July 26: Kingdom Compassion (Matthew 20:29-34)
This Sunday Josh Herring will continue teaching a new series on church history in the youth room at 9:00am, focusing on the roots of the Reformation and how theology develops over time. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project.
And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 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!” 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, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him. (ESV)
Our passage contains the last miracle story for the gospel of Matthew except for the resurrection of Jesus. In this miracle, Jesus while on his way to Jerusalem, stops for the cries of mercy from two blind men. Jesus is not simply full of power to heal and save but also full of compassion to minister to the needs of those forgotten by most and on the fringe of a busy and religious people. While the power of Jesus is always impressive, his compassion to those ignored or poorly valued (children, women, sick, lame, etc.) is in some ways more impressive. So this miracle story reveals the unconventional glory of Jesus as having a pity and compassion that results in change, healing and ultimately salvation. We see two responses to such a wonder. The crowds are somewhat dull to the whole thing, even rebuking the blind men for calling to God for mercy. Yet the blind men, with their undeveloped faith seemed to know enough of their situation and this Savior to call out for mercy and they were heard, healed and began to follow. Let the beauty of Jesus refresh you and may his accessibility in prayer draw you to him for a full measure of mercy.
Review and Apply
- What were the purposes of Jesus' miracles?
- How does giving physical sight to the blind men relate to our spiritual blindness?
- What does the title "Son of David" teach us about the person of Jesus?
- If Jesus were to ask you, "What do you want me to do for you?," what would you ask?
- How does desperation lead us to joy in salvation? Speak to this from your own life.
- What is significant about Jesus touching these men as the means of healing?
- How does Jesus' compassion lead us to greater worship?
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