Two Blind Men: Matthew 20:29-34
“29) As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. 30) And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31) The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32) And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33) They *said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” 34) Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.” Matthew‬ ‭20‬:‭29‬-‭34‬ ‭
As the journey toward Jerusalem continues, Jesus is now on the Jericho Road heading toward Jerusalem. This is the same road Jesus referred to in Luke 10:30 where the victimized traveler encountered the Good Samaritan. It was a well traveled road in Judea. It is about eighteen miles from Jericho to Jerusalem.
Jesus was not walking alone. With Him were His disciples, a small band of women including His mother and a crowd of undisclosed size. This undoubtedly included the seventy Jesus had sent out and numerous others. Because of its proximity to the Passover, there were most likely numerous caravans of people traveling from Galilee to keep the annual festival in Jerusalem. Jesus and His caravan took a break in Jericho before setting out on the final leg of the journey.
The two blind men had likely positioned themselves on this route to beg alms from those heading down to the Passover. The route departing from Jericho was a prime location for their enterprise, and there were undoubtedly many such people along the road seeking alms.
Upon hearing that Jesus was passing by, they began crying out; “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David.” Their request was not specific. They may have been begging for alms. This seemed to be the interpretation of the crowd who tried to silence them. They were likely fatigued by the many exploiters begging for alms. This often happens to tourist traveling in foreign lands. It can become annoying and exasperating.
But they had other intentions in mind. This was their only chance for healing. If the many stories about Jesus were true, they were within earshot of a miracle. They refused to be silenced, instead they “cried out” all the more.
Let no one silence your petitions to God! Follow their example and be persist and even boarder on desperation. Literally “cry out” to God. The Psalms are full of this phrase. God wants us to “cry out” to Him. Be honest with God about your Jericho Road! It appears from the New Testament that Jesus has compassion toward those stranded on this road.
Verse 32 is profound; “And Jesus stopped and called to them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” You may be thinking; “That’s a foolish question, of course they wanted to be healed!”
Don’t be so rash! There are a few potential answers. First, they could have been asking for mercy in their suffering. Many today fail to pray for healing. Instead they say, “Lord, comfort me in my affliction!” This was equivalent to asking for alms. It’s a lot easier to believe for comfort than healing.
Second, their request showed they had greater expectations; “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” They were not double minded. They wanted the One who created their eyes to heal them! They believed Jesus was the Great Physician and they wanted Him to act from that role.
Notice that Jesus was moved with compassion. He cared! He was moved by their plight. “He touched their eyes, and immediately they regained their sight.” The first thing they saw when their eyes were opened was the face of Jesus!
The result was that they joined His caravan. This may sound like an unfair question, but “Where do you suppose they walked?” Did they tag along at the end, or did they go before Him crying out; “This is Jesus the Son of David, He healed us! We were blind and now we see!” Sadly, the text does not say.
But it does set the stage for a few important questions; “How do you follow Jesus?” Are you a silent tag along or are you vocal about Jesus? Do you cry out to Him with your needs or are you timid and wavering in unbelief? I confess, these guys inspire me! Just think, they may have participated in the Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
This chapter ends the same way it started. They joined the caravan the eleventh hour and walked right into Jerusalem with Jesus side by side with those who came the first hour. It doesn’t matter when you come, just roll up your sleeves and follow Jesus!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global