Everywhere Jesus goes, He is met by someone in need. Today we meet two blind men who heard Jesus was passing by. In this story Jesus was on His way to someone’s house. We aren’t told whose house it was. It could have even been Jesus’ own house.
The first thing we notice about these blind men is that they are persistent. They don’t simply sit by the roadside and hope Jesus notices them. They get up and start following Jesus. They follow Him all the way to the house Jesus was going to and even enter the house after has gone inside. I wonder how far they followed Jesus. Why didn’t Jesus heal them on the spot when they first started calling out to Him?
The second thing I notice is that they know of Jesus’ extraordinary power and His lineage. They must have heard tales of Him as people walked by. Maybe even some of their own relatives told them about Jesus and suggested that He might be willing to help them. They call Him the Son of David, which means they recognize Him as the heir that was said to be coming from David’s line that would be the Messiah.
When Jesus finally addresses these two men He asks them if they really believe He is able to heal them. They both answer, “Yes Lord.” They didn’t acknowledge any unbelief at all. Was this because of how many stories they had heard? Jesus then touches their eyes and says; “According to your faith be it done to you” (verse 29). Both of them had their eyes “opened.”
This is the second time Jesus has said that the person’s faith was directly connected to their healing. I grew up during the peak of the “faith movement” in the church. These stories, and many others, were directly cited as examples of what faith can do. I DO NOT argue with that! Faith was, is, and will always be integral to life with Jesus. After all, it takes faith to first believe that Jesus is Who He says He is. Not blind faith, as He proved it so many times through prophecy. (If in doubt, check out Peter Stoner’s book, “The Christ of Prophecy – Science Speaks” on the probability of any one man fulfilling the prophecies relating to the Messiah.) But the big miracle stuff I tend to have a harder time with. Was it easy for these men to believe because Jesus was right in front of them doing such miracles every day? I find myself identifying more with the father who brought his son to Jesus’ disciples to heal him of Epilepsy (Mark 9:14-27). This father, when he was told by Jesus, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (verse 23 ESV) said, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief” (verse 24 ESV).
I want desperately to believe that Jesus can heal my vision and my husband’s chronic pain. I want the faith of the woman with the issue of blood! But what did it take to build that kind of faith in her or in these men? They were completely out of options. All three of these characters were trapped in lives that were severely limited. They were so far down, they had nowhere to go but up. Is that what it takes? If so, do I really want to go there? I just noticed that they had faith that a personal encounter with Jesus was integral to their healing. The woman with the issue of blood said, “If I only tough His garment, I will be made well” (verse 22 ESV). But then she risked everything to make that happen. Am I willing to go there?
On occasion, in my life, I have found myself at the very bottom of some circumstance and had to trust God to bring me out of it. I have seen His hand working in those times and have been the recipient of some VERY appreciated miracles but nothing on the level the people in our stories experienced. Maybe because I didn’t need that kind of intervention.
I have come to understand, through disappointment and enlightenment from God’s word, that sometimes God says no to my requests. He has a MUCH better understanding than I do of what is good for my life. What will bring me to the place and places He wants me to go. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was one of my most valuable lessons on faith. Paul certainly didn’t lack faith, nor did he lack in persistence in prayer, but he still had to deal with some form of physical difficulty. God told him that He wasn’t going to remove whatever it was that Paul was struggling with, but that His grace was enough to carry him through in spite of it (2 Cor. 12:7-10). So, like Paul, I will carry on with whatever He sees fit for my life and trust that His grace will carry me too.
I also have to be honest here and admit that I don’t know what my life would look like without the issues I have already and am currently going through. Am I willing to risk changing what is at least working for me for the unknown if all my problems were resolved? I’m currently facing some of that with my husband’s proposed surgery. His pain is supposed to be reduced significantly once he has his surgery. Without the intolerable pain and the effects of the pain medication, what will he be like? What will our lives look like? What will my role be? What will the financial effect be? I HAVE to trust God to work out all these things for us. That is the kind of faith I’m practiced at. Faith that He is in control even when I have no idea which way things are going. It is not easy for me to turn loose but it is all I can do.
I wanted to hit one last point from today’s story before I wrap it all up. Jesus again “sternly warned them” to keep quiet about their healing. Again, I don’t know why He made this command and, again it is ignored. This healing would have been obvious even without them telling others about it. The first time they sidestepped danger because they saw it coming would have tipped people off. But with Jesus telling them not to tell and them doing it anyway, were there later repercussions for the men? Was this disobedience overlooked by God? Was it actually expected? Why did Jesus keep saying not to tell if He knew no one was listening to that piece of His instructions? That is a question I am certainly going to ask Him when we sit down on our bench together in Heaven.
Father God, I’m sorry for my lack of faith. I know You are still in the healing business today because You never change. Would I have believed easier if I had actually walked during Jesus’ time? I also realize that there were still sick people in and around where Jesus walked every day after He came home to You. Peter and John met one such man while on the way to pray one day (Acts 3:1-10). You healed all who came to You, but what about those who were unable or afraid? Am I one of the afraid? Lord please give me the courage to reach out to You for my needs. Make me courageous.
I pray that You continue to grow my faith daily and that if You have miracles You want to send my way that You will do so regardless of how immature my faith still is. Thank You that You love me regardless of how strong or weak I am and that You never give up on me. Again, Lord I believe, please help my unbelief.