There are a number of examples of Jesus healing the blind in the New Testament. These can be looked at from several perspectives, both as a physical miracle and the spiritual analogy. However in this section we see an additional teaching. Here we see a perspective from the position of the blind person.
The analogy of Jesus healing the blind works two ways. He came so that the blind may see, not just physically, but spiritually. (John 9:39) To have your eyes opened spiritually means to be able to perceive and understand the truth of the New Covenant. Your eyes can only be opened if the Lord opens them. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Holy Spirit opens up the word of the gospel so that we can understand all of the gifts of God and receive those gifts.
In this section of scripture showing Jesus healing the blind we find something more. There is a lesson that the blind men here can teach us all. As Jesus left Jericho a great throng of people followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the side of the road and on finding that Jesus was passing by they called out to him. “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” (Verses 29-30) The crowd rebuked the men telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more and did not heed the crowd.
Now here we see two things at work. The men were calling for the Lord to have mercy on them. They were asking for a healing so they could see. This is good and right to do for the Lord himself said, “Ask, and you shall receive.” (Matthew 7:7-8) Had they remained silent they would not have received their sight. What is more we see that the crowd stood opposed to them. They told the men not to cry out and rebuked them for their asking. Many times we will be in a position where we need to also go against the flow of the crowd. Many times going along with the crowd will not get us the things we need or want. The crowd mentality is not always right and people can get carried along with the crowd too easily. Today we hear often about the effects of peer group pressure, especially on the young. The need to conform to be socially acceptable amongst ones peers is a strong drive in many people. But to be a Christian we often have to step away from the crowd to seek the Lord. We often have to stand as an individual to have the Lord come to us as he did to these two blind men.
The two blind men ignored the crowd and continued to cry out to Jesus. Jesus heard their cries, stopped and called them over, asking, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Verse 32) Their continued crying to the Lord got his attention. They ignored the crowd and sought the Lord. If they had heeded the crowd and kept silent they would have never got the attention of the Lord and would never have been able to ask him what they wanted.
They answered the Lord saying, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Jesus took pity on them and touching their eyes, he healed their blindness and the received their sight. (Verses 33-34)
There are several valuable lessons here for all of us.
First we must seek the Lord always. We must put our desires, requests, plans and issues to him.
Second, we should ignore the crowd who might say not to bother Jesus. Nothing is too much of an issue for the Lord and he cares about everything that affects us for he cares about us. Just because the crowd say something, and just because a lot of people believe a certain thing or a certain way does not make it right. For many years people (i.e. the crowd) believed the world was flat, they believed the earth was the centre of the solar system and all kinds of things we now know to be false. It is the same when we come to the Lord. The crowd is not always right so be prepared to stand as an individual to seek the truth from Jesus directly.
Third, we must not give up crying out to the Lord and seeking his answers. If we don’t get our response straightaway we should continue to ask, as the blind men continued to cry out to him. Had they remained silent they would not have received their sight. Likewise if we remain silent we cannot expect the Lord to give us what we need.
So we see that Jesus healing the blind has many applications and lessons for us. Let us take the example of these blind men and do likewise so that we too can receive our spiritual sight from the Lord.