Take a few deep breaths and quiet your mind. Listen for the phrase or word that stands out for you in reading today’s scripture. Carry that phrase with you today.
Matthew 20: 29-34 (NRSV)
As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him.
Imagine yourself in this scene walking amidst the crowd and following Jesus on the road out of Jericho. You can feel the push of shoulders on either side of you as the crowd moves along the road. You hear a loud shout coming from your left. Your attention shifts and you notice two blind men sitting by the roadside. They shout out to Jesus, calling him the Son of David. You recognize this title, Son of David, which speaks of the hope for a Messiah for Israel. The crowd milling around you sternly orders the men to be quiet. But, the blind men persist and call out to Jesus once again. The blind men call him ”Lord.”
In the midst of the commotion and shouting, Jesus stands still. He pays attention to the blind men and asks them, “What do you want me to do for you?” When they ask him to let their eyes be opened, Jesus is moved with compassion. He restores their sight.
Jesus is on his way to enter Jerusalem. No one in this scene, except Jesus, has a sense of what will happen next. Jesus will enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey to crowds greeting him with loud Hosannas. He will face inquisitors demanding that he present his claim as to who is he. But in this scene, it is the two blind men who can see who Jesus really is and call him Lord.
In the commotion of our lives, we are often blind to what is right in front of us. We may not notice moments of grace, see another’s needs or seize opportunities to share Christ’s love. In this story, Jesus offers us a lesson. Take time to be still. Pay attention. Allow your heart to be moved with compassion.
Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine! Amen.
(from the hymn Open My Eyes)
Go with God!