the Winepress

Still on the Same Page…

Before I move on from these thoughts, I want to return to Luke 18:24, quoted above: “But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.” Just as the narrative of the miracle of the centurion’s servant was a sign confirming the authority of the words of the Lord, so we have another example here of a sign in the gospel narrative confirming the preceding words of scripture. Directly after this reference to the spiritual blindness of the disciples, we have the account of the healing of the blind beggar on the way to Jericho:

“And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” ” (Luke 18: 38-42)

The “Son of David” was the identity of the political messiah that the Jews were expecting: the saviour of the flesh, not the saviour of the spirit. His physical blindness was a sign of the spiritual blindness of all who only see Jesus according to the flesh, which included at that time the disciples as we see from verse 24. We can sing with the psalmist “My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Ps 84 v 2), and we can, and do, cry out to God for mercy. But to see who is touching us, so we can walk with Him, we need to receive our spiritual sight. Paul, too, met Jesus on the road; Paul, too, needed the scales removing from his eyes. Just like the other apostles, Paul needed to receive his sight. We need to have learnt to be meek enough to know that we, too, are blind beggars; and we need to have the faith to ask for what we don’t have, remembering that faith, too, is a gift of God and has to be received (Eph. 2:8). And we too will have voices, internal and external, telling us to be quiet and that this isn’t for us.

“So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.” (vs.40-43)

Of all the healings that we read of in the gospels, I think the blind beggar is the only one who is specifically referred to as following Jesus after his healing. What this tells me is that we cannot be yoked to Jesus unless we ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes. And when He does, not only will we be glorifying God, but those around us will be giving Him praise as well.

17/10/2020

The quest for the Presence of God

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