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.
Whenever I read about blindness I am transported back in time to 1972. Standing in my parents home in New Jersey, my wife told me that she had gone to the eye doctor and he told her that she was going blind. For the next three years I became intimately acquainted with the desperation voiced by the two blind men in this story. I helplessly watched as my wife descended into physical and emotional darkness. And such is the setting for two helpless and desperate men sitting beside a dusty road crying for mercy.
Can you imagine the reaction of those two when Jesus stopped and touched their eyes. I can. In August 1975 I came home again to news concerning my wife and her eyesight. My desperate wife had been to church with neighbors and Jesus touched her left eye [read about it here]. And a week later this healing began to take root in my heart when she passed the eye test and got her drivers license. Like the two in the story our lives had been turned upside down. And like them we began to follow Jesus.
Lord, have mercy on me, Son of David!