Read: Luke 18:35-43
I ordered a new set of reading glasses this morning, something I need, pretty common for people my age. My distance vision is great, but when I read, it’s a strain. This is quite a switch from when I was very young and couldn’t see the board at school. Eye doctors quickly figured out I needed glasses. For years I wore glasses, then contacts, then LASIK changed all of that. Our children inherited my poor vision and have been blessed with LASIK because the optometrists all agreed:
Your eyes are healthy, you just have bad vision
I heard that phrase many times, something I find amusing and somewhat prophetic about my life. My challenge isn’t health, it’s just poor sight.
In today’s reading, Luke portrays one of the least in society. The unnamed beggar is no doubt an outcast, unable to contribute to the agro-centric culture in which he was raised, he’s forced to live on the streets and beg for anything he can get.
He can’t see, but it’s apparent that he can hear.
He’s heard about Jesus of Nazareth. He’s heard that He is the one prophesied about, the Son of David. This is not a casual label applied to someone, this is a significant observation from one who is being shunned by those leading the procession. The man will not miss this opportunity:
he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Luke 18:39
In our typical church setting, our security team would have done the same. They would have escorted Jesus carefully out of this potential threat and made sure peace was maintained. But Jesus is not troubled by the commotion.
Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Luke 18:40-41
How I long to see. Glasses, contact, surgery, glasses again. I just want to see clearly — way beyond optometry.
This chapter in Luke’s gospel gives us a wide view of different people from varying levels of clout in society: the persistent widow, the arrogant Pharisee, the humble tax collector, the little children, the rich young ruler, and now, a blind beggar.
Here’s what I think Luke is trying to tell us: Jesus is for everyone. No one has an excuse big enough to walk away. No one has fallen too far for too long. No one is so bad that they cannot shout loud to Jesus:
Lord, I want to see!
Lord, I want to see too. Here’s the promise of this story that we must not miss:
Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Luke 18:42
I pray many prayers this morning for many people of all kinds, but my most persistent prayer is that all would have the faith of this blind beggar. I pray that all would hear Jesus’ words: your faith has healed you!