Today’s Scripture: Matthew 20:29-34
29 As Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind. 30 Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
31 “Be quiet!” the crowd yelled at them.
But they only shouted louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
32 When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, “What do you want me to do for you?”
33 “Lord,” they said, “we want to see!” 34 Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.
When people are in pain they tend to cry out. Sometimes those cries are audible. Sometimes they are not. Sometimes those in pain try to hide what is happening to them. But other times they just cannot hide it and it flows out of them.
The two blind men in this passage were sitting along the road. How long had they been there? Hours? Years? Decades? People walked on past and nothing changed. Some threw coins – but their situation remained the same. They just kept on sitting – stuck in a system that did not know what to do with them. What else could they do?
But then, they heard that Jesus was coming by. And so they decided to make their pain known – loudly. They began to cry out “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” They were not bashful nor respectful. Their pain had become too much. They wanted it to end. And so they screamed.
But some in the crowd were not comfortable with hearing about their pain. They wanted them to just be quiet. They wanted the situation to stay as it had always been. But the blind men just screamed louder – until Jesus stopped.
Notice that they first question Jesus asked was “What do you want me to do for you?” No one else had asked them that question. They just told them to be quiet. “We want to see!” was the reply. Jesus healed them.
When we read this story, I wonder who we identify with the most – the blind men, or the people in the crowd yelling “Be quiet!” I have a feeling we are more on the “be quiet” side – even though that is hard to admit.
When people cry out – be it about physical pain or emotional pain or mental health issues or issues of racial injustice or a living in a system that does not treat everyone equally – whatever the pain, when people cry out it tends to make us uncomfortable. We tend to want to turn down the volume and get back to a status quo. But this story from Jesus reminds us that we need to listen to the cries – not tell the crier to just be quiet. And yet too often that’s exactly what we do.
Listen to those who are screaming. Do not try to get them to be quiet – no matter how uneasy it makes us. Ask questions. And then help. This is the pattern of Jesus and this should be our pattern as well.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Week 6, Feb 8-14; Matthew
Day 26 pp. 311-324 Mat 1:1-7:28
Day 27 pp. 324-336 Mat 8:1-13:52
Day 28 pp. 337-345 Mat 13:53-18:35
Day 29 pp. 345-358 Mat 19:1-25:46
Day 30 pp. 358-366 Mat 26:1-28:20