What the blind men saw (Matthew 9:18-26)

Matthew continues his record of what took place on the day when he was called by Jesus to leave the tax desk and follow him. Maybe one reason for all the activity was a desire of Jesus to show his new servant the amazing things he could expect to see as he was being prepared by Jesus to serve him.

It looks like Jesus was making his way home when the two blind men followed him. There is something ironic here because how could the blind men see the road to follow Jesus. Or maybe Matthew is pointing out that there is more than one kind of following Jesus. There is a kind of following that gets you nowhere and there is a kind of following that gets you somewhere.

We have already seen examples of the kind of following that got people nowhere – the following performed by the Pharisees and the disciples of John when they set themselves up as the judges of Jesus. In reality, they were spiritually blind although they had physical sight. In contrast, the two blind men could see spiritually even although they were blind physically.

To put it simply, even although they had not seen Jesus they had discerned who he was. We can see that this was the case from the titles they used of him and the request they made to him. One of the titles they used was to address Jesus as the son of David. This was a royal title because David was the first in the official line of kings in Israel. But the title was more than an indication he was connected to David. In addition, it is very likely that they knew the prophecies about the Son of David, the One who would be the Messiah, who would come as the Saviour.

This is why they asked him for mercy. Although they were blind and deserving of sympathy they knew that they needed much more than a few alms that kind people would give to them. They knew that they needed something from God, and we should note that what they needed was not merely their sight, but also mercy. In asking for mercy, they said that Jesus was divine and confessed that they were sinners. After all, only a divine being can give this kind of special mercy, and the only type of person who needs it is someone who has sinned against God.

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