The Blind

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Contributed by Tim White, Next Gen Pastor at Image Church

Luke 18:35-43 – As he drew near to Jericho; a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. [ESV]

This account of the blind beggar is recorded in three of the four books of the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, and here in Luke.  In Mark, we read that the blind beggar’s name was Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus.  I have read through this account many times, but a couple of weeks ago, I shared from this passage with our 5th and 6th grade Discovery Land class. As I was preparing and then sharing this passage with our kids, two things stuck out to me from this passage that caused me to evaluate how I was living my own life for Jesus.

  1. How is Jesus being proclaimed to those who are blind and hopeless today?

37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

The world is full of lies about who Jesus really is. You may have heard some of the many lies yourself, like the one I always love to get by those who come to my door and tell me that Jesus was just a prophet. This blind man could hear the commotion and excitement of a large crowd.  He asked those from the crowd what was going on. Those in the crowd proclaimed to this blind man, who could only hear the commotion and excitement, that “Jesus of Nazareth” was coming.  Jesus is so much more than just a man from a small town called Nazareth, or just a prophet. Bartimaeus the blind beggar recognized Jesus as much more. He began shouting to Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” Bartimaeus knew who Jesus was.  He didn’t call to Him as “Jesus of Nazareth” but as “Jesus, Son of David”, the title that was meant for the Messiah who was to come from the bloodline of King David.

  1. How do those who have seen the light of Jesus treat the blind and hopeless today?

38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

What strikes me is the reaction of the crowd. They rebuked him, and told the man to be quiet. As the church, we can easily become like those in the crowd. We can become no better than those living for themselves and the world. We stand by, allowing the lies of Jesus to be spread and not caring for those who are blind to the truth and living hopeless lives.

There are many people in this fallen world who are blind to the truth and suffering. We are all called to live as the light of Christ in this world…to proclaim the truth of Jesus to all. We need to be the church, ready to share the love of Jesus to all. Those who are helpless, those who may annoy us, and those we would rather avoid than spending time with them. Jesus showed us love when we were still lost in our sin. Who are we to keep that same love from anyone else?

How are your neighbors, your co-workers, and those around you hearing about Jesus?

How are you personally sharing Jesus to the blind and hopeless around you?

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