Matthew 20:29-34 (Jesus Heals the Blind, Part 2)

Recall that Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem with a large throng of people for the Passover.  The people believe that He is the promised Messiah and suppose that He is about to establish a kingdom not unlike all the other kingdoms of the world that they have ever known, which will break the yoke of their Roman oppressors and deliver them from their bondage.  But they have very little understanding about the real nature of the kingdom He is about to establish which will provide a much greater and more far reaching, complete and total salvation by delivering them from their sins, from which every form of bondage derives.  Nor do they understand the means by which this would be accomplished as He is delivered up to the religious authorities, condemned to death, and crucified as the ultimate Passover sacrifice.  He has passed through the old city of Jericho and is about to enter the newer, more modern city of Jericho built by Herod the Great where He will stay at the home of Zaccheus before continuing on His journey (Luk 19:1-10).  Along the road two blind men inquire about the commotion, and upon hearing that Jesus is passing by begin to cry out for the Lord to have mercy on them.  What was the reaction of the crowd traveling with Jesus as the blind men cried out to Him?  See Mat 20:31; cf. Mar 10:48 and Luk 18:39 which use the imperfect tense, indicating a continuous, repeated censure: they kept telling them to be quiet.  What does their reaction indicate about their lack of understanding of the nature of the kingdom Jesus was establishing?  See Luke 4:17-19, 7:22; cf. Psa 146:7-9, Isa 32:1-4, 35:3-6.  What does their reaction teach us about whom the greatest censure may come from when the poor and blind beggars of the world cry out to the Savior for mercy?  In what way do the throngs of religious people who follow Jesus today often react in the same way to the spiritually blind who call out to Him for a real deliverance?  Like them, do we tend to overlook the true nature of Jesus’ kingdom because we are in a hurry to see established a kingdom of our own mistaken expectations?

What did the blind men do after being rebuked to keep quiet?  See Mat 20:31.  How is their persistence in the midst of opposition an example to all who would find deliverance from the Savior?  Cf. Luk 18:1.  What does their persistence indicate about their understanding of the promises of God in regard to the kingdom to be established by the Son of David?  Could they have been so persistent if they had not come to know and believe what the Scriptures taught concerning the Messiah?  In like manner will we be persistent even over the opposition of a multitude who surrounds and follows Jesus, but with mistaken expectations, unless we have come to know and believe what the Scripture teaches us about Him?  What do we learn from this about how important it is for us to personally meditate upon and understand the Scriptures for ourselves and not just acquiesce to others who purport to speak for Jesus, and to cry out to Him all the more for the fulfillment of His promises?  What was it about the men’s condition that made them especially bold in their persistent cries for Jesus to have mercy on them?  Should it be any different for us?  See Joh 9:39-41; cf. Rev 3:17-18.

After Jesus heard the cry of the blind men and called for them, how did the response of those who were traveling with Him change, and how is that a much better example for what our response should be to the spiritually blind who are seeking a true salvation?  See Mar 10:49. What was Bartimaeus’ reaction when told that Jesus had heard his cries and was calling him?  See Mar 10:50.  How does his reaction reflect what true salvation ought to mean to a person?  Can a person who really understands how crippled he is because of his blindness ever have a ho-hum reaction when he hears the Savior calling his name to come to Him for a real deliverance?  Cf. Heb 2:3.  What is the spiritual significance that Bartimaeus cast aside his cloak, and how is that an example for all who would seek true salvation from the Savior?  See Mar 13:16, Eph 4:22-24.

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