Matthew 20:29-34 (NIV) As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 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!”
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
As Jesus and company were leaving Jericho to head up the hill to Bethphage and on to Jerusalem, Jesus was surrounded by quite a crowd. Two beggars at the city gate (one of whom was named Bartimaeus – see Mark 10:46-52) heard the crowd and asked what was happening. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they perked right up. They had heard about Jesus, and that He had healed many who were blind. And now He was here!
But He was passing by and they couldn’t see where He was. So they yelled at the top of their lungs, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The title “Son of David” was more than just a reference to Jesus’ ancient ancestry. It was a popular title for the Messiah Himself.
The people around Bartimaeus and his friend were annoyed at their loud screaming, and told them to shut up. But both of them realized that this could be their only opportunity, and kept on shouting with all of their strength.
Finally, above the noise of the crowd, Jesus heard the voices and the familiar title, and stopped. He sent someone to bring the two men to Him (cf. Mark 10:49-50). Jesus’ question to them was not as strange as it might seem. Even though the men were blind, Jesus wanted to make sure that that was really what they wanted fixed, and that they were able to formulate that request clearly enough to know that it wasn’t merely a whim, but was the genuine desire of their hearts.
Their response, “Lord, we want our sight,” was enough for Jesus, and He touched both of their eyes, and instantly they could see perfectly. Then He started out of the city once more, but now with two more followers joyfully trailing along in His wake.
Father, I have read this bit of history many times without really considering why Jesus asked these two men what they wanted. How often do I come to You at my first impulse with a poorly thought out request, instead of really thinking through the issue, and then asking for what I need? Help me, Lord, to think clearly before I come to You, so that my requests are focused on what I truly need. Amen.