Tag Archives: blindness

Exodus 22-24; Matthew 20:17-34

A friend of mine has been posting lately about loneliness. This stays with me.

https://twitter.com/John_Dukes/status/423625237192654849

***

Jesus is leaving Jericho with his disciples. And a big crowd follows behind. With moderate exposure to the Gospels, you get the impression that Jesus could do some pretty amazing things: feed thousands of people, turn water into wine, quiet a storm, drive out demons, bring people back to life. And maybe you reach a point in reading that the miracles become commonplace–Oh. Jesus does another healing.

Or you read on in anticipation: what’s he going to do next?

***

I step into the scene. Dusty road. Hot sun. Jesus is moving on, and people are following. There are two blind guys. I wondered for quite a while what it was like to be blind: was it a legal blindness? Was it always black? Did they feel like the world was going on around them, without them? Did they feel like, because they couldn’t see, they also couldn’t be seen? Is blindness a metaphor? Were they lonely?

The rush of the crowd approaches and hope rises. These two blind men call out for mercy.

And I don’t know if the crowd was a bunch of Jesus lovers or gawkers, but I do know this: they told the blind men to shut up.

If these blind men could hear the crowd yelling at them to shut up, I’m sure Jesus heard it too. But he also heard the blind men crying out. The scene becomes very small. That crowd is anonymous and blurred out, because now it is just Jesus and two blind men.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

“Lord,” they said. “We want to see!” Matthew 20:32-33 NLT.

And when I think of what blindness is, I fill in this restoration with color. To see, and to be seen. To engage in a world around them. To be part of the world around them. To live in community and not isolation. To stop feeling alone. Or lonely. When all these people are yelling SHUT UP, does anyone care?

34 Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him. Matthew 20:34 NLT.

Jesus gets personal with two people the world would overlook. He feels for them, and touches them. Reaches right out. Who wouldn’t want to follow this man who hears their cries, who notices them, who stopped his journey that day to reach out to them?

Sam’s depiction of a disciple really stuck with me: someone who imitates the teacher.

Jesus, thank you for keeping me in this scene–to have compassion. To reach right out and touch someone. To hear a cry–and acknowledge it! To stop and help. I want to walk with you and learn from you. Thank you that you don’t pass us by when we call out to you, like we’re invisible or don’t matter.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year

2 Chronicles 11,12; Revelation 2; Zephaniah 3; John 1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.   John 1:1-5

The opening of John’s gospel has quickly become one of my favorite Bible passages.  I’d largely ignored it in the past, but that changed last year when my daughter had to memorize the first 13 verses to deliver for her school’s annual speech competition.  I practiced it with her so often that I learned it myself, and with every repetition I saw more of the riches of meaning packed into the words.

  • The mystery of the Trinity both compounded and clarified
  • The confirmation of Christ’s timelessness
  • The declaration of Christ as our Creator
  • The revelation of Christ as the source of all life and light (knowledge, wisdom, grace,  TRUTH!) that darkness cannot overcome

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God —  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.                    John 1:9-13

The Light came into this world.  In doing so He gave up EVERYTHING, doing the very thing He later demanded of the rich young ruler.  He stepped down from His eternal throne, willingly giving up control of His divine abilities to the will of His Father.  In the truest sense He was never outside the plan of His Father, yet in another sense the True Light put Himself at the mercy of the helplessly blind.  As the world, we were so blind that we could not even recognize Light when we saw it.  We didn’t know our Maker when we met Him.  How incredible!

Yet, the Third Person of the Trinity worked in the hearts of some, just as He more recently worked within my own.  We were given sight, we saw the True Light, and we were given (unearned!) the right to become a child of God!  Reborn not from our own will, but of God’s alone.

Heavenly Father, as we continue into the Christmas season, I thank you for the revelation and reminder of who your Son truly is.  I renew my admission that I could never have broken through my blindness to recognize Him on my own.  I am a new man because of You and You alone.  Please mature me and pull me deeper into the Light with each passing day, and please use me to spread this Light to the blind I encounter every day!  Amen.

Michael    (mmattix)

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Filed under 66 Books, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament