Jesus Gives Sight to a Blind Man
Luke 18:35-43 click here for audio
There are parallel passages – one in Matthew chapter 20; the other one in Mark 10 (look at end of document)
In Luke 18:35 as he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.
Some clarification needed: Was Jesus entering Jericho, or leaving Jericho????
Luke 18:35 “as he drew near to Jericho” the parallel passages Matthew 20; Mark 10 “as they were leaving Jericho” Here’s the answer: there are two Jerichos - the old Jericho; and the new Jericho… Jesus left the Old Jericho and was about to enter the New Jericho. The Old Jericho… has the ancient ruins of the walls that fell back in Joshua 6…. The New Jericho is the modern Jericho that has been built next to the other one. That’s not different than when you see the Old 64 Highway runs near the new US 64 Highway…. There’s not a contradiction when we learn that at the time of Jesus, there were two Jericho’s…
I. Bartimaeus’ Desperate Need
A. His Situation
He is blind and has no help from friends or family. He sits daily outside the city of Jericho and must asked others for financial assistance. His status in life is that of a beggar. It’s not what he wanted, but to eat and survive he must beg for food. His life is a life of misery, and misery loves company because we learn that there are actually two blind men. We don’t read it here in Luke, but in Matthew 20 it says there were two of them. Mark goes another step and gives the one in our story a name - Bartimaeus. “Bar” means “son of”. He is the son of Timaeus. That tells us he is well known. All the people in Jericho and surrounding areas know of Bartimaeus. He is a common figure on the roadside with his beggar’s cup in front of him.
This man, Bartimaeus, was in a desperate situation. Not only was he blind, not only was he a beggar; he was considered the lowest of the low; you take the lowest of the riff-raff of his day; he was labeled unclean and lower even of the common criminal. Blindness was believed to be a curse from God because of some evil that you committed. You recall John 9 the blind man Jesus healed - the disciples asked “who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he is born blind? “ there was that belief among the Jews when you are blind, you or your parents must have done something bad.
B. His Location
Where he lived was about as low as you can get. Literally! Jericho is a very low spot to be.
He was sitting by the roadside just outside of Jericho. Jericho – we think of - Joshua 6 - the walls fell down - the first captured city in the Promised Land for the children of Israel under the leadership of Joshua. When I think of Jericho, I think of the story Jesus told - the Good Samaritan - a man traveled on the road from Jerusalem down to Jericho and fell among thieves, he was beaten, left half dead…..The Good Samaritan - in compassion picked him up…treated his wounds….took him to an inn giving his own money so that someone might care for him ……. The road to Jericho is a dangerous road; It’s descending road….From Jerusalem to Jericho you must travel north east (22 miles); There is a significant elevation difference between Jerusalem and Jericho. Jerusalem (2500 ft above sea level); Jericho (850ft below sea level). One source says Jericho is the lowest place on earth.
Jericho is low, but Jesus specializes in going to the lowest places to help those who call out for mercy.
Psalms 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
From the Guttermost to the Uttermost, Our Lord rescues all who will come to Him. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
C. His Supplication
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me !”
A crowd was passing, and he asked about what it all meant…… this crowd accompanied Jesus…they followed him from town to town….and many of them were Jewish travelers making their way to Jerusalem for Passover. The main attraction was Jesus in the crowd…
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by”
Jesus - the One who heals people; The One who caused dead Lazarus to come back from the dead… The One who opens deaf ears; opens blind eyes; and makes the cripple walk again…
Almost immediately FROM THE LIPS OF BLIND BARTIMAEUS….
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!
That’s his prayer…….. very simple! To the point! Very specific…..
Why didn’t he say “Jesus of Nazareth…………” ????
Bartimaeus had COME TO BELIEVE ….. Jesus to be the Son of David…… Jesus of Nazareth …speaks of his humanity; his address where he grew up…… SON of DAVID speaks of his deity; It’s a Messianic title…..
To the JEW -- they knew what “Son of David” meant 2Samuel 7:12-14
The Pharisees knew what this meant -Matthew 22:41 “Now while the Pharisees were gathered togheter, Jesus asked them a question, 42 syaing, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” they said Son of David…..
The crowds shouted at Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem Matthew 21:9 “Hosanna to the Son of David”
HIS prayer….. His desperate supplication…..
· A prayer of faith - He believed Jesus to be the Christ; and could help his blind situation…..He never saw a miracle performed by Jesus; but he had heard of what Jesus has done… and that’s where faith comes from….it’s not by seeing; it’s by hearing… “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the words of Christ” Romans 10:17 Even Jesus compliments him by saying your faith has made you well
· A prayer of persistence - v.39 “and those who were in front rebuked him….he cried out all the more…” “Son of Daivd, have mercy on me!” a lesson for us -- not to give up when we pray… keep on praying…. Luke 18:1 “told them a parable…ought always to pray and not lose heart” “pray without ceasing” What is it that bothers you? disturbs your sleep… robs you of peace… “casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you”
· A prayer of specifics - v.41 “what do you want me to do for you?”
II. The Savior’s Compassionate Call
v.40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him
A. He stopped. He could have gone on, but he stopped. He could have passed him by, but he stopped. This is grace. Sov’reign grace!
Mark 6:48-50 - Jesus was going to walk passed them
48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:
50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
Luke 19:1-6 - Jesus was walking through Jericho-- stopped at Zacchaeus’ sycamore tree. ………………like blind Bartemaeus….he couldn’t see Jesus either, not because he was blind….he was small in stature…… Bartimaeus calls out…..Jesus stops.
Zacchaeus--- doesn’t’ call out….. he just looks out….. his heart was calling out to Jesus
B. He commands “bring him here”
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
The invitation - “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28 this is a command….
C. He asks “What do you want me to do for you?” You might think “it’s obvious what he wants….why ask the question? Many people are comfortable in their miserable condition. They have become so accustomed to it…. Mark 10 says “he had a cloak” maybe he could ask for a more comfortable, a warmer cloak to keep him warm….or ask for a guide to stay with him each day….a better living arrangement…. A better environment…..a daily supply of food…..
He is clear ------ LORD, LET ME RECOVER MY SIGHT
D. He gives “recover your sight; your faith has made you well”
“made you well” has saved you same as Luke 17:19 10 lepers your faith has made you well or has saved you….
III. BARTIMAEUS’ REPONSE
a. He Forsook all he had
Left his cloak. Mark 10:50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. He no longer needs the beggar’s garments…. He has been clothed with the robe of righteousness. He now has the garments of grace.
b. He experiences An immediate and complete healing
Immediately he recovered his sight (v.43) This was not a progressive salvation. It was instantaneous salvation. It wasn’t a partial recovery…. It was a complete salvation. A complete healing………….That’s what Jesus does….. he gives a complete salvation……instantly, and completely……..saved forever…… Hebrews 7:25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
c. He Follows Christ – he is following Jesus, glorifying God - he was blind now he sees, Jesus is now His treasure, His Lord, His Redeemer, His Savior …….
Here’s the evidence of a CHANGED LIFE…. He now sees….and except a man be born again He cannot see the kingdom of God….. He can see….the scales have been removed….
He sees Christ so glorious! He glorifies God… He has new physical vision; but he has spiritual vision…..
He follows Christ…
I do believe those who profess to know Jesus, and yet they have no spiritual vision; no desire to seek Him; to follow Him, are yet dead in their sins; they are yet blind to their condition;
Jesus brings about a glorious TRANSFORMATION; and the evidence is clearly obvious…
III. The Crowd’s Superficial Response
This blind man….this despised beggar was BROUGHT IN…. many in the crowd glorified God….but they did not see Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the Redeemer of Israel….. they only saw a miracle, but their hallelulhas will soon turn to Demands for Crucifixion.
From this point on….as we head toward the cross…. no more healings….the only salvation testimony will be Zacchaeus in the next chapter; and then the thief on the cross; and the Roman Centurion
The crowd is not interested in making investments in spiritual matters. They have no time for repentance….they have no place for Jesus’ preaching about the cross…..
Many people want a Jesus that will fix up people’s lives; but they shudder at the thought of taking up a cross; Jesus refused to be used as puppet….. to be their religious show piece; and be used as a tool for political powers….
The crowd gave praise to God; but it is short-lived; it’s a temporary praise because soon they will follow in line with their religious leaders and consent to the death of Jesus.
Bartimaeus….I believe he stayed faithful to Christ. I don’t think he went along with the crowd. I believe he became one of the followers in the early church.
Where do you stand with Christ today? Are you a temporary follower….giving a superficial praise for the moment or are you like Bartimaeus…who forsook all that he had…and follows Christ ?
Here the question from our Lord? what do you want me to do for you?
Whatever it is,, the Lord has the answer. He specializes in desperate situations. You may not have every thorn removed from your life. But we can take the promise the Lord gave Paul…
2Cor. 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Jesus did not come to take away all the discomforts in your life, but I will tell you what he came to do….
See Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
He’ll do that for you, if you go to Him in repentance and faith.
29 And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 32 And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
----------outline and listening guide for church bulletin------------------------
Jesus Gives Sight to a Blind Man
Luke 18:35-43 ESV
35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
Parallel passages – Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52
I. Bartimaeus’ Desperate Need
a. His Situation
b. His Location Psalms 40:1-2
c. His Supplication Son of David 2Sam. 7:12-14
Matt. 22:41-42; Matt. 21:9
A prayer of faith (Rom. 10:17) persistence (Luke 18:1), & specifics (James 4:2)
II. The Lord’s Compassionate Call
He stops. He commands. (Acts 17:30) He asks. He gives. “made you well” see Luke 17:19 “saved you”
III. Bartimaeus’ Response
He Forsook all he had- Mark 10:50 “left cloak”
He Experiences an immediate and complete healing (Heb. 7:25)
He Follows Christ
IV. The Crowd’s Superficial Response