Summary: A sermon examining the miracle Jesus performed in Bartemaus' life.
What The Blind Man Saw
George Matheson was a minister and hymn writer who went blind at the age of 20. Matheson believed that God made him blind so he could see clearly in other ways and become a guide to men.One might think that George Matheson was at a disadvantage because of his physical blindness. That is until you read his writings and see what this blind man saw. Listen to an excerpt from one of his hymns:
"O Joy that seekest me through pain,"
"I cannot close my heart to thee;"
"I trace the rainbow through the rain,"
"And feel the promise is not vain,"
"That morn shall tearless be."
"O Cross that liftest up my head,"
"I dare not ask to fly from thee;"
"I lay in dust life’s glory dead,"
"And from the ground there blossoms red"
"Life that shall endless be.
You have heard it said that “There is none so blind as he who will not see” In the recent days of Jesus’ earthy ministry there have been several people encounter Jesus who fit that description. They saw Him. They were intrigued by Him. Some of them came seeking Jesus. On other occasions Jesus came seeking them. Each of these people received an invitation to “follow Jesus” and each of them walked away without Him. They not only walked away from a relationship with Jesus, they made a conscious choice that would impact them for eternity.
There was a man who claimed he would follow Jesus but only “after he buried his father”. There was another who claimed that he would follow Jesus but only “after he went home and told his family goodbye” . Then there was one who seemed to have an intense desire to follow Jesus but when Jesus told him to “go and sell his possession and give to the poor, take up the cross and follow me” he too “went away sorrowful” and without Jesus. All of these men were blinded by the things of this world.
Amid these encounters there was also some blindness in the lives of those who were Disciples of Christ. 3 times Jesus has told them that He was going to die… 3 times they did not understand what He was saying. At this point in their walk with Jesus they were more concerned with Who was the greatest among them? (Mark 9:33-37) What they were going to get for their service? (Matthew 19:27) Where they were going to sit in the Kingdom? (Mark 10:35-40) What the motives were of those around them? (Mark 10:41-45) - Though they were true followers of Christ they could not see some things that were right in front of them.
At this point there was no shortage of spiritual blindness among those who encountered Jesus and those who were following Jesus. But here in Luke 18 we find a very encouraging story about a man who was “physically blind” but he saw some things about Jesus. And after this encounter wit Jesus… HE COULD SEE PHYSICALLY TOO!! Let’s review his story for a while and try to see ”What The Blind Man Saw” . The first thing that I would like to examine is that:
I. He Saw The Seriousness Of His Situation - 35And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 36And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. 37And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. 38And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
Have you ever been in a serious situation? Better yet have you ever been in a devastating situation? This blind man (who is identified in Mark as Bartemaus) was in a devastating situation. He was born blind; this was a common issue during the bible times. Bartemaus’ blindness attributed to other problems in his life. As a result of his blindness he could not work. There was no “Institute for the Blind” in his day. There was no place for him to go to receive any specialized training for a career. There was no social security or welfare in his day. And because he could not work, he could not secure the basic necessities of life.
Like Bartemaus, we were all born with a very serious problem. Though it is much worse than physical blindness… I am referring to the problem of sin. Paul tells us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”
The lost man is blind as well… SPIRITUALLY BLIND - 2 Corinthians 4:4 …the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.