The Gospel of Luke | Blindly Begging | Luke 18.35-43 |

by | Oct 26, 2021

”As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.” Luke 18.35-43

Begging is not a vocation to which I hope to aspire. Not many parents read bedtime stories to their children about growing up to be a beggar. Homelessness, poverty or desperation is not one’s chosen profession.

Yet in this passage, it’s the beggar who receives the miracle. No name is given of this person, only his actions. He cries in desperation because he has heard Jesus is coming by. He could not see for he was blind. So not only was he destitute, on the side of the road begging, he was blind and limited by that disability. No family came to his rescue, nor did he have modern conveniences to help him deal with his blindness. He was in bad shape.

But as the crowd was going by he asked what was happening. When he discovered it was Jesus, for everyone had heard about Jesus, this man began to call out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Again and again he cried out. He shouted so the heavens (or the one from Heaven) would hear. The crowd was either ashamed of the man or wanted Jesus’ attention for themselves and so they told him to be quiet and they rebuked him. But “HE SHOUTED ALL THE MORE” (emphasis added!). “SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!”

This was a cry from a man destitute. Jesus was his only hope and he wasn’t about to be shushed by the growing crowd. He needed help and the great Helper was passing right in front of him.

So Jesus, being merciful, stopped, had the man brought to him, and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Like Jesus didn’t know! But he requires our confession.) The man said, “Lord, I want to see.” And Jesus replied, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” And that moment, the man gained his sight, followed Jesus and praised God. And “when all the people say it, they also praised God.”

Times come in our lives when we should be blindly begging the Master for a miracle. When we are desperate and in need, when we have lost our way, when we are at our wits end. When we put our faith in people, or institutions or money. When all else fails and we find ourselves on the side of the road, dirty and dusty, blind and poor. This is the time to become blind beggars of God’s mercy and grace. 

Hopefully, we would seek his grace before we get to this point, but if all else fails, cry out to God in your desperation. Like Jesus heard the beggar, so God will hear you. And when people tell you to stop your cry’s and to stop your prayers, shout them out even louder. For God sees the manner of the heart and hears the cries of the faithful.

What do you need of the Lord today? Do you need a holy visitation from his Holy Spirit? Do you need healing, wholeness or hope? Cry out to him. Shout his name from the rooftops. Allow your voice to reflect the faith within.

”O Lord God, although I’m not saying a word out loud, my heart and soul cry out to you. I am in desperate need of your hope and love. I need your vision and purpose. I need your staying power, your subtle grace and your gentle answer. Come now, Holy God, into this room and sit with me. Bring your healing upon me that I might continue to battle, stay the course, run the race. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen