The story of the two blind men Jesus healed outside of Jericho delights me. In the midst of a noisy crowd, Jesus hears the voices of the beggers on the side of the road petitioning mercy from their King. Even though those around them tried to quiet the sightless fellows, they cried out even louder. Finally, Jesus called them to himself. Instead of hastily laying hands on them and going on his way, he stops to hold audience as a King, asking them what they would have of him. They present their request, still believing, and are granted their desire. Thereafter, they follow him among the throng, now praising God.
Even though Matthew records the simplest rendition of this story, he is the one who tells us that there were two men. He is also the only one that mentioned that this healing was accompanied by Jesus’s touch. The other two tell us only that He spoke and they were given sight. Mark gives us the name of one of them, Bartimaeus, son of Timeaus; while Luke mentions that the whole crowd joined in his praises for his healing.
There are many things to be seen in this simple story. First, these lowly ones in Israel recognized Jesus as the Christ, the promised Messiah and King who was to sit upon the throne of David forever. Second, Jesus Christ acted as that just King, stopping to hear the requests of His people. Third, He required the men to think about what it was that they wanted from Him, thus demanding true faith from them. Fourth, this miracle was done for the glorifying of God in the restoration of these men to fullness of life among the people of God, as well as a witness to others of the power of God. As blind men, they were made an example of the mercy of God to all who have faith in him at their healing. Of course, there are probably a few more points that can be drawn from this passage, but these are the main ones that I see.
One primary application of this story is related to how we pray. If we remember that the One to whom we pray is the true Son of David, we not only will praise Him, but will also be aware of what we ask. Would we dare answer His question, “What would you have Me to do for you?” with something that might be sinful? If we keep our Lord’s question which He put to these two blind men in sight, we will be better prepared to pray aright.
Therefore, let us pray in faith, truly believing that the Son of David whom we petition is God Himself, ready and able to hear us when we call to Him. Let us remember to seek His will above our own and never forget that the King who healed Bartimaeus and his fellow begger outside of Jericho is King of the whole creation and especially our King.