The Life and Teaching Of Jesus – Part 31 – Can You See as Clearly as a Blind Man

People tell me that if you are unfortunate enough to lose some or even all of your vision, that you other senses become more finally tuned and you are able to access perceptions and insights by being more attuned to you other senses. In the New Testament there is a story of a blind man who it seems that even though he was blind he could see things that others couldn’t. The story on the surface is a rather straightforward one, but in considering the story a little more closely we shall see, I trust, that there are some powerful truths contained therein. The story begins with Jesus in Jericho. (Mark 10: 46)

Jesus and his disciples are passing through Jericho on their way to Jerusalem. These events are taking place just before the Passover, so most of the population would be departing or would already be on their way to Jerusalem along with 1000’s of other pilgrims, all on their way to celebrate the Passover. As Jesus and His disciples are leaving Jericho a blind man named Bartimaeus appears and we are then told. (Mark 10: 47)

Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is passing through but look carefully at what he says. “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me” It seems to me that this blind man has perfect spiritual sight. He doesn’t refer to him as Jesus of Nazareth, rather he calls him Jesus, the “Son of David”. He could see that Jesus was in fact the Messiah and if so he would have power enough to even heal a blind man.

The bible teaches that we are all born spiritually blind  (II Cor 4: 4-4) People can look straight at Jesus Christ and they don’t see who he is.  However, there is an even deeper level of blindness that some people suffer from. There are some people who look right at Jesus and see Him as the Son of God. They can see that he died on the cross for the sin of the world, they even believe that he rose from the dead. Yet they are still spiritually blind when it come to understanding what it means to be a believer. They believe lots of true and good things about Jesus, but then they add to that, extra things you need to do or believe in order to get to heaven. Like joining their particular church, or acting religious all the time. Just try and do all the religious stuff they say and let God keep the score, and if you have a high enough score maybe you can make it. Sometimes people keep the score by comparing themselves to other people. However, often when people do this they seem to set the bar real low. Someone once said to me, “I am not a mass murderer”. at least I’ve never killed anybody.” Maybe I’m alright with God because there are other people out there much worse than me.

At least this blind man here saw that Jesus was the Son of David, the Messiah and he cries out, Son of David, have mercy on me. Then  the crowd tell him to shut up (Mark 10: 48) but the man just shouted, “all the more” Then,  ‘Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So, they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’ (Mark 10: 49). In verse 48 the crowd tell him to shut up, verse 49 says the crowd say. On your feet He’s calling you. One minute this crowd is rebuking the guy, the next minute they are encouraging him to do the very thing they just rebuked him for. “Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus”, then Jesus says to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ (Mark 10:51) The God of the universe, the one who created all things and upholds all things says, “what do you want me to do for you”.  The man’s reply is; ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’ The Jesus says to him, 52 ‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

 That is the first insight I want us to draw attention to. The man not only had faith in who Jesus was, but also in His ability to heal him, and that make him well. This blind man physical problem was dealt with by faith. He knew not only who Jesus was, but he also trusted in Him and he was healed physically, and when we see who Jesus is, and trust in Him we to are healed, healed from spiritual blindness. However, there is more going on here. Not only did this man have faith and act upon it, but immediately afterwards he chose to follow Jesus. He finally has had his sight restored. He could now get a job, he could now work, he no longer would need to be dependent on others. Rather, he chooses to follow Jesus. He not only followed him physically, but I am sure it also means he followed him spiritually. Look at this final verse again, this time from the K.J.V.

 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

Jesus said to him, go your way, yet he instead follows Jesus. The man had decided that his way, was now the Lords way. Here is a blind man who had spiritual insight into who Jesus actually was. He wouldn’t let the crowd stop him, because he had faith that the Lord would heal him and when he was healed he didn’t stop there because as a response to what the Lord had done for him, he followed the Lord, and His way became the Lords way. I began by asking, do you see as clearly as a blind man. This man had his spiritual eyes open, he saw who Jesus was and Jesus opened his eyes physically and then with deep gratitude he choose to follow the Lord. Let me ask you a question. Are you thankful for what the Lord has done for you? What then does your thankfulness prompt you to do? If you are grateful, if you are thankful, you should say thanks. If you really thankful maybe it should not mean just saying something, maybe it should also mean doing something. Praise and give thanks to the Lord, for all that he has done, but if you stop there, then maybe you have a spiritual eyesight problem. Even this blind man saw enough to see that because of what God had done for him and was thankful. Thereafter His way became the Lord’s way. Paul tells us this in the 12th chapter of Romans;

When we are thankful Paul suggests that we offer our lives as a sacrifice. (Romans 12:1). It take spiritual insight to say. Jesus is Lord. It takes more spiritual insight to recognise what the Lord has done and say thank-you. It takes a deeper spiritual insight to say it no longer my way, but the Lords way. Paul here is reminding us that if we are recipients of Gods mercy, we ought to do something with it and doing something means presenting ourselves as obedient to him and thinking like he does.

Let me ask you a final question. Are you thankful for what the Lord has done in your life. Well then what are you going to do about it. Do you love the Lord? Jesus says why do you say you love we, but you don’t do what I do. When God opens our eyes and gives us a spiritual insight, let’s be really thankful, not just by what we say, but by what we do. By making our way, His way and by following in obedience to Him.