And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him. (Matthew 20:30-34)
Who Will Follow Jesus
Blindness is a terrible disease robbing the mind of the beauty of God’s creation. The eyes represent the window of the soul that without clarity make it very difficult for man to function. We seldom think of the importance of good eyesight until either age or disease mars the ability to see clearly. Some men are born blind while others incur some malady in life that takes away their eyesight. During the ministry of Jesus, blindness was a tool used by the Lord to show His incredible power of healing. Through the ages, man has been able to cure many diseases. Blindness is an impossibility to cure and this was especially true during the days of Jesus.
Matthew’s account of the blind men is parallel to the story by Mark and Luke of the healing of Bartimaeus. What is wonderful about this story is the faith of the men to consider that Jesus could give them sight. This was a clear impossibility. There was no precedent in the annuals of man that would suggest this could be done. However, hearing the man from Nazareth was traveling the road, they begged Him to consider their plight and give mercy. Their faith came in many forms. While they cried out, the crowd tried to stop them. They refused to be quiet. Jesus did not go to them but commanded they come to him (a difficult feat for a blind man). The Lord could have known what their desire would be but He requires them to answer Him. Their request was simple: they wanted their sight. Jesus granted the request.
It is difficult to imagine what feeling must have come over them as they stood before a man they had never seen and in the darkness of their blindness begged for sight. Even more incredible is the euphoria of that moment when their eyes were opened. Light poured in, the colors of the world burst into their brains and their hearts leaped within their breast. Jesus stood before them. They beheld the beautiful face of the one who saved them. What more could they do but follow Him. Their savior was standing before them and their lives were changed forever.
Sadly, the men would have little time with the miracle worker. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem and it would not be long before the eyes opened by the power of love witnessed the death of Jesus on a cross. What became of the men? The scriptures do not tell. They followed Jesus after their healing and passed into the mist of time. Their legacy reminds us of a greater cure. Sin blinds the hearts of men and there is no cure but the love of God. Every disciple of Christ has experienced the moment of the true Light coming into his or her life by God’s grace. The joy we felt as we saw the world clearly for the first time must never be lost. Following Jesus should always be a reminder of how He opened our eyes and gave us sight. The journey we follow is not to a cross but to a resurrection. Thank God for His loving power that made our healing possible. The greatest joy will be when we see Him face to face. What a day that will be.
The rewards of heaven are so great and glorious, and Christ’s burden is so light, his yoke so easy, that it is a shameless impudence to expect so great glories at a less rate than so little a service, at a lower rate than a holy life. (Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living, 1650)