Summary: There is a blindness even more debilitating than physical blindness. It is the blindness that occurs when people with perfectly good vision REFUSE to see what God is doing.
Today we’re going to examine a miracle in which Jesus gives sight to two blind men. I’ve known several people who are physically blind and I’m always amazed by what they can do without sight. Growing up in Alabama, one of the most celebrated sports heroes in our state was Charley Boswell. Charley was blinded in World War II while rescuing a buddy from a burning tank. He had always been a great athlete so after the war, he took up golf. While in college I saw him play an exhibition match. Of course he had a friend line him up and give him a distance, but I can testify that it’s hard to hit that little white ball when you’re looking at it. Boswell won the National Blind Golf Championship 16 times, once shooting a score of 81. In 1958 Charley came to Ft. Worth to receive the coveted Ben Hogan Award.
Mr. Hogan agreed to play a round of golf with Charley. Charley said, “Would you like to play for money?” Hogan said, “That wouldn’t be fair!” Charley said, “C’mon, Mr. Hogan, are you afraid to play a blind golfer?” Hogan was really pretty competitive so he said, “Okay, I’ll play for money. How much?” Boswell said, “$1,000 per hole.” Hogan said, “That’s a lot. How many strokes do you want me to give you?” Boswell said, “No strokes. I’ll play you heads up.” Hogan said, “Charley, I can’t do it. What would people think of me taking advantage of a blind man?” Boswell smiled and said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Hogan, our tee time is tonight at midnight!”
In our text today we’re going to see how Jesus healed two blind men, but we’re also going to see that there are many kinds of blindness.
Matthew 20:29-34. “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 going 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.”
There are different kinds of blindness. I could talk about the miracle of healing physical blindness; but that wouldn’t apply to many of us here today. Instead I want to talk about another kind of blindness – that is more debilitating than physical blindness. It is the blindness that occurs when people with perfectly good vision REFUSE to see what God is doing. Every culture has a proverb about this kind of mental or spiritual blindness. The ancient Persians used to say: “A blind man who sees is better than a seeing man who is blind.” Our American proverb says, “There is none so blind as he who will not see.”
I’ve been listening to the music of Stevie Wonder from the time he was called Little Stevie Wonder. Here’s what he says about his blindness: “One of my teachers told me I had three strikes against me: that I was poor, black and blind, and the only thing an uneducated blind person could do was make rugs and pot-holders. Being blind, you don’t judge books by their covers; you ignore things that are relatively insignificant and pick out things that are more important. The people I feel sorry for are those who have sight but still don’t see.”
In a few weeks we’re going to study where Jesus addressed the spiritual blindness of the Pharisees. He said they were like the blind leading the blind—another example of Jewish humor.
You may have 20/20 vision and still be blind to what God is doing around you in this world. The real danger of spiritual blindness is that you may not even realize when you are spiritually blind. The English novelist Samuel Butler wrote: “A blind man knows he cannot see, and is glad to be led, though it be by a dog; but he that is blind in his understanding, which is the worst blindness of all, believes he sees as the best, and scorns a guide.”
As I was studying this passage in Matthew 20 there was one phrase that stood out. It says, “Jesus touched their eyes.” When Jesus touched their eyes, their lives changed. I started thinking, what happens when Jesus touches our spiritual eyes? So I’d like to ask you, “Has Jesus touched your eyes?” When He does, there are three things that change.
1. When Jesus touches your eyes, He gives you EYES OF FAITH: You see Jesus as He really is