27 As Jesus departed, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Show us mercy, Son of David.”
28 When he came into the house, the blind men approached him. Jesus said to them, “Do you believe I can do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “It will happen for you just as you have believed.” 30 Their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly warned them, “Make sure nobody knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the word about him throughout that whole region.
32 As they were leaving, people brought to him a man who was demon-possessed and unable to speak. 33 When Jesus had thrown out the demon, the man who couldn’t speak began to talk. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
34 But the Pharisees said, “He throws out demons with the authority of the ruler of demons.”
In the gospels, we often find physical sight contrasted with spiritual sight. Those who cannot see trust Jesus to restore their vision. They approach him and appeal to him for help.
Meanwhile, there are people who stand in the background of these healings, and whose voices of complaint are raised against Jesus for miracles themselves. Some have a hard time believing that the healings are for real (see John 9:18). Others feel threatened by Jesus’ popularity (John 7:46-49). Here, they question the power behind the exorcism, claiming it comes from Satan rather than from God. They’re accusing him of being in league with the devil, so that it would appear that he was doing good, deceiving the people so that they will follow him. Convoluted logic, I know, but this is a charge that appears again and again in the gospels (see Matthew 12:24 & Mark 3:22).
All of us have found ourselves in a position where our motives were questioned. I imagine some of us have even had people look at a good thing we’ve done and call it evil. We do this to one another all the time. Our ability to judge the right and wrong of a situation is often skewed by what we like and what we don’t, or even who we like and who we don’t.
None of us is able to completely put aside our spiritual blindness. But the scriptures remind us that it is a dangerous thing to claim that we can see clearly. The Pharisees thought they had Jesus figured out. Our enemies will claim they have us figured out. And likewise, we’ll claim we’ve got them figured out.
It’s helpful for us to remember a lesson from this story. In order to see clearly, we first we have to admit that we don’t, and then we’ve got to trust and believe that God can change it.
by Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
When have you felt misjudged by others? When have you been guilty of misjudging others? Is there a situation in your life right now where you need to admit a failure to see clearly?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we often are guilty of feeling certainty in instances where some doubt is probably much more appropriate. We can feel so sure we understand others’ motives, when in reality most of the time we can’t even admit our own. Help us feel certainty about nothing except your ability to help us see more clearly. We pray in your name, amen.
Our Lenten Series
For our Lent series this year, we’ll be using the Adam Hamilton book Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws. At his website, you can find a 40-day reading plan to help you read through the Gospel of Luke during Lent. And join us for worship, in-person or online, at 9:00 & 10:30 every Sunday.