Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
“Lord,” they said to Him, “open your eyes!” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed Him.
Like many teenage boys, I had a five-year period when I was oblivious to the world around me. Even now, when I’m in a particularly challenging and exciting period at work, I tend to miss rather obvious things.
Pieces of furniture will be moved at home, new items hung on the wall, or paint colors changed, and I will ask my wife when the change happened. She’s often looked at me with a concerned, disbelieving look, and follow it with an answer like, “I’m glad you like it. I did that six months ago.”
There was a time I was thinking about work while driving and missed an exit. I didn’t realize it for over an hour—until I was in the wrong state. I could go on, but you get the idea. Sometimes what should be rather obvious to me just isn’t!
When I read this passage, one of the first things that jumps out is that Jesus asks the blind man what he wanted done for him. The blind man quickly responded that he wanted his eyes opened so he can see. He knew precisely what he needed, and he knew Jesus could fulfill it!
It’s surprising how often we don’t know what our true needs are—like the oblivious man with a plank in his eye. Sometimes what should be my obvious need isn’t so obvious to me. Sometimes saying it aloud helps it to be clear, or perhaps writing is a more honest form of expression for you.
Jesus called to the blind men and wanted them to respond. He wants us to respond as well.
Do I even know what needs healing? Have I asked for that? What will I look like once healed? How will my life be different? God wants us to tangibly respond to His call, His healing, His directing. In the VERY comfortable world we live in, what does that look like for me?
When Jesus heard the blind man’s cry, we’re told He was moved with compassion. One of my favorite verses is “Jesus wept.” It’s not just because it is easy to memorize. It’s because it succinctly teaches that Jesus is 100% God and also 100% man. He had feelings. He was moved in a way that caused Him to stop and caused these men to be able to see in a way that they had never seen before.
He’s still moved with compassion today, and He wants each of us to see in a way we have never seen before. How am I blind today? What could I see if I was not?
Once blindness was healed, we learn that immediately they followed Jesus. What an amazing picture of obedience. These men couldn’t see. They likely wondered for many years what people and things around them looked like. Family members, their homes, their friends, landmarks—there would seem to be an almost insatiable desire to go and see these things immediately. And yet, they immediately followed Jesus.
When Jesus heals us, whether in big ways or small, is our desire for more of Him, or a quick return to things of this world?
Whether we notice the obvious or not doesn’t change the fact that it is true: God is the one and only who is able and compassionately chooses to heal us and fulfill our needs. Just as obvious is that we are called to actively, immediately, and continually follow Him.
- The blind men followed Jesus as soon as they gained their sight. If I don’t follow Jesus the way I should, is it because of lack of sight or because what I see makes me uncomfortable?
- Mark indicates that the blind man took off his coat before going to Jesus. What in my life needs to be taken off to that I can run to and after Christ without hindrance? Self-sufficiency? Fear of the future? Lack of trust?
- In all three passages, the crowd told the blind to be quiet. Is our desire for sight strong enough to act and ask in a way that causes others to be uncomfortable? When is the last time I was told to “hush” because of my desperation for Christ? Do I politely ask from the sideline, or do I cry out in need?