The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. Matthew 20:31-32, NIV
Everything around me is dark as load shedding descends. Sitting in the candlelight, I hear a distant dog barking above other night sounds which I don’t normally hear. I’m aware of just how dark this darkness is, and how easily it can engulf me when there is no other light. Yet, when I need something, I walk tentatively through the darkness, trying not to bump into anything as I retrieve it.
And I think about the people who can never see light at any time, day or night, and how they are often far more aware of detail that sighted people may overlook.
So, it’s difficult to understand the hardheartedness of the large crowd following Jesus, towards the two blind men sitting by the roadside, calling out to Him with Jacob’s persistence, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
When the crowd scolds them and tries to quiet them, the two men ignore them and shout even louder, concerned that if they miss this opportunity, their chance to be healed will be gone with Jesus. They have done their homework and believe that Jesus is not just any wonderworking man passing by, but the long awaited Messiah. “Son of David” they call again, “have mercy on us!”
Without being able to physically see what Jesus was doing, they’d heard the reports about His teaching and about the miracles He’d performed, and they believed that He was the long prophesied Messiah who would be able to help them, deliver them. They were not just looking out of curiosity for signs and wonders.
But Jesus is immediately aware of the two men who are alert to their need of Him, and will persistently not let go of this divine appointment. His response, full of compassion, reaches them where they are and He asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”
What beautiful words to hear from Jesus, giving them the freedom to open their hearts to Him and receive what they most desire and need – their sight, not a handout.
It’s easy to be part of the crowd, gathered around, watching Jesus, unaware of their own blindness and other needs; and, therefore, so ready to try to prevent those who are from having their needs met.
Where are you? If Jesus were to ask you, “What do you want me to do for you?” what would you answer?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know that You have all power and amazing compassion to meet me at my point of need. Please take away my blindness, and through your glorious light help me to see. Amen