(Matthew 9:27-31; Mark 8:22-25; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43; John 9)
We depend on our senses to help us through life. Only through loss can we understand the extent of their importance. The blind depend greatly on touch as a means of getting around and understanding what something is or looks like. Because they are void of sight, their sense of hearing becomes heightened as they depend on it more than the sighted do to navigate through life.
The two blind men of Matthew 9 couldn’t see the one who healed, but they realized who He was by listening to what others were saying—their sense of hearing was determinedly engaged. They had heard how Isaiah had said the Messiah would open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf (see Isaiah 35:5). These men, though unable to see, knew who the one standing among them was. They called Him by the messianic title, Son of David, and Jesus said to them, “According to your faith will it be done to you” (v 29).
Bartemaeus , the blind beggar of Mark 10, also called out to the Son of David, asking for His mercy. And Jesus said “your faith has made you well” (v52). What Jesus has for us to see doesn’t require physical sight; it requires seeing Him with our heart—our faith. Just as Bartemaeus received what he needed through his faith, we receive what we need through ours. Whatever our darkness, faith in Jesus can dispel it.
In Mark 8’s account of a blind man being healed, the healing was not instantaneous, but gradual. After the first touch, the man could see something, but he couldn’t see clearly. So Jesus touched his eyes a second time to bring about complete restoration. Ours is not a God of partial blessing, but complete. We may, at first, get only a glimpse of what the Lord has for us; through continued faith, we will eventually receive what we believe He has promised. What Jesus begins, He will always finish.
The healing of blindness in John 9 takes on the question of who had sinned to cause the man’s blindness, the man or his parents. The Jewish people made connections between suffering and sin, so the question was typical of current opinion. But Jesus’ response gets to a higher level; He didn’t deal with what caused the blindness, whether it was by sin or not; rather, He healed the man to illuminate the power of Christ and to bring glory to God. Here is a lesson about salvation: Jesus is interested in making us whole, not focusing on our sin. He is always concerned about the greater good than pointing out someone’s faults to the satisfaction of man.
Each of these blind men received physical and spiritual healing. It is the latter that truly sets us free.