Greetings in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:40-41a)
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. He heard a noise of a large group of people. He asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. As soon as he heard the name of Jesus, he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:40b)
However, the people around him responded badly. “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. (Luke 18:39a) Even so, the blind man was not deterred, and he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
His loud voice grabbed Jesus’ attention. Jesus stopped, and looked at the blind man. Then He asked his disciples to bring the man. One of the disciples ran down to the blind man, and brought him back to Jesus. The blind man was led by the hand of the disciple to Jesus. As he was getting near to Jesus, Jesus asked “what do you want to me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41a)
The blind man had already heard about Jesus, and His power of miraculous healing. For a long time, the blind man really wanted to see Jesus to be healed by Jesus so that he could get out of his misery of blindness and could see like others. Upon the question of Jesus, from the deepest part of his heart, he expressed his longing desire with his earnest voice, “Lord, I want to see!” (Luke 18:41b) Yes, he really believed Jesus would heal him. Jesus, who could see through one’s heart, saw the faith of the blind man, said “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. (Luke 18:42-43)
Yes, the bind man received his sight, and he could see like others. Before meeting Jesus, he could only hear. One day, he heard that Jesus was passing by. With faith, he grabbed the opportunity to meet Jesus and get healed. However, there was no way by himself to walk up to Jesus because he was blind. Thus, he shouted. Although there was no guarantee that he was heard by Jesus, he did shout, which was only thing that he could do at that tie. He shouted to get Jesus’ attention.
However, the environment was not friendly to him. People around him did not like the blind man’s shouting “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Perhaps it was too loud or just bothered them. Thus, they rebuked him, and even yelled back at him, “be quite.” How the stone-cold hearted people around him were! They knew the person was blind, and he was in desperation, but they despised him. There was no sympathy toward the poor blind man at all. They essentially blocked his plea for Jesus’ mercy. By the way, the stone-coldness of people around us should not be foreign to us. When we make a plea to Jesus for his mercy with our prayer, the world that we live in often tears apart us from Jesus or simply is in the way to Jesus.
The blind man was not deterred although those people were rebuking and yelling at him. He even more raised his voice, and shouted louder, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” For this time, his loud and persistent voice could grab Jesus’ attention. Against rebuking and yelling of others, the blind man shouted while tenaciously holing on his faith till Jesus turned his face toward him. He truly believed Jesus would heal him. This was the faith that the blind man had.
When he was brought to Jesus, and Jesus asked “What do you want me to do for you?” Why did Jesus ask this question? The answer was plainly obvious to the blind man as well as all the people around Jesus. Even so, Jess asked. He, who was full of mercy and love, wanted to hear the blind man’s own voice from the deeply scarred heart, but he also had the unquenchable hope in his heart. One simple sentence, “Lord, I want to see!” uttered by his own lips before Jesus, was his true confession about his hope and faith built upon the year-old agony and frustration of his life. It was the very moment that he was venting all of his heart full of the pains and misery out of his blindness. Finally, the blind man’s unquenchable faith joined with Jesus.
Jesus answered, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” As he believed, Jesus indeed healed the blind man with His miraculous healing power. Jesus did not stop there. He added “your faith has healed you.” The miracle came through the blind man’s faith that could not deterred by all obstacles around him and in him. This great faith of healing is not an isolated case in Bible. Apostle Paul also performed a miraculous healing on a man who was lame in Lystra. The lame man had been that way from birth and had never walked. The lame man was listening to Paul and receiving God’s word from Paul’s mouth in his faith. Paul being driven by the Holy Spirit looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. (Acts 14:9-10)
Let’s back to the blind man being healed. What had he done after he received his sight? As soon as he received his sight, he followed Jesus. Not just following Jesus, he praised God. We might easily think after such a miracle, “Following Jesus and praising God” should be natural and easy because the blind man received what really wanted. Unfortunately, it is not. Jesus was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. He met ten lepers. Like the blind man of the above, they asked Jesus for His mercy. Jesus said “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” (Luke 17:14) As they went to the priests as Jesus told, they found they were cleansed. Among the ten, only one, who was a Samaritan being poorly treated as foreigner at that time, came back to give thanks to Jesus. Why didn’t the nine, who were equally healed, come to Jesus, praise God and follow Jesus? In fact, this reflects our heart and mind.
Why do we pray? Why do we really want something in prayer, whether it is getting healed, getting a job, getting rich or being famous, etc? Do we really want them because they serve our own heart and desire? If so, as soon as we get them, what we will do? Most of us would continue walking while chasing down our heart and desire, rather than suddenly stop, change our walk to follow Jesus, who actually and mercifully grants us what we want. Only will very few of us like the Samaritan and follow Jesus.
Bible concludes the story about the blind man: “When all the people saw it, they also praised God.” (Luke 18:43b) When the people saw the man who followed Jesus, praising God. Then they also praise God. We are always watched by people around us. When they see us who faithfully follow Jesus and praise God, they will also praise God. In fact, parsing God is the ultimate purpose of our existence. God created us to praise Him. Yes, let’s praise Him! God is always merciful and full of love. Especially, God loves to hear our own voice in prayer, because He is our true Father. God is joyful when He hears our own voice. He is pleased when we faithfully follow Jesus. God loves to pour His blessings to those who are faithful to Him. Give thanks to Him! His name will be glorified forever!
For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 117:2)