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August 18, 2017: Blind Man Sees

Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 12Proverbs 14:1-18Luke 18:31-43Titus 1:1-9

Luke 18:31-43:

(18:31-34) Jesus again predicts his death and resurrection. This is the very center of what he came to do, the highpoint, and focus of all. He wants those around him to understand the significance of the event, that it is planned and deliberate, and that it is the culmination of his mission. But it is hard for them to grasp. For the Messiah, the King, to die was hard enough to believe; for him to deliberately plan to die to save the world seemed to them bizarre. They were expecting a king to ride in militarily and dominate and rule in worldly power. They had no concept of a suffering King, a suffering Messiah. So Jesus repeats his prediction, but they still cannot get it. In fact, it is “hidden” from them. These things are spiritually discerned, and as yet it has not been revealed to them. Note: when we think of Christianity, let us think of the cross, and when we think of the Christ, let us think of his death and resurrection. Christianity without the cross is no Christianity at all. Note also: to understand these things is spiritually discerned. Let us pray that we ourselves, our friends and neighbors, spiritually discern the meaning of the cross—their need of a Savior, their need of a sacrificial death for sins.

(18:35-43) Now, while the topic of spiritual discernment and not understanding is fresh in the reader’s mind, Luke introduces an unlikely man to be insightful. After all, he is blind. But yet as soon as he hears who is going by, he understands that it is Jesus that must save him, must heal him. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Those around him rebuke him. Why? He is infringing on the concept of the Messiah as being a ruling authority, rather than a healing, saving (crucified) Messiah. But, ignoring their rebuke, he keeps on asking God to have mercy. Note: sometimes our friends, even family, will advise us to moderate our spiritual zeal. To be more practical. To stop asking Jesus to save us. But it is to Jesus that we must repair—we must go to him in prayer and ask him, sometimes repeatedly, to heal us and save us.

Jesus asks him what he wants. And the man’s reply is so simple: he wants to see. Note: when we pray to Jesus, it is well for us to clarify in our minds our request. What do we want of Jesus? Note also: how wise is the blind man’s request! It is well to ask Jesus that we might see him, that we might be saved, that we might glory in the vision of Jesus! Jesus heals the man; it is his faith that has made him well. Not that his faith was the agent of power itself that saved him; that was Jesus. The blind man did not cry out to “faith” to be healed. He cried out to Jesus! But it was through the channel of the man’s faith that he was healed. There is not such thing, really, as a faith healer. There is only the Jesus healer. And he heals through faith. The blind is immediately healed—how different from many attempted, partial, miraculous healings today. Jesus heals immediately. And his response? To follow Jesus. When Jesus saves us, if we are truly saved, we will become his devoted disciple and follow Jesus. The one who says he is saved by Jesus, but gives thereafter Jesus no attention cannot really have been saved by Jesus at all. This man was saved, and thereafter followed Jesus. Such is the pattern of salvation. A Saved Person is a Disciple Person. And he glorified God, as did all the people who saw it.

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