Summary: A study of the Gospel of Luke chapter 18 verses 35 through 43
Luke 18: 35 – 43
The Great Optician
35 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. 36 And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. 37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” 42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
The Gospels of Matthew and Mark also record this event, so let’s also take a look at what they say.
Mark 10: 46 – 52, “46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Matthew 20:29-34, 29 Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. 30 And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” 31 Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” 32 So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33 They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” 34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.
I can already hear you. There are some significant differences. So, before we begin to look at today’s Scripture let’s discuss the reasons for the differences.
As The Lord Jesus left Jericho on His approach to Jerusalem he was hailed as ‘the son of David’ - by a blind man. The idea had no doubt been suggested to the blind man by others but it was he alone who, having thought about it and accepted it, hailed Jesus by the title. Blind Jerusalem might not welcome Jesus like this but this blind man would, and he also was given sight and became a disciple as we will see in verse 52.
Whatever the beggar’s intention Mark clearly saw the use of this title on this momentous entry into Jerusalem as highly significant. Here was the son of David approaching Jerusalem across the Jordan as He proceeded towards His final victory, as had the Israel of Joshua, and as the Messiah of the future was expected to do.
Look again at the three Gospels regarding Jericho:
, Matthew - 29 Now as they went out of Jericho
. Luke - 35 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho
. Mark - 46 Now they came to Jericho
You can see that neither are stressing the exact spot, the important thing (if it was important) being that it happened at Jericho. Everyone okay with this answer?
Matthew has two blind beggars at the scene and names neither. This would not be surprising as there would probably be a dozen or more there, (it would be a favorite place for beggars at Passover time), and it is quite likely that our Lord Jesus would heal them all. He certainly would if they asked for it. But Mark concentrates on the one who brings over his point. Approaching Passover time such a spot just outside Jericho leading up to Jerusalem, would be prized by beggars. And it would be constantly thronged with people in festive mood. The point about this particular beggar was his use of the title ‘son of David’, and that was clearly picked up by a second joining in his cry.