As Jesus was coming near Jericho, there was a blind man sitting by the road, begging. When he heard the crowd passing by, he asked, “What is this?” “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” they told him. He cried out “Jesus! Son of David! Take pity on me!” Luke 18:35-38
In our modern times, technology makes it possible for people with visual impairment to listen to music, read books in braille or listen to recorded books. The latest computer technology opens up unheard-of ways of communication for blind people. The Bible Society even has an Audibible available so that people can listen to the complete Bible. Blind and other visually impaired people can follow an occupation, run a business, go farming or make a living as artists. In fact, one of my favourite singers is Andrea Bocelli. Visually-impaired people are fully part of our society.
In biblical times, this was very different. There was no technology and more or less the only “job” for a blind person was begging. Thus one could understand the excitement of the blind beggar when he heard the noise of a large crowd, and upon hearing that Jesus was passing by in response to his question as to what was going on. He must have heard about Jesus previously and especially about the many miracles of healing.
Upon hearing that it was Jesus, he started shouting to draw Jesus’ attention. The people scolded him and told him to be quiet, but knowing this might be his last chance, he did not heed and just started shouting a bit louder. The people did not have time for a blind beggar but, fortunately, Jesus always had time for all and sundry. In response to Jesus’ question, “What do you want me to do for you?” he had only one answer, “I want to see again.” Jesus knew what he needed, but he wanted the man to state it himself and, upon hearing this, he healed him immediately.
Jesus wants to meet all of us. He has time for us and our problems. Above all, he wants all of us who are blinded by the effects of sin to see the wonderful light of salvation. Like the blind man of Jericho, we have to grab the opportunity to meet Jesus, it might be the last chance.
Prayer: LORD, thank you that in my mind’s eye, I can see how you died on the cross and thereby let me see the road to eternal life. Amen