Matthew 20:29-34

LOVE’S ANSWER TO NEED’S APPEAL

Matt. 20:29-34

When they were leaving Jericho, a great crowd followed him. And, look you, two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted out, “Lord, have pity on us, you Son of David!” The crowd rebuked them, so that they might be silent. Jesus stood and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he said. “Lord,” they said, “what we want is that our eyes should be opened.” Jesus was moved with compassion to the depths of his being, and touched their eyes; and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.

Here is the story of two men who found their way to a miracle. It is a very significant story, for it paints a picture of the spirit and of the attitude of mind and heart to which the most precious gifts of God are open.

(i) These two blind men were waiting, and when their chance came they seized it with both hands. No doubt they had heard of the wondrous power of Jesus; and no doubt they wondered if that power might ever be exercised for them. Jesus was passing by. If they had let him pass, their chance would have gone by for ever; but when the chance came they seized it.

There are a great many things which have to be done at the moment or they will never be done. There are a great many decisions which have to be taken. on the spot or they will never be taken. The moment to act goes past; the impulse to decide fades. After Paul had preached on Mars Hill, there were those who said, “We will hear you again about this” (Ac.17:32). They put it off until a more convenient time, but so often the more convenient time never comes.

(ii) These two blind men were undiscourageable. The crowd commanded them to stop their shouting; they were making a nuisance of themselves. It was the custom in Palestine for a Rabbi to teach as he walked along the road; and no doubt those around Jesus could not hear what Jesus was saying for this clamorous uproar. But nothing would stop the two blind men; for them it was a matter of sight or blindness, and nothing was going to keep them back.

It often happens that we are easily discouraged from seeking the presence of God. It is the man who will not be kept from Christ who in the end finds him.

(iii) These two blind men had an imperfect faith but they were determined to act on the faith they had. It was as Son of David that they addressed Jesus. That meant that they did believe him to be the Messiah, but it also meant that they were thinking of Messiahship in terms of kingly and of earthly power. It was an imperfect faith but they acted on it; and Jesus accepted it.

However imperfect it may be, if faith is there, Jesus accepts it.

(iv) These two blind men were not afraid to bring a great request. They were beggars; but it was not money they asked for, it was nothing less than sight.

No request is too great to bring to Jesus.

(v) These two blind men were grateful. When they had received the boon for which they craved, they did not go away and forget; they followed Jesus.

So many people, both in things material and in things spiritual, get what they want, and then forget even to say thanks. Ingratitude is the ugliest of all sins. These blind men received their sight from Jesus, and then they gave to him their grateful loyalty. We can never repay God for what he has done for us but we can always be grateful to him.

Back to: THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW (Chapters 11-28)

Back to: Barclay’s Commentary

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