Jesus Gives Sight to Our Blindness Matthew 20:29-34 29 and as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 and behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 32 and stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 and Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:29-34 ESV) Matthew bookends Jesus’ ministry with accounts of tax collectors being saved and blind men receiving sight. In both cases, the blind called out to Jesus: “Have mercy on us, Son of David,” (Matthew 9:27). “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David” (Matthew 20:30, 31)! Jesus was God’s mercy extended to people—he acted mercifully to those who were broken in spirit and in body. The blind men were seeking and crying out for the mercy of Jesus because they understood him to be 1) the Son of David, 2) the Lord, 3) who was compassionate. “Son of David” – A title among the Jews for the Messiah. The Jewish people anticipated the coming Messiah, believing that he would lead with mercy, compassion and sovereignty. They knew that the Messiah would rule the eternal kingdom of God. Jesus is the promised Son of David. The angel Gabriel declared to Mary about Jesus: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David.” (Luke 1:32 ESV) Matthew began his gospel: The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David…. (Matthew 1:1a ESV) When a demon-oppressed man was released and healed by Jesus, the crowd was amazed and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” (Matthew 12:23) A Canaanite woman, seeking freedom for her severely demonic-oppressed daughter called out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David….” (Matthew 15:22) The blind men could not see physically, but they were given spiritual sight that Jesus is the Son of David and the Lord. We must see him as they did. Like the blind men, people who truly understand the reality of their plight, cry out unabashedly for Jesus’ mercy. Until a person understands their spiritual blindness, there is no hope of receiving spiritual sight. The power of the gospel is not pleading with people to accept Jesus Christ and to invite him into their hearts. The power of the gospel is evident when people discover their sin against God and understand their spiritual brokenness, and they receive his mercy and grace by being transformed as they cry out to him for help. The beauty of the gospel comes only after people discover the ugliness of life without it. Jesus didn’t come to us so that we may accept him; Jesus came to make sinful people acceptable to the Holy God. “Ask most people what they must do to get into heaven and they will say, ‘Be good.’ But ask Jesus what we need to do to get to heaven and he will tell you, ‘Cry for help!’” (Philip Yancey) Of all the blind people in Jericho that day, we know of only two of them who received sight. Those two men understood their need and Jesus’ compassion. They trusted him to be the Messiah. They believed him to be the promised one of God. Jesus was the object of their faith. By nature, we cannot see the spiritual truth of God. The sin of people’s hearts blinds them to the things of God. Until God opens the eyes of our hearts, we’ll never see him or his truths. If you’re among the few who see the things of God today, perceive his presence, see his glory and acknowledge his truth, then you have received a gracious gift from God. 32 and stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 and Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:32-34 ESV) Jesus moves toward the broken with compassion, and he touches them. Jesus sees each of us in our sin and failure and has a “kick in the gut response” to move towards us. He opens our eyes to our sin and plight and prompts us, asking, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus proclaimed, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. …For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13 ESV) Jesus is asking you today, “What do you want me to do for you?” He won’t allow generalized confessions. If you want to be whole, you have to wholly confess and repent. If you want to be separated from sin, then you’re going to have to single out the sin, confessing it specifically and honestly.