Matthew 20:29-34 – The One With The Screamer: A Friends’ Episode & The Two Blind Men With Jesus

Posted: February 20, 2016 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 20:29-34

Jesus Heals Two Blind Beggars

 

Have you ever had people make fun of you for something that you believe to be true? I remember an episode of one of my all-time favorite shows, “Friends”, entitled “The One with The Screamer” with guest star Ben Stiller. In this episode, everyone sees Ben Stiller’s character, Tommy, as this mild-mannered guy but Ross gets to see Tommy’s dark rage on two or three occasions but yet none of the other friends will believe him. They think he’s just jealous of any boyfriend that Rachel could have and is just making this stuff up about Tommy. Ross gets so frustrated with the others and their lack of belief that Tommy is like bipolar or something. Ross spends much of the episode trying to set this guy off so that the other friends will see that he is not just jealous of any boyfriend of Rachel. It is not til the very end of the episode when Joey’s duckling poops in Tommy’s hand that the others see the dark side of Tommy. Only then was Ross’ persistent belief vindicated. That idea of persistent faith is what I see in today’s passage. Let’s read Matthew 20:29-34 together, shall we:

 

 

29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” 34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

 

 

The first thing that I see here is that the blind men had faith that Jesus was the Messiah. The title of “Son of David” was the common title of honor given to what was to be the coming Messiah promised to Israel. These men were blind but they could pick out Jesus in the crowd of pilgrims headed toward Jerusalem for Passover. Just as Ross could see the real Tommy when others could not, these blind men could “see” Jesus better than the Pharisees and others of the religious elite. The called out to the Son of David in all humility “have mercy upon us”. The Pharisees were so wrapped up in the pride of their position that they could not see Jesus. Isn’t that the way we all come to Jesus is when we are humbled of our pride. These blind men were beggars. Blindness in the first century meant that you could not function in society any longer. You were at the mercy of the world around you. There was no social security disability in those days. They were humbled by their circumstances. They could have no pride because they were at the mercy of others. It is in their humility that they could see Jesus. When all pride is washed away is when we can see Jesus for who He is. When we have pride, we try to make Jesus a self-help guru or a great philosopher. We discount Him as just a man. We cannot see Him as the Son of David. Lord was a term of recognition of someone’s superiority over us. They called Him Lord. Lord you are greater than I. Please listen to me Lord. Grant me what only you can grant. I believe that you are the Son of God. I believe you are the Son of David, the promised Messiah that was to come from David’s line. I can see you as the Messiah and you are Lord. These blind men believed that Jesus was just that. It was in their desperate situation knowing that they could not change who they were without the help of the Messiah that they call Him Lord. Lord, Son of David, have mercy upon us! Have you come to a place in life where you have tried everything and nothing works? Are you ready to lay down your pride and see Jesus? Are you ready to proclaim Him Lord of your life in a loud scream? Lord, Lord, Lord! I humbly come before you and desire you to change my life. I have made a mess of it, Son of David. Have mercy upon me for I have torched a trail of dead bodies and burned bridges behind me, Lord. I come to you humbly. I need your mercy. That’s what I love about these blind men. They were humble enough to see Jesus.

 

Another thing that you see here is the persistence of the blind men’s faith. They were rebuked by the large crowd for screaming out to the Savior. They would have nothing less than getting the attention of the Savior. Many of us want to come near to the Savior but let the crowds of our lives drown us out from reaching Him. We let our sins get in the way. We let our enjoyment of our sins get in the way. We let our friends from our current sandbox draw us down. You are not good enough for Jesus. You have done too many things wrong in life to deserve to come near Jesus. You are already a goner just like us. Let us not be deterred by the crowd from reaching out to that which we know can only save us. Even when we have been saved by Jesus, sometimes we have enough faith to push ahead toward Jesus. Sometimes, we do not have the faith to believe that Jesus can do miracles in our lives. Some of us have dreams of serving the Lord in a radical way but we do not have the faith to scream out to Jesus to bring us near for the miracle. Do we have the faith to believe that Jesus can heal our dying child? Do we have the faith to believe that God can provide for us the miracles needed to achieve our calling in His name? Do we have the faith to boldly move forth with a dream of a soup kitchen for the homeless when we don’t have a dime to start with? Do we have the faith to follow our calling by Him into ministry and leave our nice little nest of a nice salary from our secular job? Do we have the faith to step out in faith? That’s what we see in these blind men. They were undeterred by the crowd. They knew that Jesus was the Messiah and they knew that only He could provide the miracle. We need to start living undeterred and expectantly that if we humbly seek out the Lord that He will provide for us and He will provide the miracle to those who humbly believe in Him.

 

Jesus responded to their faith. How big was their faith? They fought through the blindness and the noise of the crowd. How hungry are we for Jesus? Is He the only thing that will satisfy us? Jesus responds to those seek Him. He will respond to our desperate need for Him to be our Savior, and our Lord. Come be the fire inside of me says a Jesus Culture song. How hungry are we for Jesus? Do we want Him more than anything else? Do we seek Him regardless of the crowd noise of our lives? Do we want to be in His presence more than else? Jesus responds to our faith in Him as the One who can change us, save us, and provide for us. These blind me had a singular focus. Nothing would deter them from coming before the Lord. They screamed for His attention and they got it. How focused are you and I on being in the presence of the Lord? How clear is our soul such that Jesus can be the fire inside of us? How desperate are we for Jesus? Many of us act as if Jesus is just something we do on the side. Jesus doesn’t have the central focus of our lives. We act like Jesus is a box that we pull down from a shelf and play with when we want to play with the contents of the box and then put the box back up on the shelf. Jesus should be a flood in our houses. He should permeate every corner of our houses and lives. He is God in the flesh. He is the Son of God. He is the Messiah. He is the Creator through which all things have been made. He should flood our lives. He should be on that which we float our lives. We should be talking to Him every minute of every day. He should be the filter through we see everything in our lives. Are we honoring God with this action, this thought, this deed should be our thought in everything we do. Are you and I seeking Jesus in this way? Are we like these blind me who sought Jesus no matter what? They shouted. They screamed. Jesus responded. Just as Ross was undeterred in his belief that Tommy was a bad seed no matter what the other friends said, so should we be in our pursuit of Jesus. He should be so important to us that we seek Him over and above everything else, no matter what the crowd says, no matter who tries to deter us, no matter what Satan whispers in our ears. Lord! LORD! LORRRRRD! Hear me oh Lord! Have mercy upon me. I don’t care what the crowd says, “Lord! Lord! I beseech you! Be the center of my life! I humbly seek to be in your presence! I need you Lord!” Nothing in this world could ever keep from you oh Lord! It is a relentless pursuit! Scream out for Jesus! Scream out for Him! Lord! Lord!

 

 

Amen and Amen.

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