkness while trying to make your way to the bathroom. You run into things as you hurry on your mission without a light. Your eyes take longer to adjust to seeing in the dark. You only see outlines of the furniture in the dim light coming from street lights. So you reach out with both hands to feel your way to where you want to go. This is a mere example of short term “blindness”. Once you flick on the bathroom light, all is well. It’s all good–until you flick off the light to go back to bed…again in darkness.
The blind man spent his life begging on the street for a living. His sense of hearing, however, was great! He HEARD the noise of the crowd who was following the man everyone wanted to be close to because of the miracles that had witnessed. He asked what was happening.
And they told him.
Luke 18, New Living Translation
Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. 36 When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. 38 So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39 “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him.
But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord,” he said, “I want to see!”
42 And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” 43 Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.
WHO told the blind man about Jesus and who He was?
Would he have been healed had they not told him?
Mm. Who have I not told?
Matthew tells us that there were two blind beggars who met Jesus as He left Jericho (Matt, 20:29–30), but Luke introduces us to one blind beggar, Bartimaeus, who called out as Jesus approached Jericho. The two men, one of whom was more outspoken, were sitting at the entrance to the new city, so there is no contradiction.
In that day, blindness was a common affliction for which there was no cure, and all a blind person could do was beg. These two men had not been born blind, for their prayer was to “regain” their sight. They persisted in crying out to the Lord, in spite of the obstacles in their way: their inability to see Jesus, the opposition of the crowd, and our Lord’s delay in responding to them. They were not going to let Jesus pass them without first pleading for mercy.
As soon as SOMEONE told the blind men WHO was passing by, they cried out to Jesus, believing He could heal them. The fact that they addressed Him as “Son of David,” a messianic title, indicates that these two Jewish beggars knew that Jesus could and would give sight to the blind (Isa. 35:5). Jesus responded to their faith and healed them, and what a change took place! They went from darkness to light, from begging to following Jesus, and from crying to praising the Lord. They joined the pilgrim crowd going to Jerusalem and lifted their voices in praising the Lord. What a story, right?
WRAPPING UP CHAPTER 18…
(Warren Wiersbe, Commentator)
“The “human editions” we have “read” in this chapter encourage us to put our faith in Jesus Christ, no matter what others may say or do. The widow was not discouraged by the indifferent attitude of the judge, nor the publican by the hypocritical attitude of the Pharisee. The parents brought their little ones to Jesus in spite of the selfish attitude of the apostles, and the blind men came to Jesus even though the crowd told them to keep quiet and stay put. Jesus always responds to faith and rewards those who believe.”
“But the rich young ruler stands as a warning to all who depend on character to save them from sin. This young man shows us how close a person may come to salvation and yet turn away in unbelief.”
The blind men became the sighted men, no longer begging or feeling their way through life. The rich man still groped through the dark, never turning on the Light.
I want to see, don’t you?
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Thank you for saving our souls, healing our brokenness, restoring the joy of our salvation. We praise you because of Who your are! We praise you for being with us, knowing us inside out and loving us anyway. We thank you for continually caring for our growth with nurturing our hearts as we seek to follow you. Your stories give hope and life to our walk. Thank you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen