Lord, that I May See

15 Feb
Lord that I may see

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As the multitude with Jesus passed by, the blind beggar heard a commotion and asked what it was all about (Luke 18:36). He was told that Jesus of Nazareth passed by (Luke 18:37). The disciples of Jesus never refer to him as Jesus of Nazareth without adding that he was also a prophet. A demoniac referred to Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth saying he would destroy the nation (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34). Those who sought to capture Jesus came seeking Jesus of Nazareth (John 18:5, 7), and the maid who caused Peter to deny Jesus referred to him as Jesus of Nazareth. It may be the part of the crowd that answered the beggar was not considered disciples of Jesus.

In contrast, the blind man yelled out to Jesus, calling him the Son of David, a Messianic title (Luke 18:38). It seems the blind beggar had heard of Jesus before and had drawn his own conclusions about him. For him, Jesus wasn’t simply a man from Nazareth, but the Savior of Israel. However, upon hearing the blind man yell out to Jesus, some in the multitude tried to hush him up. Nevertheless, the blind man yelled all the louder and refused to be silenced (Luke 18:39). Luke uses two different Greek words to describe the beggars cry for help. First, he says the blind man cried out (G994), which Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines as: “to cry, speak with a high, strong voice; to cry to one for help, to implore his aid.” However, when the crowd tried to silence the beggar, Luke says he cried out the more (G2896), which Vincent says is a much stronger word, meaning to scream or shriek.[1]

Eventually, the Lord stopped and demanded that the man be brought to him (Luke 18:40). Jesus asked the beggar what he wanted him to do, and the beggar replied that he wanted Jesus to heal his eyes so he could see (Luke 18:41), which Jesus did, saying it was the beggar’s faith that saved him (Luke 18:42), so the beggar, no longer blind, followed Jesus (Luke 18:43).

The record of the blind beggar is similar to the incident of the widow in one of Jesus’ earlier parables (Luke 18:3), in that neither the widow nor the beggar could be silenced. They kept crying out, and, eventually, they were answered. Moreover, the incident of the blind beggar is similar to the publican’s prayer, in that neither made excuses for his condition. Both the publican and the beggar simply relied upon the mercy of God (cf. Luke 18:13, 38-39).

One could also point to the babies of Luke 18:15, showing just as they were completely dependent upon and looked for the care of their parents, so the beggar was completely dependent upon the mercy of Jesus and trusted that the Lord would have compassion upon him. Finally, the plight of the blind beggar is similar to Jesus’ announcement of his looming death and eventual resurrection (cf. Luke 18:31-34), because the Apostles were as spiritually blind as the beggar was physically so. Both, therefore,  needed to cry out to Jesus for him to open their eyes (cf. Luke 4:18; 24:45).

Clearly, the record of the healing of the blind beggar sums up the eighteenth chapter of Luke. We need to pray (cry out to God) continually and not let anyone (or circumstances) keep us from having our prayer answered. We may be as helpless as babes, but if we trust God for our needs as the babes do their parents, our answer will eventually come. Moreover, we need to keep in mind to look for God’s mercy, not our own justification. Jesus’ death holds the answer for us all, and, although it is difficult for us to lay aside the teachings of men, God will give us eyes to see if we ask him.


[1] See Vincent’s Word Studies at Luke 18:39

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Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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