Devotional by Katie Nolan, www.liasophia.com/katienolan
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see”. At first glance, the story of the blind men in Matthew 20:29-34 may not seem to apply to our modern day lives. But like many stories in the bible, once we dig deeper, we find we are not so different from the blind men by the road in Jericho. Like the familiar song Amazing Grace, we have been blind and even now may feel our vision is impaired in certain areas. We need a Healer. We need a Counselor. We need our God.
The accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke vary slightly regarding the miraculous recovery in sight but the message is the same. Matthew describes two blind men sitting beside the road who upon hearing Jesus was passing by began crying out “Lord, have mercy on us”. The blind men acknowledged their need for healing before Jesus and the crowd. They did not pretend everything was fine or just press on like we so often do. They went straight to the One who could heal them. We have many options in our lives for help and advice. Do we neglect going to our Source with all the options available to us?
Or do we let pride silence our cries? The cry of the blind men is defined beautifully. It is an urgent scream, a ravens piercing cry, and inarticulate shouts expressing deep emotion. They certainly were not whispering a quiet amen. They weren’t afraid to lift their voice in the congregation or the street to grab the attention of their Healer. Maybe we are too refined in modern day churches to understand the loud, emotional cry these men were willing to utter. It was a cry of desperation with no concern regarding what others would say or think. As a matter of fact, when the crowd tried to silence the blind men, the blind men cried out even more.
Those following Jesus rebuked the men, telling them to be silent. Simply following Jesus among the crowd did not mean everyone in the crowd was “saved” and it also did not mean (regardless of their salvation) they knew what was right for the blind men. The crowd did not discern Jesus had a divine appointment to fill that day. We must be discerning of the crowd surrounding us as well. Always turn to God first and foremost. If God is our first Counselor we won’t miss our divine appointments.
“Have mercy on us” literally means have compassion by divine grace. They called on the grace of God to heal them and it did. By calling him Lord, they were calling him master and supreme authority. They believed this man could heal them. “It takes grace to reach greatness. It takes faith to release grace”. These words come from my Pastor and this story illustrates them perfectly. The blind men believed Jesus could heal them and that activated divine grace to do just what they hoped.
The opening of their eyes refers to a physical and spiritual opening. We are told their sight was restored and immediately they followed Jesus which is defined as being in the same way with and to accompany especially as a disciple. The blind men were in the right place at the right time by being on the road Jesus traveled. Throughout our lives we will face trauma and difficulty. When it strikes, we need to be found on the path of Christ. We will then see difficulties as opportunities to cast aside pride, cry to our Healer, and when others try and silence us, we will cry out even louder. In our cry we are expressing our belief that God is able and we are giving room for His divine grace to go to work and accomplish what we asked for. The result is not only healing but a deeper following of our Savior.