Making the Blind to See

In Luke 18:35-43, as Jesus was making His way to Jerusalem before being put to death, a “certain” blind man was healed. The parallel passage beginning in Mark 10:46 identifies this man as Bartimaeus. The parallel passage beginning in Matthew 20:29 states that there were two blind beggars who called out to Jesus. The fact that Matthew refers to two blind men rather than one shows his personal knowledge of the events. There may have been many blind people in the Jericho area; that region produced large quantities of balsam, believed to be beneficial for many eye defects. There are four noble observations to consider.

The first important observation was the good news in vv. 35-37. The good news was that Jesus was passing by. Luke refers to the crowds here (v. 36) to explain how the blind beggar knew that something special was happening (v. 37). This incident shows that Jesus was actually the “Son of David” (vv. 38-39; cp. 1:32), i.e. the Messiah. It also allows Luke to point again to Jesus’ concern for the needy and especially to show His healing of the blind as a Messianic work (cp. 4:18). In addition, this miracle emphasizes the importance of faith (v. 42) and the glory that God receives through the work of the Lord.

The second important observation is the great cry in vv. 38-41. Bartimaeus continued to cry out to Jesus for mercy. When Jesus summoned him and asked what he wanted, he asked for his sight. The description of the man’s insistent calling draws attention to his faith, which was based on the Messiahship of Jesus. So does Jesus’ question in v. 41, which allows the man to voice his request and demonstrate a wonderful faith in the power of the Lord.

The third important observation is the gracious announcement in v. 42. It was the faith of Bartimaeus that brought him his lost sight. That faith was squarely in the Lord Jesus. Likewise, for spiritual sight, we have to also put our faith in Christ (John 8:21, 24; Romans 5:1) and most importantly, do His will (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:26).

The fourth important observation is the grand results in v. 43. Not only was he healed, but he followed Jesus and “glorified God.” Only Luke speaks of the praise that both the man who had been blind and the people gave to God after the miracle (cp. 5:26; 17:18; Acts 2:47; 3:9).

Our faith will save us as well if we act on it. Faith without works is useless or dead (James 2:26). Will you allow that gracious announcement to be made to you: “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins?” (Acts 22:16).

Kyle Campbell