They were two blind guys by the road. Thus, they were just two more beggars along the by-way. Limited, to say the least, in what they had to offer to others. Lost in a world of darkness, the world around them just as soon they were mute as well. But on this day, their voices wouldn’t be silenced.
And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed [Jesus]. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
(Matthew 20:29-31 ESV)
Son of David. That’s how they addressed Jesus. Heir to the throne. Promised Messiah. These blind men, with the eyes of faith, saw Jesus for who He was. The coming King. Ruler of all things. Able even to restore sight to the blind. Not that they had any right to sight, but that they hoped only for mercy. And Jesus stops and responds to their faith.
And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” And Jesus in pity touched their eyes . . .
(Matthew 20:32-34a ESV)
Jesus in pity touched their eyes. That’s what I’m chewing on this morning.
Other translations say that Jesus “had compassion on them” or was “moved with compassion.” Peterson says Jesus was “deeply moved” (MSG). Literally, the word has the idea of “being moved to one’s bowels” where the bowels are the seat of love and pity.
I might be reading more into this than I should, but what strikes me is that Jesus healed these blind men not expecting anything in return. There wasn’t a calculated quid pro quo here. No “something for something” expectation. Jesus’ willingness to restore their sight was without any anticipation of what they might do in return. He just had pity on them. Gut sourced compassion. They were blind, beggars, and beyond any remedy the world might offer. He was “the true Light, which gives light to everyone” come into the world (Jn. 1:9). They believed in desperation. He responded to their belief with compassion. End of transaction. Nothing more expected.
But while there may have been no quid pro quo, there was yet the realization of a life altering determination.
. . . and immediately they recovered their sight and followed Him.
(Matthew 20:34b ESV)
Having known the compassion of the Son of David, these blind men now seeing committed themselves to the Son of David. Having experienced kingdom power, they now wanted to know kingdom participation. Having been graced by the King with eyes to see, they now determined to follow the King, offering their whole selves as a living sacrifice.
No quid pro quo, just the heart reaction of those who once were blind, but now they see. Just the response of those who, because of Jesus’ great compassion, had been translated from the realm of darkness and brought into marvelous light.
A response because of the King’s grace. A response only for the King’s glory.