35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he enquired 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 frontrebuked 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.
Having preached on Wisdom last week, it seems strange that today I feel defeated because I feel blind. I feel like I lack insight and feel called to do what I can’t. I have felt this way a number of times in my life. I know the path forward includes two things. One is that I must accept that I have failings that I have been unaware of. The other is that I must move forward and follow Jesus’ leading.
The blind man was not in denial about his blindness. We can contrast this with the rich, young ruler in the previous passages. The rich, young ruler was blind to his heart-sickness. Jesus opened his eyes to what he was lacking, but he preferred to move ahead with impaired vision. The blind man knew he was blind and that he was dependent. He also had uncommon insight that Jesus is the Son of David. Jesus responded to the blind man with a simple question, “What do you want?” The blind man wants to see, but the sight he receives leads to deeper insight into the nature of God. The result of the whole episode is an individual inspiring a community to worship.
In watching some of my sermons on-line and running through a manuscript for one of them with a friend, I see that I am not the public speaker that I hoped to be. God can change that, but if I bring my lack of eloquence to Jesus and he asks, “What do you want?” My response is, “I want to write well and speak well.” When I am forced to answer that question, I am concerned that I want to bring glory to myself. When I am in Sunday School at McHenry, I am not the main teacher. I teach from the sides. I know in that venue my motives are pure. However, it may be that I don’t have confidence in larger settings because I am constructing something that has too much of ‘me’ in it. If I was free of self, I would worry how well I communicated much less.
Jesus’ question, “What do you want?” should cause us all to pause. “Why do you want it?” What is our life about? I still want to become a better communicator. It means that I will have to learn more from my wife and be humble in entertaining criticism. It is hard when your eyes are opened to the fact that you have needs that are more poignant than you first realised. But when a person accepts their need, they can cry out to the Son of David, and he will heal them. Maybe tomorrow, at the Celebrate Westlake Banquet, I will communicate more clearly and people will leave praising God more because I admitted I needed Jesus’ touch.
What I want is so difficult to separate from my selfish flesh. I don’t know if it is possible to have pure motives in this life. There is always the potential for wounding of self because I have not died to self. Help me to take one step further toward being a conduit. Let self stand aside and let me rejoice more in perceiving your will more clearly and moving with confident obedience.
- How did people respond to the Blind Man?
- How did Jesus respond?
- What does the passage tell us about both Jesus and the blind man?
- What do you want?
- How does what we want reveal our spiritual condition?