Matthew 9:27-31 (NIV) As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
The news that Jesus could heal all sorts of physical ills, and the supposition that He surely must be the promised Messiah, had traveled far and wide, drawing the sick, the injured, the damaged, and the demon-possessed to Capernaum, Jesus’ home base. Among them were these two blind men.
When they heard that Jesus was nearby, they began to cry out to Him to have mercy on them by healing their blindness, even calling Him “Son of David,” a title of the Messiah. But Jesus kept on walking, as if He didn’t hear them.
The men followed the crowd, and eventually ended up at the house to which Jesus had gone. With the help of some who were standing nearby, they made their way in to where Jesus was sitting and teaching. They again pleaded with Him to have mercy on them and to heal their eyes.
Instead of acting at once, Jesus asked the men if they truly believed that He could do what they were asking. Hope had brought them to that point, but it could take them no further. Hope alone is not a strong basis for receiving a miracle. These men had a lot riding on Jesus at that point, but He wanted to make sure that they truly believed that He could heal them.
The answer that Jesus wanted was obvious, and they gave it: of course they believed! They were positive that Jesus could restore their sight.
Jesus’ answer looks at first glance like simple acquiescence: “Since you believe, I’ll heal you.” But that’s not what He said. He actually pushed the test of these men’s faith one step further. He would touch their eyes, and if they truly believed, then that touch would heal them; if not, if they simply had come hoping that He could do something for them, they would not be healed. It was their faith that would determine the outcome.
Jesus touched their eyes, and it turned out that they really did believe. Their sight was instantly restored, and their eyes opened wide at the sight of the room full of men, and at Jesus’ smiling face.
Jesus smile turned to sternness as He warned the men not to spread the word of their healing. But they couldn’t help themselves. They left Jesus’ presence with hearts so full of awe and thankfulness that it just spilled over, and they ended up telling everyone they met about what He had done for them.
Father, how often do we come to You with no real faith that You can or will do what we ask, but only hope? And how often does our lack of faith stop in its tracks a miracle that You would love to supply? I will admit that there have been times when my lack of faith for what I was asking has resulted in no miracle. But when I have asked in true faith, knowing in my heart that You were not only able to do all that I asked, but were willing as well, then the miracles happened. Help me, Lord, to always pray in faith, never just in hope, so that You will answer quickly all that I am asking for. Amen.