Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Matt. 9:30a “And their eyes were opened;. . .”
These two blind men refused to be denied. Their faith was made of stern stuff, tempered steel. Jesus honored their persistence and received them. Christ never considers a cry for help a rudeness. His door is always open to the hurting.
Jesus healed blindness more often than any other illness. Due to unsanitary conditions and infectious organisms, blindness was a common malady, and still is.
In India I saw a beautiful girl with only one physical flaw, a bulging, glazed left eye. Two weeks earlier she had a high fever and a parasitic infection. Prompt treatment would have helped, but now her left eye will be blind the rest of her life.
I’m grateful we serve a Master who yearned to help struggling humanity. I’m also grateful for all in our fellowship who heal in His name–in Nicaragua, India, Tanzania, here at our church’s free foot clinic, where circulation problems have been caught early enough to save amputations. You who serve in any medical capacity, never forget, your original prototype and primary role model is Jesus.
In the last sermon, we learned from two blind men four proper ways to approach Jesus. Three more observations about the two blind men may help us.
First, the two blind men teach us the power of prayer based on Scripture. They felt justified in asking Jesus for healing because they were convinced He was Messiah. The Old Testament clearly taught, when Messiah comes He will heal the blind (Isaiah 35:5; 42:6-7). Thus, these two blind men were proving their belief in Jesus’ Messiahship by asking Him to do what Scripture said He would do. The two were in essence challenging Jesus to fulfill one of the duties of His office.
This kind of praying brings weight to bear on Jesus. He loves for us to pray Scripture to Him. In prayer, depend on His words, not ours. Oratory does not impress God. Whatever your concern, find a Bible promise that in some way applies, and then pray it to God with all your might, like you mean it. Pray the Scriptures.
Second, the two blind men were physically blind, but spiritually observant. The two blind men’s vision was better than the crowd’s. The seeing multitude’s blindness was much severer than that of the two. There is a blindness worse than physical blindness. Many have eye sockets, but not sight; eyeballs, but not vision.
The worst handicap is inner blindness to the spiritual meaning of life. Tennyson described it as “Here, thro’ the feeble twilight of this world groping. . .” To many, life is a desperate groping, a blind stab in the dark to find God and purpose.
MacArthur quotes a contemporary cynic, “The problem with humanity is this: humanity stands at the crossroads, and all of the signposts have fallen down.” Untrue! Our most needed spiritual signposts stand tall and strong, reliable as ever. Only two signposts are needed–an old rugged cross and an empty tomb. The first says Jesus dealt with our problems, the second says Jesus is available to apply the benefits of His death. The problem is not signposts, but those who ignore them.
Third, the two blind men accurately assessed the infinite power Jesus has. As Jesus left Jairus’ happy home, people may have wondered if raising the dead had exhausted Jesus’ power. Is His healing supply limited? Two blind men didn’t think so. They correctly believed His power supply was inexhaustible. By speaking light into their darkness, Jesus proved Himself to be the One who spoke at creation, “Let there be light” (GN 1:3). If He had adequate power in the beginning to command light to shine out of darkness, and ample strength to put light in blind eyes, then He has ability to put light into your spirit, to end Tennyson’s groping through this world’s feeble twilight. Charles Wesley raised the poetic question,
Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Ira Stanphill gives the poetic answer,
Though millions have come
There’s still room for one,
Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.
Blindness was the best thing that ever happened to these two blind men. It brought them to the Light of life. What if God has allowed the troubles you are experiencing in life for the sole purpose of bringing you to Jesus? What a tragedy to miss the one truly good thing God intended for you to extract from your suffering. Our need is huge, Christ’s supply is abundant, let the two come together.
God’s power is so infinite that in this life we will never be able to ask too much of Him. Even when God says no to what we request, it is only because He wants to give us something better in its place. Whenever He declines our prayers offered in faith, it is only because what we are asking for is not what’s best for us.
The experience of these two blind men confirms the abundance of God’s goodness. They received their huge request, plus much more. Not only did they receive vision. In addition, the first sight they saw was Jesus, the sight prophets and kings had longed to see (MT 13:16-17). My family is oft comforted in knowing the first voice my deaf sister shall clearly hear will be that of Jesus. This is no pipedream, no pie in the sky by and by fantasy. It is reality, and we comfort ourselves, knowing His goodness is inexhaustible in this lifetime and beyond, forever.
Matt. 9:30b “. . .and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man
Jesus healed these two blind men privately, inside a house. Their use of the Messianic title “Son of David” made a public healing very risky. Healing them openly while they were declaring Him Messiah could have aroused false expectations among the people. While on His way to the house, Jesus allowed the physically blind to speak truth to the spiritually blind. He did not silence the two, but neither did He fan the flames of zealous patriotism. Is He Messiah? Yes, but not the kind of Messiah the people had begun to conceptualize. They wanted a conqueror riding on a war horse; He came gently, riding on a donkey. They wanted Him to spill the blood of others; He shed His own blood. They wanted political freedom and world conquest; He came to give personal freedom and self conquest.
Later, after His resurrection, when the spiritual nature of His kingdom was better understood, He instructed us to tell everyone everywhere. But during the three years of His earthly ministry, Jesus often had to restrain the crowds. He often sensed among the masses a swelling surge He had to be careful about.
Jesus readily risked unpopularity. He ate with irreligious riffraff. But He feared popularity. As the maidens sang about David, the desire for popularity destroyed King Saul (1 SM 18:8). The Pharisees loved the applause of men and to retain it were willing to kill the only perfect life ever lived (MT 27:18).
Jesus was not addicted to the praise of people. Learn from His example. A hyper-desire to be popular is often the last blight on an otherwise noble character.
Matt. 9:31 “But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in
all that country.”
Jesus said don’t tell. They told. They were so filled with joy that they could not repress their thanks. Rather than be silent, they did nothing but speak. Instead of not telling it at all, they told it to all.
Two men previously blind began testifying to all for the Light of the World. Hear their chatter, and never lose hope. Two friends in darkness were transformed into two friends in light. Many of us are praying for friends in darkness to become our friends in light. Let two blind men inspire us to never give up, to continue praying without ceasing. Our friends may yet come across the Great Divide.