As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’ The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’ Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked. ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
Matthew 20:29-34 (NIV)
Sometimes Jesus took the initiative in healing those who were ill. At other times he waited until the person sought his help and then he healed them (or someone close to them).
In this incident, recorded in Matthew 20, two blind men hear that Jesus is to pass them and they take the initiative and call out to him for help. At this point the people in the crowd basically tell them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder. Now they could have kept quiet when they heard Jesus was coming, they could even have heeded the crowd and stopped calling for Jesus to help them. But no, they weren’t to be silenced! The blind men knew they needed help and they knew where to find it.
Jesus could probably see that the men were blind, yet he asks them directly what they wanted him to do for them? This might appear on the surface to be a silly question. However, Jesus wanted these men to articulate what they needed before he would help them. The response to Jesus’ question was: ‘… we want our sight’.
As a result of their persistence Jesus had compassion on them and they received their healing. Notice their response. They didn’t go off rejoicing at their healing; instead they followed him.
Some people are afraid to ask for healing, as they see little evidence of it in the church today. Others think that as God already knows their need, why does he want them to articulate what is on their heart. This incident, recorded in Matthew, shows that Jesus sometimes waits for us to say what our need is. He wants us to be persistent in our prayers, expecting us not to give up (or to be influenced by the crowd).
Jesus has a compassionate heart, so don’t be afraid to ask!
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