“Jesus, Let Us See You Clearer”

Categories: Tuesday Tidbits

Luke 18:31-43

Having traveled with His disciples toward Jerusalem since Lk. 9:51, Jesus was finally nearing the city. The place where He would be treacherously tried and condemned to crucifixion. It was the place where many of God’s prophets met their end as the people rebelled against God, and it would be the place of their rejection of God’s Son (Lk. 13:33-35). Why was Jesus so resolute to make such a trip if He knew what would happen (Lk. 9:51, 53; 13:22)? Why not stay in Galilee and continue to have a successful preaching and healing ministry? It is because He came for something much greater, something that is at the same time awe-inspiring and awful. For something splendorous and somber. Beautiful and bloody.

He came to deal ultimately with sin and death and defeat the one who had the power over those things and so doing give liberty to the captives (Lk. 11:14-23; 13:10-17). That was the reality to which His teaching and His miracles pointed. That is why He must go (Lk. 13:33). As Jesus tried to explain this to His disciples a third and final time, it fell on deaf ears as it had before. Maybe they assumed Jesus was speaking in riddles again? Maybe they had that selective hearing impairment many of us husbands have when our wives ask us to do something? Maybe (probably) they had their minds made up about who the Messiah would be, what He would do, and how He would do it, that anything contrary either got disregarded or reinterpreted (cue dangers of living in an echo chamber rant). For whatever reason, they didn’t get it. Luke makes this quite explicit, he says it three times! “1) They understood none of these things 2) the saying was hidden to them and 3) they did not grasp what he said” (Lk. 18:34).

The next scene Luke records is a story about Jesus coming near to Jericho, His penultimate destination before arriving in Jerusalem (Lk. 18:35-43). As he draws near, a blind man sits beside the road begging. Hearing the great commotion the blind man asks what is going. He Is told that Jesus of Nazareth is here. The blind beggar had heard of this man. At this point, who hadn’t. He was the backwoods son of a carpenter turned miracle worker and itinerate preacher of extraordinary things. He had done things no one had ever seen before. At once the blind man anxiously begins to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The people around him rebuked him and told him to be quiet, much in the same way the disciples treated the people bringing children to Jesus just a few verses earlier (v. 15). Didn’t this man know that Jesus had more important things to do than to worry about his plight? He was probably a sinner who deserved it anyways they would’ve likely thought to themselves. And yet he cried out all the more. Hearing his cry, Jesus called the man to Himself. “What do you want me to do for you?” He asked. The blind man responded, not by sheepishly begging for some spare change, or asking for a morsel of bread as he had been asking before, but instead boldly implores Jesus to allow him to recover his sight. Though the blind man, who for the record could not see, had to be told what was going on he immediately understood something of the significance of Jesus’ presence. Though blind he had a clearer vision than the crowds, not only because he recognized Jesus as the “Son of David” (the only person thus far in Luke’s Gospel to do so) but also because he knew the significance of those things. He knew that Jesus came to exalt the humble (v. 14) and set at liberty the captives. The blind man saw what the crowds could not. He begins following Jesus, based on what He knew about Jesus at this point. Jesus declares, “your faith has made you well.”

Immediately, the contrast with the disciples becomes clear. They were the ones who did not understand or grasp the things still hidden to them, while this man regains his vision and recognizes Jesus. All of this anticipates, however, a time when the eyes and minds of Jesus’ disciples would be opened to see Him clearly, to recognize His significance, and to understand His purpose (Lk. 24:16, 31; 44-48). May we ask not only that the Lord provides for our daily needs both big and small (though we should certainly ask for these as well) but may we also ask that He allows us to recover our sight, grants us to see Him clearer, and know Him deeper. And as our vision is made more whole let us, like the formerly blind beggar, rise and begin to follow Him. Lord open our eyes!