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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE BLIND SEE AND THE DUMB SPEAK

Matt 9:27-34 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto Him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country. As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.

Since the lesson text immediately follows restoring life to the daughter of a certain ruler and the healing of the woman with an issue of blood (Matt. 9:18-26), we can assume that Jesus had just left the home of the Jewish ruler. And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. Some two years later, near the city of Jericho, a similar incident occurred. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David (Matt. 20:30). In both cases, it was two blind men that "recognized" Jesus as the promised Messiah by referring to him as the Son of David? Although there were a few exceptions, doesn't it seem rather odd that four blind men saw Jesus as the Savior, when the vast majority of the Jewish nation rejected, and even slew Him, because they could not recognize Him as the Son of God, even though they had their eyesight? Misled by their leaders, most Jews were looking for an earthly king that would come with much pomp and ceremony and would reign over the nation of Israel forever. Blinded by this fact, they could not "see" the Messiah that miraculously came to earth as the poor Son of a carpenter from Nazareth. Yet, without their sight, these blind men recognized Jesus as the Son of David. Why, we may ask? The apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Christians of Rome. With our eyes, we cannot find sufficient faith in Jesus as the Son of God - we fail to "see" Him because, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).

Blindness was a malady that usually caused men to become beggars in order to survive. Realizing their plight, and having heard and believed in the power of Jesus to perform miracles, they petitioned Him to have mercy on us. This unselfish plea did not come from one of these blind men, but from both of them, each pleading for Jesus' mercy on the other. Neither did these blind men indicate that they deserved, or merited having their sight restored. Therefore their plea to the Son of David was for mercy, not justice. And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him. We are not told whose house Jesus entered at this time. It could have been the home of the blind men, of a friend, or that of Peter, in whose home that Jesus is thought to have dwelt while in Capernaum. Most bible scholars think it was the latter - that is the home of Simon Peter.

No doubt the blind men were invited to enter this home by Jesus. Nevertheless when they did, Jesus asked them this question: believe ye that I am able to do this? By their actions they had already expressed their trust in Jesus as having the power to heal them. Knowing their faith, Jesus still desired an unconditional profession of their faith in His divine ability to heal them of their blindness. Before all present on this day they professed their faith by saying unto Him, Yea, Lord. Indeed, God knows our needs, yet He still wants us to seek His sustaining power in prayer; He knows we are thankful, yet He desires us to express our thankfulness; He knows our pain and suffering, yet he wants us to ask for His healing power and consolation. Likewise, God knows when our heart seeks the hope of eternal salvation He offers to us, yet we are told to confess our faith before others and be baptized for the remission of our sins. These are just a few examples that demonstrate a spiritual fact we all need to understand. He wants us to openly express our faith in Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. Not only is it good for us to do so, but, when observed by others, it also serves as an example that may edify members of our family, friends, and fellow Christians.

With their profession of faith in His power to heal them, Jesus touched their eyes, saying, according to your faith be it unto you. Although it was not necessary for Jesus to touch them to heal their malady, yet by doing so, they had no doubt that receiving their sight was the direct result of faith that He was the promised Messiah, having sufficient power given Him by His Heavenly Father to heal their blindness. And their eyes were opened immediately. It doesn't take wealth, education, earthly status, or power to overcome spiritual blindness. To see the light that leads to the hope of salvation requires unpretentious faith that has been reinforced by the knowledge of God's Holy Word. And, although Jesus straitly charged them , saying, See that no man know it, they could not contain the joy of their healing. When they were departed, (they) spread abroad His fame in all that country.

Following this miracle, Jesus and His followers went out of the house where the blind men, by faith, gained their sight, and behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil. Demonic possession took many forms during these days of our Lord. In this case the presence of the devil in this man resulted in his inability to speak. There seemed to be no physical or mental reason that he became dumb and deprived of his speech. Matthew tells us that his malady was the direct result of a devil, as directed by Satan, destroying the man's speaking ability. Naturally Jesus did not require the man to confess his faith in His ability to cast out this demon, because this would have been impossible. Neither are we told that this man had the mental ability to realize the presence of the Son of God. Yet Jesus, with His compassion for mankind, cast out the devil, and the dumb (man) spake. Then Matthew tells us the reason for this miracle was for the spiritual benefit of those present. He wrote that the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.

Throughout all the recorded Jewish histories, there was never a prophet of God that had ever preformed such miraculous and marvelous wonders that were filled with God's omnipotent power. Here, the more simple, less educated, poorer Jews, that had gathered around Jesus and followed Him, confess the marvelous power of Jesus to be unlike anything ever seen before throughout the nation of Israel. Matthew tells us that the great majority of those in a higher social caste; those that were highly educated and rich; those that belong to the self-proclaimed religious sect of the Jews, known as Pharisees; they refused to accept Jesus as the promised Messiah. And here in the lesson text, they deny and disclaim His power by saying that He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. If anyone should have had a greater ability to understand Old Testament prophesies, it should have been this group of Pharisees that studiously pored over these scriptures, yet severely misinterpreted them. They should have known that the coming of the Savior would be confirmed with such miracles. How could they gloss over such God-inspired testimonies as written by the prophet Isaiah? This one scripture, as well as many others, He told them on that occasion, and tells us today, that at His coming the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped (Isa. 35:5). How true was this prophecy which was fulfilled by the two healings related in the lesson text.