June 30

Text: Matthew 20:29-34

And as they were going out from Jericho, a great multitude followed Him.  And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!"  And the multitude sternly told them to be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!"  And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, "What do you want Me to do for you?"  They *said to Him, "Lord, we want our eyes to be opened."  And moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him. (NASB)

There is no discouragement quite as powerful as that from people who are led by a misguided sense of righteousness.  We expect discouragements from people who do not believe in Jesus.  We expect discouragements from people who fundamentally disagree with Jesus.  We expect discouragements from people led by values opposing to the Bible.  When such discouragements arise, believers are not surprised.  However, discouragement from people supposedly dedicated to Jesus shocks us.

Jesus was then close to Jerusalem.  The crowd following him grew.  Two blind men sat by the road as the noisy throng approached.  The curious blind men asked, “Who is coming?”  They were told, “Jesus.”  They shouted to Jesus to show them mercy.  The crowd tried to hush them.  They shouted louder.

Jesus stopped and asked for them.  He asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”  They answered, “We want to see.”  Moved with compassion, he healed them.  They became immediate followers.

Note some things.  (1) Why did the crowd try to hush the men?  Did they not understand this was the type of person Jesus often helped?  Why would they consider the men’s plea for mercy inappropriate? (2) The men knew who Jesus was.  Though they had never “seen” a Jesus’ miracle, they had confidence in his ability to help them.  They asked for mercy—they understood they did not merit his attention.  Though blind, they understood he was King David’s descendant—(a Messianic declaration?).  (3) They refused to let the non-blind crowd discourage them.  They were not intimidated!  They refused to feel inferior!  They sought Jesus’ attention, not the crowd’s approval.  (4) Jesus’ motive was compassion.  The motive was disadvantaged people’s need, NOT the opportune moment to impress the crowd.

Suggestion for reflection: Do you let others decide your willingness to follow Jesus?  (Read Acts 9:10-19.)

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