Luke 18:35-38, “As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!“
I love reading through the gospels and getting the different perspectives on what was happening in those days. I love the details given in some gospels that seem to be omitted or unimportant in the others. I’ve been in Luke, slowly walking through the chapters and sitting in several for days and some for weeks. This morning I was in Luke 18. There are so many good nuggets in this chapter but the very last event noted was when Jesus healed the blind beggar.
When Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. In those days, people with disability were not able to work and there was no healthcare available for them so they survived on solely what they received from begging. Those going ahead of Jesus on this journey rebuked the blind man for calling out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”, but Jesus noticed him. The title “Son of David” indicated that this man recognized Jesus as the Messiah. While others continued to rebuke him, Jesus leaned in to him asking what he wanted and the blind man replied, “Lord, I want to see,” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately the man was healed.
I LOVE this story but it triggered lots of thoughts within me. First, this physically blind man could see and recognized that Jesus WAS the Messiah. While the religious leaders, so knowledgeable about the law and eye witnesses to the miracles of Jesus, refused to acknowledge him as the Messiah. They were spiritually blind. They were blinded by their religious knowledge, their own understanding and their pride.
I began to ask myself, how many times have I approached a situation or person spiritually blind? Have I walked right past Christ and not noticed? Have I missed an opportunity to fellowship with the Messiah because it didn’t make sense or fit into the religious mold I had created in my mind? How many times have my ideas, my pride or my agenda wrecked the move of the Holy Spirit in my life? How many times have I been a Pharisee, knowingly or unknowingly, just plain blind to what was right in front of me?
I found myself pitying the Pharisees who were spiritually blind rather than the blind beggar who was physically blind. Gaining knowledge and knowing ABOUT God isn’t knowing Him and recognizing Him when he’s right in front of us. I wonder how many of the Pharisees and religious leaders missed out on the miracles of the Messiah because they were focused on their understanding and explanation of the miraculous according to their belief system and what did or didn’t fit into it?
Jesus himself is a miracle and his works, ways and timing aren’t to be explained. When we lean on our own understanding we risk inhibiting our ability to see beyond the natural and fall into the false security of our own rationalizations. Understanding doesn’t always coexist with faith and justification doesn’t hover in the miraculous. But that’s who Jesus is and I want to see Him, know Him and experience Him in all His ways.
Lord, help us to heighten our spiritual sight. Help us to lean in when others push away, help us to know you and recognize your movement in our hearts before we ever see the evidence. Help us to expect miracles and to look for them in our every day. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen! Be blessed today!!