They were in Jericho where a balsam bush grew that was used for medicine to cure blindness. Blindness was common for many reason some illness, some damaged by fighting or infection of the eyes but these men were probably brought there with the hopes of being cured but it was to no avail.
Knowing that it was time for the Passover the men sat where many people would be passing as they were heading to worship God. This allowed them to beg money from a lot of people who may have been a little more generous this time of year since they were heading to worship God. It was a lucrative time for beggars and they would need the alms to help them make it through the year since they could not work.
These men must have heard the crowd talking how Jesus was passing through Jericho and so they shouted with all they had for Him. They knew Jesus was their only hope for their blindness to be cured.
Have you ever cried out to God like these two men?
They cried “Lord, Son of David “
Lord was a common term for anyone you respected but Son of David was a Messiah term which meant these men knew exactly who Jesus claimed to be. They knew the predictions of the Messiah and they heard the reports about Him. They knew Jesus fulfilled those things they were to know about Him when He came to earth. They must have especially remembered this verse as they sat in the synagogue and listened to the teachings of the Rabbi’s.
Isaiah 35:4-6 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
The crowd tried to silence them
We do not know why the crowd tried to silence them but they should have been trying to get them to Jesus. Sometimes in the business of our own lives we are so focused on ourselves that we miss that it is our responsibility to help others get to Jesus. These men were hopeless without Jesus and they had no other options and the people that should have helped them were in their way.
These men did not allow the crowd stand in their way of getting to Jesus.
Our society has a crowd mentality and if you try and go against the crowd and what they believe they will do all they can to silence you. If you do not believe me then why is there a fight to stop prayers in schools? Why with all the scientific evidence of a baby in a womb being human do they still call it a blob? The crowd mentality is so powerful that many people are silenced even though they know the crowd is wrong.
Would your prayers cause Jesus to stop and listen?
Jesus was on His way to His destiny yet the cries of these two men caused Him to change His plans. I know we can always say that Jesus knew He was going to stop already but there are some things we will not fully understand this side of Heaven. The key is that we are commanded to pray like these two men. Other Rabbis would have not taken the time to stop what they were doing to see what the men were saying let alone to meet a need. This is clear from the story of the Good Samaritan when Jesus was showing the religious leaders how their rules got in the way of helping others. Sometimes on our way to do other things we need to stop and do what God is calling us to do.
There is a lot we do not understand about prayer and I know there are some theological battles over how to pray but I would rather get to heaven and have prayed too much than get there and not have prayed enough.
One of the issues with prayer is that people think you have to be super spiritual or really good at it to get God to hear your prayers.
James 5:17-18 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
Elijah did not have special powers, he was not a superhero, he was a man like us.
“Daniel prayed circles around the greatest superpower on earth, and because he got down on his knees, he brought kings and kingdoms to their knees. Daniel did not just pray when he had a bad day; he prayed every day. He didn’t just dial up 911 prayers when he was in a lions’ den; prayer was part of the rhythm and routine of his life. Prayer was his life, and his life was prayer.” (The circle Maker, Mark Batterson, pg 151)
We complain a lot about our government but do we pray for our government?
Do we pray three times a day for our government?
People are shocked at what is going on in our nation with killings and crime, but are you praying about it?
No One fights over a garbage dump.
As Christians we believe in Spiritual warefare and because of this we know that a battle is raging for what is important. People have fought and died for pieces of land for the simple reason they will help them win a battle. People have fought over gold and oil because it is precious. The reason there is a battle in these areas of our lives is because they are precious and there is an enemy trying to take them.
Do you know why there is a battle for your marriage? There is an enemy
Do you know why there is a battle for your family? There is an enemy
Do you know why there is a battle for your church? There is an enemy
Do you know the one thing the enemy hates? Prayer
The battle is worth fighting because those things are precious and have value.
The battle has to be fought in prayer.
What do you want me to do for you?
Did Jesus really not hear their request? Everyone heard their request. He knew what they were going to ask before they even asked it, but He wanted to hear it from them.
Our prayers are like the waterman who takes a hook to get himself to shore. He does not bring the shore to the boat but the boat to the shore.
Jesus questions us not because He does not know what we need but to see if we truly know what we need. These men were used to begging since they were blind. They had no other resources they could draw upon. Just like the rich young ruler we do not have to beg Jesus for anything because we bought into the lie that we are supposed to do it on our own. Even as Christians we understand that salvation is free but everything else we should just do on our own without His power or resources. We have become so independent that we no longer turn to God like we should.
When is the last time you begged for God to do something?
Let our Eyes be opened
They answered Jesus with a clear answer as to what they wanted. We have to learn to Pray Specifically Jesus did not ask them how they got in the situation they were in, He just fixed it. Again, we do not know if these men were blind from birth or because of their own negligence but that was not what Jesus was concerned about. Sometimes we think Jesus is not willing to hear our cries because we got ourselves into the bad situations we are in. Because of our sin we feel that we cannot cry out to Jesus.
If you cannot turn to Jesus then who are you going to turn to?
2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
People that are blind spiritually do not know that they are blind. They believe the lies of the world that there is not God or that all roads lead to God. Jesus has made it clear that it is through His sacrifice on the cross that we can be healed spiritually.
Matthew 13:13-15 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:’ “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.”15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
Some need to cry out to Jesus not because you are physically blind but because you are spiritually blind. You should call out to God and ask Him to heal you and really show you if He is who He says He is.
Filled with Compassion
Make no mistake that Jesus has compassion on what you are going through and sees your struggles. This is true even if you are injured by your own doing or because of sin.
Psalm 56:8 You have kept count of my tossing’s;put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
We will never understand fully this side of Heaven why some things happened and we need to trust God that when our prayers did not seem to get answered that He has a reason for it.
“We stop praying because we can’t see any tangible difference with our natural eyes. We allow our circumstances to get between God and us instead of putting God between us and our circumstances. (The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson, pg 88-89)
People give up on God because their situation has divided them and God instead of bringing them closer to God. Some walk through horrible things in this life and they are drawn to God and others forsake God altogether because of what has happened in their life. If whatever you are going through is causing you to despise God instead of reach out to Him then you will stop praying. My encouragement to you is to keep praying even when life does not make sense or if you see an end in sight.
Immediately they received their sight and followed Him
Following Christ is the sign of a true Christian
We are called to be followers not just listeners. We pray first and foremost to get closer to Jesus but also because we have things that need to be changed. As followers of Christ it means we follow despite whatever circumstances we are walking through. These men were healed by Jesus and they followed Him. When you are healed spiritually by Jesus then you will follow Him as well. It does not mean you will live a perfect life but it does mean that you will stop some things in your life to be a part of what He is doing.
I would encourage you to not only pray about your situation but pray persistently
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
“The Great fault of the children of God is, they do not continue in prayer; they do not go on praying; they do not persevere; If they desire anything for God’s glory, they should pray until they get it.” (George Muller, quoted from Spiritual disciplines for the Christian life, Donald S. Whitney, pg 81)
“Sometimes the power of prayer is the power to carry on. It doesn’t always change your circumstances, but it gives you the strength to walk through them. When you pray through, the burden is taken off of your shoulders and put on the shoulders of Him who carried the cross to Calvary.” (The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson, pg 81) Closing How is your prayer life?
We talk a lot about how we want God to change our circumstances but then we do not pray to the one who can actually change our circumstances. If you are losing sleep because of a situation then you might as well pray about it and see what God does through it or about it.