Summary: It would appear that Jesus never asked this question of anyone else in the Gospels. Didn’t He know what these blind men needed?
OPEN: A man walks into a dentist’s office and says, "Excuse me, can you help me. I think I’m a moth."
The dentist replied "You don’t need a dentist. You need a psychiatrist. His office is just down the hall"
"Yes, I know." Says the man.
"So, why did you come in here?" asked the dentist.
"The light was on..."
APPLY: (He thinks he’s a moth… the light’s on…)
Yeah, I know – it’s a dumb joke, But it serves to illustrate something I want to explain this morning.
· This man had a problem – he thought he was a moth
· He was seeking help, but in the process of seeking that help he got distracted.
· The light was on and it drew him away from the place where he might actually get help.
In Matthew 20 (quickview) , Jesus is entering the final week of His ministry. He’s on His way to Jerusalem and will soon be betrayed, arrested, and crucified… the crowds will clamor for His blood and cry "Crucify Him!" "Crucify Him!"
But as of now, the crowds still love Him. They line the streets and clamor for His attention. They’ve come to believe that this Jesus is:
The hope of Israel
The Son of David
The promised King of Israel
Everyone is speculating that He will soon claim His crown, throw off the yoke of the hated Romans and restore Israel to its former glory.
But amongst the crowd are 2 blind men.
Everybody knows them. I mean – they’re always sitting by the roadside begging for alms. They cry out “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (Matthew 20:30 (quickview) ) And the crowd is irritated. This isn’t what they think Jesus is “all about”. Jesus is too important to be bothered by rabble like this.
But Jesus stops and ask these blind men – “What do want me to do for you?”
Now this is an unusual question for two reasons:
1st This is the only time in the Gospels we find Jesus asking anyone what they need done.
2nd You would think it would be obvious what these men needed. They’re blind
Even if Jesus couldn’t have looked into their eyes and seen the cloudiness that is often there in the eyes of the blind, or watched them as they grope about in the ways blind men do… This is Jesus.
He doesn’t need anyone to tell Him what these men were blind. He’s God… He knows these things.
So why ask the question?
Well, it seems obvious to me that He didn’t ask the question for His own benefit (as if He didn’t know what they needed in their lives). So, I’ve come to believe that Jesus asked the question for the benefit of the others who were there that day.
1st – I believe Jesus asked this question for the benefit of the crowds. This crowd is obviously not into helping blind people.
Blind people were a nuisance.
They were a hindrance
They were a distraction to what Jesus’ real purpose ought to be.
And would that “real purpose” be?
* meeting THEIR needs
* building THEIR kingdom
When it becomes obvious, a few days later, that this wasn’t what Jesus had in mind the crowds turned their backs on Him and cry out for His blood.
And so it was intriguing that Jesus didn’t ask the crowds what He could do for them. He asked the blind men.