This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: Luke 18:35ff. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy

This Week’s Focus Passage: Luke 18:35ff.

And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.’

We may read, in Luke 18:35-43, of one of the miracles granted by our Lord Jesus Christ, as He walked upon this earth. In point of fact, He was making His way, with His disciples, on this particular day, to Jerusalem, and to a cross on Golgotha. It is well worth reading the entire narrative that Luke has set before us in his gospel.

And it came to pass, as he drew nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: and hearing a multitude going by, he  inquired what this meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. And they that went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace, but he cried out the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

It can be very interesting to consider, when reading a passage in the Word of God, or for that matter, when reading anything other, that some things just catch one’s eye. This happened to be the case, upon reading this narrative; it may be that it occurred to my reader also. But what stood out, from this paragraph, of this blessed miracle, was the question that it brought to the mind; how did the blind beggar make the connection between ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ with the term he used, ‘Thou son of David’?

    The response to that concern was answered, in his ‘Expository Thoughts,’ by John Charles Ryle, when he wrote in a helpful note, the following ‘thoughts.’ 

    “[Thou Son of David This expression is remarkable, because the preceding verse informs us distinctly that the blind man was told that “Jesus of Nazareth” was passing by. To call our Lord the “Son of David” was a sign of faith, and showed that the blind man had some idea that Jesus was the Messiah. When the Pharisees were asked whose son Christ would be, they replied at once, “The Son of David.” Matt. xxii. 42.” Ryle then offers his conclusion of the matter, saying, The fame of our Lord as a mighty worker of miracles, had probably reached the blind man’s ears, and made him believe that He who could do such great miracles, must be one sent from God.” That seems to beg the question, somewhat. How did he make the connection between ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ and Jesus, ‘Thou son of David?’ Of course, the fame of this miracle worker may have reached the beggar’s ears, but whence came this connection to him? It would seem very reasonable to ‘extend’ Ryle’s suggestion, and intimate that this beggar who commonly sat by the way side; we might also reasonably gather that he sat there most every day, but the key to the question might, more likely be, that he ‘kept his ear to the ground,’ as they say. Or to put it another way, and quite simply, he paid attention to the things that he was able to hear. Now that certainly provides a lesson for us; must we not all confess that we don’t listen as we ought?

    It is not difficult to imagine this blind beggar; according to the parallel account in Mark’s gospel this blind beggar was one under the name of Bartimaeus. Be that as it may, the point is that there are many possible explanations regarding how it was that this blind beggar put the two titles of Jesus together. If our assessment is correct, this blind beggar made the best of his time, forced by his own disability onto the pavement, as it were, to beg for his daily bread. We are not told; we do not know, if he, like the blind man of John, chapter nine, was born blind, or if he suffered an injury in his adulthood; we simply do not know. From the text of Luke, as well as the other gospel writers, Matthew and Mark, we are only informed that they were blind, and beggars. Of course, each of these writer/witnesses inform us that they were all ‘made willing in the day of His power’ to come to the Christ. whatever their term of blindness, it was infinitely shorter than the eternity that lay ahead of them. The only question that might possibly be answered for us, if we knew more of their earlier lives, would involve their upbringing as children. Perhaps this blind beggar had parents or a family that took them to the synagogue with them on the Sabbath. Perhaps they had been granted opportunities to read the prophets, especially those that told of the ‘seed of the woman’ who was to come and crush Satan’s head, even though his own heel would be bruised. Perhaps, they had had occasion to read the wonderful covenant promises given to David, as was recorded in 2 Samuel, and the seventh chapter, or that same promise iterated in the eighty-ninth psalm, where it is written, where we may read, beginning in verse three, I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant: thy seed will I establish for ever; And build up thy throne to all generations. [Selah

    Whatever this blind man had heard, or when he had heard it, matters little, or nothing. The point is that he heard the multitude passing by when Jesus Himself was traveling through Jericho, and he was made willing to cry unto Him, when he said, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus heard the blind beggsrWe do know, with certainty, for it is recorded in Proverbs 20:12, The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, Jehovah hath made even both of them. And in Proverbs 28:9; perhaps the beggar had heard, in his childhood, this Proverb, He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. And then Mark has told us about the ‘hearers’ of Jesus earlier under Jesus’ ministry, when we read of these things, in Mark 3:7; And Jesus with his disciples withdrew to the sea; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and from Judea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and beyond the Jordan, and about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude hearing what great things he did, came unto him. Did we not come by hearing?

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church   


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