Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Matt. 9:27a “And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed
him,. . .”
Whenever Jesus walked in a crowd, He drew to Himself the neediest people. The same is true today. The brokenhearted, sad, discouraged, guilty, disappointed, undeserving–all should draw near. Hurting friend, the Healer is here. He cares and wants to help. Learn from two blind men four proper ways to approach Him.
Matt. 9:27b “. . .crying, and saying, Thou son of David,. . .”
First, two blind men showed proper respect. “Son of David” was a common title for Messiah. The Old Testament predicted Messiah would be of David’s royal seed, and would rule over God’s people (Isaiah 9:6-7). This was Israel’s hope.
In Matthew, these two blind men were the first to publicly proclaim this title about Jesus, the first who dared to say it out loud. These men could not see, but having talked about what others saw, accepted His raising a girl from the dead as evidence Jesus could heal the blind. Jesus worked enough miracles in Capernaum for anyone willing to believe to believe. Jesus’ miracles proved His uniqueness.
Christianity does not ask people to believe against evidence. That would be make-believe. Faith proceeds in agreement with evidence. Based on what they heard others had seen, the two blind men acknowledged Jesus was no ordinary man. Learn from two blind men. Come to Jesus, showing proper respect.
Matt. 9:27c “. . .have mercy on us.”
Second, two blind men showed proper humility. They pled mercy, not merit. They did not claim they deserved to be healed. They came as beggars. Being blind, they had grown used to begging for a living. The position of a suppliant now served them well. They admitted Jesus was worthy, and they were unworthy.
God’s grace is a difficult concept for us to grasp. Pride makes us desperately want to impress Him, to earn His favor. Cast aside thoughts of merit. Throw away acts of penance. Come to God each time the same way we came to Him the first time. Ask Him to forgive our sins, to make us clean so that our relationship with Him is intimate. Then plead grace, ask Him to give freely. God honors this attitude. Learn from two blind men. Come to Jesus, showing proper humility.
Matt. 9:28a “And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to
him:. . .”
Third, two blind men showed proper persistence. Determined to gain an audience with Jesus, they somehow fought their way to Jesus. Either by holding on to someone or by continuously badgering people for directions, they followed Jesus on the road and then audaciously entered the house where He was staying.
Jesus’ day had been wonderful, yet long and hard. He wanted quiet rest, but it was not to be yet. Due to the bulldog determination of two blind men, His day’s work will be extended a bit longer. They could not see how tired and weary He was. They had no way of knowing whether or not He had waved them off or frowned them away. Jesus had not verbally rebuffed them or shooed them off. Thus, they kept coming. Begging was their trade. They were used to being pushy.
If these two men fail, it will not be due to a lack of persistence on their part. Knowing this was their best opportunity, their supreme moment, they threw all their might into the request. I fear one of our gravest faults as believers is the sheer dullness of our prayers. Where is the fire, the passion, the earnestness, the persistence? Why should God take time to answer prayers offered with a yawn? Any prayer worth praying should be offered repeatedly with fervor. If necessary, get out of your bed or easy chair. Pray with zeal, fully awake and alert. Don’t bore God. Learn from two blind men. Come to Jesus, showing proper persistence.
Matt. 9:28b “. . .and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do
this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.”
Fourth, two blind men showed proper faith. They believed Jesus was a national Messiah, but could they believe He was their personal Healer? True faith believes Jesus is able to do many things not only for people in general, but also for “me” in particular. True faith trusts Him for what “I” need. Satan too often succeeds in making us think ours is the one case not covered by the promises of God.
It is easy to doubt God’s word. I know. I do it often. God’s promises are plenty, but help only if we claim them as our own. If we do not trust personally, we are defeated before we begin. To Jesus’ question, the two gave a prompt, glad yes. They had no doubt, trusting He would do for two all He had done for many.
Matt. 9:29 “Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it
The cure was granted to their faith. They believed they could be healed, and were healed accordingly. They were healed not according to the size of their faith, but due to its existence. This does not mean if we have faith we can have anything we want from God. These two were healed not only due to their faith, but also because it was Jesus’ will to heal them. The question Jesus posed was in itself an unconditional offer. Otherwise, the question would have been a taunt, a mockery.
Some, to support their belief that God gives a carte blanche to faith, quote Jesus’ promise, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (JN 14:14). To ask in His name, though, is to ask in agreement with His will. As “blood” is a shorthand way to refer to all the benefits that accrue to us due to Christ’s death on the cross, even so “name” is a shorthand way to refer to all we know about Jesus’ revealed character. God does always give to faith. He never lets it return to us empty-handed. But in matters not specifically promised in Scripture, God reserves to Himself the right to determine what response He will make to our faith. He decides whether to say yes, no, or wait. All the faith in the world will not necessarily give us health, wealth, business success, or fame. God makes those choices.
On the other hand, through the Scriptures, God does throw many doors wide open to our faith. We have an abundance of unlimited promises to faith, including, give me salvation, forgive my sins, make me faithful in trials, grant me victory over temptation, and strengthen me to do my duty. In each of these cases, God’s offer to faith is inexhaustible, but unbelief will constrict the flow of blessing.
Whatever issue we are facing, whether we do or don’t know for sure what God’s will is, we have to confront the question, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” This must be answered before anything else can be done. As children of God we are entitled to the high privilege and duty of bringing our concerns and problems, sitting with them before Jesus, and responding to this question.
Have we brought Him our money woes, our business troubles, our family problems, our sickness? Have we at least asked for all God can bestow? He determines the highest amount of blessing He wants to bestow, but we can lower it without faith. Though it is left to God to determine the maximum gift He wants to bestow, it is given to us to determine by our faith, or lack thereof, the minimum He can give. Learn from two blind men. Come to Jesus, showing proper faith.