Summary: Miracle of Faith, Pt. 4
BELIEVING IS SEEING (MATTHEW 9:27-31)
Helen Keller, the much beloved blind, deaf and dumb American author, envisioned what she would most like to see if she could see for just three days. In her article “Three Days to See,” she wrote that she would like to see those she loved on the first day - to look deeply and lovingly into the faces of people whose kindness, gentleness and companionship have made her life worth living, including her teacher, Ann Sullivan, all her dear friends and even her loyal dogs. At the end of the day, she would take a long walk in the woods to enjoy the countryside and at night watch the lights burn in darkness at home.
The next day, she would walk through museums to view past and present history, then visit art museums to study artistic expression and examine great carvings, sculptures and paintings and cap it by attending a theatre, a movie, a dance, or a play at night.
And on the last day Keller would head for the city to gaze at its bridges, towers, and people and then stand at a busy corner, merely to look at people to understand something of their lives, their smiles, joy, determination and even suffering. At the end of the last day she would go window shopping, walk the streets, and visit all the possible neighborhoods she could.
Blind people can live productive lives today, but not in Jesus’ time. In Matthew 9, Jesus healed two blind men who were prepared for the encounter, patient in their pursuit and practical in their faith.
Is there such a thing as blind faith? Why does God expect disadvantaged people to come to Him in faith just like everyone else? How does faith help sufferers transform from victims to victors in life?
Search the Scriptures
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" (Matt 9:27)
A man went to see the Pope as he was visiting in Europe. There was a huge crowd of people there but he managed to get through. He watched as the Pope stopped every once in a while to whisper something in their ear. He was dressed in his best suit because he really wanted the Pope to talk to him but, as the Pope came up to him, he walked right by and stopped by a guy near him who was homeless and dressed in rags.
So, the man said to himself, “I know why he stopped at him, he’s homeless!” So the man paid the homeless guy 50 dollars to use his clothes and he went back the next day. Well, this time the Pope stopped at him, leaned over, and whispered to the excited man, “I thought I told you to get out of here yesterday!”
For all their setbacks, the two blind men more than made up for their physical handicap and personal disability with their theological inspiration, clear understanding and deep insight. They were theologians, historians and psalmists (Ps 9:13, 51:1, 57:1, 86:3, 86:16, 119:132, 123:3) without peer. Unknown to others, they had no firewall, blinders or handicap in their interpretation of and insight into Scripture. The title “Son of David” is a significant expression in Matthew’s gospel, where it appears ten times, more than all other gospels combined. Nowhere else in the Gospels receives as much as coverage. The title appears four times in Luke (3:31, 18:38-39, 20:41) and thrice in Mark (Mk 10:47-48, 12:35), but none in John. Matthew revealed that the blind men were pioneers in recognizing, uncovering and announcing Jesus as the Expected Son of David to his fellow Jews. They were blind but they were well-informed, well-versed and well-prepared.
The blind men were, in fact, the first people to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of David in the gospels. Matthew intended to portray Jesus Christ as the Son of David (Matt 1:1) and to present the blind men as the mouthpiece of the good news (9:31).
The identity of the Son of David was never easy to spot or track. Fourteen generations of David’s descendants had shuttled between Babylon and Palestine before Jesus’ arrival (Mt 1:17). How did the men know what his blind countrymen did not? Weren’t they disadvantaged people? They did not read the Old Testament, study genealogical records or go to a rabbinical school, but by God’s grace, they understood what theologians, historians and rabbis could not: that Jesus was the son of David, not of Joseph or Mary.
Faith distinguishes those with sight and those with insight, levels the playing ground of those who can see and those who cannot, separates those that cannot see and those that do not and would not see.
The blind men had the faith to ask for the impossible. God had never healed any one who was blind in the Old Testament. On one occasion, God healed Elisha’s Aramean attackers, who were temporarily blinded, not permanently blinded or born blind (2 Ki. 6:18). The blind men pleaded with Jesus with words right out of the Psalms that were mostly from David’s prayers (Ps 4:1, 6:2, 31:9), but one quotation grew on and stuck with Jesus. The “Have mercy on me” pleas were from David primarily, but the plural “Have mercy on us” (Ps 123:3) gave Jesus pause and food for thought. The original reference in Psalms 123:3-4 was heartbreaking: “Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt. We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant.”