7707 - The Blind Healed
(Original script will not match edited audio completely)
Jesus and his disciples would soon be in Jerusalem for the Passover. In our passage for today, Luke 18:35-43, they are approaching Jericho, about eighteen miles northeast of Jerusalem.
Let me read the passage:
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.
36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening.
37 They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."
38 He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him,
41 "What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you."
43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
Dr. Luke is giving us insights into teaching episodes, or opportunities for healing.
In this passage we observe a blind man who is sitting beside the road begging from the crowds of people who are passing on the road on their way to Passover.
We can tell he knows about Jesus because when it is explained to him that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, he quickly grasps the situation and calls out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” This blind man had already come to the point that he believed that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son of David. This was a term for the Messiah, so this blind man had already had faith to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. This means he likely knew the power of the Messiah to heal the lame, and even to raise the dead.
So when Jesus responded to his cry by asking what did the blind man wanted from him, there was no hesitation and no doubt in his voice as he says to Jesus, “Lord, I want to see.”
Jesus noticed the blind man called him Lord, and he could discern the faith in the man’s voice, so there was no other exchange of words. Jesus did not have to convince the man that he could heal him. The stage was set. Jesus promptly said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”
Immediately he received his sight. Then he began to praise God as he followed Jesus along the road toward Jericho.
This man who formerly was dependent upon the generosity of others, suddenly became the cheer-leader of the procession following after Jesus. It was a joyful time for the man who had just received his sight as well as all the others in the procession. I can imagine that there was also a smile on the face of Jesus.
In the parallel account of this episode given in Matthew we learn that this man had the name of Bartimaeus. There is no known reference to him in the Bible after this account.
I find it interesting that in this case there was little discussion before Jesus healed Bartimaeus. Jesus told him, “Your faith has healed you.” Jesus recognized his faith.
In the case of the centurion who came to Jesus in Capernaum (Mt. 8:5f) he asked that Jesus might heal his servant who was at home paralyzed. After an extended conversation Jesus told the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” The servant back home was healed according to the faith of the centurion.
Faith is just as necessary today in our relationship with the Lord as it was while he was personally here on earth.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us: “...without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
So whatever is the problem we face in any given day: a car that will not start, or a bill that needs to be paid; we are encouraged to share our need with our Lord and expect Him to open the way for dealing with the need.
To see or experience his mighty hand, faith is required.