Get the setting: Jesus is headed out of Jericho. A crowd has gathered. They are clustered round Jesus. Two blind men are sitting by the road. They cannot see but they are able to hear.
...A crowd is approaching. Talking. Bits of conversation. Then they understand.
Jesus is coming up the street!
They have heard of this Jesus; everyone has. This is the One who does mighty deeds for God. If there is any hope for these two blind men, anywhere on planet earth for healing now, it is in this Person. Opportunity has come to this very street!
But the blind are one thing. Consider the crowd.
Here are several people gathered round Jesus. They are curious. They are listening to Him, watching Him. But they are not afflicted with blindness.
They are able to see just fine.
Back to the blind now. Amazed at this turn of events, their awareness of their need is acute. They know they are blind; they have nothing to lose. They cry out, "Lord, have mercy upon us, Son of David!"
The crowd is indignant. They scold the blind. "Be quiet," they tell them. "Enough! Don't make so much noise. We are listening to Jesus." The widely held view was that those afflicted with illness or disease were not afflicted at random; the disfavor of God was upon them. Many of the sighted felt in themselves a subtle sense of superiority. Who then were these obviously cursed rabble to call out so!
But do we get it? Do we understand yet that, there is a sense in which this day it is the blind who see and the seeing who are blind? The blind realize their need; the sighted are curious but not desperate. And so the blind call out all the more: "Lord, Son of David, have mercy upon us!"
And so there is a conflict; the needs of the few privileged drifting along with Jesus versus the needs of the two cursed blind. And so, how obvious that Jesus should glide straight on past these obnoxious beggars.
But Jesus hears their cries. "Lord, Son of David, have mercy upon us!"
Jesus stops in the road. Clumsily, begrudgingly, the crowd shuffles to a halt. Now, these blind have stopped the parade. The blind don't see the sour looks but they hear the disdain in the voices of the sighted.
Jesus speaks. He calls to them. It is a question: "What do you want Me to do for you?"
No delay; no confusion; they know exactly what they need. "Lord, we want our eyes to be opened." Nor does Jesus hesitate. He reaches out. Jesus touches their eyes. Immediately they receive sight. And the first face they see is smiling. It is Jesus. They follow Him in the way. The procession moves on out of town.
A short vignette, to be sure. But what lessons from it this day?
The crowd were sure of themselves. They had Jesus' eye. Why would He pay attention to blind men in the curb? The sighted could see. They were favored of God--it was obvious. The blind? They were obviously cursed. But you and I assume many things as obvious that are not. The gift Heaven gave that day was for these blind. But no; it was for these audacious blind.
Isn't that another lesson? The blind did not just accept the place the sighted assigned them. Told to keep quiet, they called out all the more. They lodged their plea directly with Jesus. They did not call to Him as a great rabbi but as "Lord, Son of David." They leaned on His mercy. They brought nothing but their need. Their credential was not works they had done but simply that which they lacked. They could not see. They approached Jesus as the One who could restore their sight. No arguing, no disputing, no splitting theological hairs or inquiring how does this man know letters or what theological school did He graduate from. That was all trivial. This was the supreme moment of opportunity in their lives. They did not work through channels or weigh risks to their reputation. They called out to the King.
Jesus could have done so much more for them. But in His wisdom He gave them the one thing they asked Him for. Jesus touched their eyes. They already saw their need. Then Jesus opened their eyes further. And the first thing they saw was Jesus. And so they followed Him. Are there not some of us in the same situation? We see. That is, we see somewhat. But if we would seek Him more diligently, Jesus would open our eyes further and we would see Him better. And seeing Him better we would follow closer. God does not pass by random people in need. He will stop in His tracks to give the spiritual help you need if you only ask Him. He is Lord.
This Jesus on the streets of Jericho 2,000 years ago is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will not pass us by in our need.
Deer Park WA SDA 2016-02-06
Chewelah WA SDA 2016-02-07?