Blind, Yet They See

October 16, 2021

Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!" (Matthew 20:29-31).

In the days of Jesus there were many people who suffered all kinds of physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Throughout His ministry He attended to many who were lame, blind, deaf, mute, had withered arms and hands (palsy), were demon possessed, suffered leprosy, etc. On this occasion Jesus met 2 blind men as he was leaving Jericho (Matthew) and entering Jericho (Mark 10:46; Luke 18:35).

Don’t be taken aback by this. Many cities in the Middle Ease had an ‘old’ section and a ‘newer’ section. The ‘old city’ of Jerusalem was also called The City of David. It existed in the time of King David. However, as time passed and empires conquered and destroyed Jerusalem (Babylon, Greece, Rome), it was rebuilt again and again. The newer parts of Jerusalem were built on top of, or extended beyond the older parts of Jerusalem (The City of David). The same was true with Jericho. It was one of the oldest cities in Palestine. It was conquered by Joshua and the Israelites centuries before Jesus, but had been rebuilt again, and again. So, when Matthew said Jesus was leaving Jericho, and Mark and Luke said Jesus was approaching or entering Jericho, that is what is meant - He was leaving the ‘old’ city and entering the ‘newer’ city.

Jesus met 2 blind men as He was leaving the old city of Jericho and entering the newer city. Blindness was a common malady in ancient times as it is in many underdeveloped nations today. People were blinded by accidents, battle wounds, etc., but most were blinded by disease and infections. These people would congregate near towns, villages, and cities to beg for support (Mark 10:46) from travelers coming into, or leaving these places.

Mark identifies one of the men as Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus (Mark 10:46; Luke 18:35). Obviously, he was the spokesman for the 2 men. They cried out, Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David! To ‘cry out’ as they did was more than a shout. The word literally means ‘screaming out in pain and anguish’, like a woman in childbirth, or a demoniac when approached by people. Their screams spoke of their desperation to have Jesus notice them rather to ignore them and pass them by. How did they know He was approaching? By the great multitude of people that surrounded Jesus (Matthew 20:29). Knowing that Jesus was near, and though physically blind, they had great spiritual insight as to who He really was - the Lord, and the Son of David.

“Father, there are multitudes today who see physically, but are blinded spiritually. They either cannot or will not see Jesus for who He is - the Lord Christ and the only Savior who can redeem them from the penalty of sin. May Your Holy Spirit continue His work of opening the spiritual eyes of people in order that they may see Jesus and be saved. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”


Share this with your friends