Take a look at this scenario:
30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
32 Jesus stopped and called them. “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU?” he asked.
33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
I found this particular episode very interesting because it is something I can relate to.
Here we have two blind men……. shouting for Jesus to have mercy on them.
And Jesus asks them a seemingly stupid question…….”what do you want me to do for you?”
When I read it initially…… my first thought was…..duh!! they want you to heal them obviously.
But after giving it a bit more thought……..a lot more things became evident.
As we have been discussing……. A lot of us are blind.
But the question remains……..do you want your eyes to be opened?
This question is not something that should be taken for granted……because many of us are content being blind.
Relating it to the above scenario…. The blind men may not have wanted their sight…… they may have wanted some money….. and that could have been their interpretation of “mercy”.
By Jesus asking them the question….”what do you want me to do for you”…… it places the ball in their court.
Jesus is not going to heal a man…….. that does not want to be healed.
You have to “want to be able to see”……. before Jesus will take away your blindness.
But do we actually want to see?
When a man has spent his whole life blind and his “livelihood” depends on the fact that he is blind, which gives him the ability to beg on the streets…… if the man is suddenly able to see….. it puts a number of things into perspective.
The man may then have to go to school…. get a degree…. look for a job…… and all sorts of other factors that he would not have had to confront if he was still blind.
If Jesus had opened their eyes without asking what they wanted……. this could have been a problem in itself because a lot of us…..metaphorically speaking……”like the fact that we are blind”……. because being blind has its advantages.
16 “WOE TO YOU, BLIND GUIDES! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’
17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?
18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’
19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.
21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.
22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.
23 “WOE TO YOU, TEACHERS OF THE LAW AND PHARISEES, YOU HYPOCRITES! YOU GIVE A TENTH OF YOUR SPICES—MINT, DILL, AND CUMMIN. BUT YOU HAVE NEGLECTED THE MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS OF THE LAW—JUSTICE, MERCY AND FAITHFULNESS. YOU SHOULD HAVE PRACTICED THE LATTER, WITHOUT NEGLECTING THE FORMER.
This whole verse of scriptures appears to deal with the pastors of Jesus’ time.
Jesus refers to them as blind guides and hypocrites.
They are very eager and formal about the payment of tithes……. But they don’t care about justice or mercy or faithfulness……which is what is actually important. .
24 YOU BLIND GUIDES! YOU STRAIN OUT A GNAT, BUT SWALLOW A CAMEL.
25 “WOE TO YOU, TEACHERS OF THE LAW AND PHARISEES, YOU HYPOCRITES! YOU CLEAN THE OUTSIDE OF THE CUP AND DISH, BUT INSIDE THEY ARE FULL OF GREED AND SELF-INDULGENCE.
Pastors insist on petty rules used to control the people….. but in the process they do so many outrageous things.
On the outside they wear all black and have white collars.
They carry a bible wherever they go……and they punctuate their sentences with “amen”, “thank God” and “hallelujah”.
On the outside they look holy, with their calm exterior, and gentle approach……… but on the inside…… they are full of greed and self indulgence.
Has anything changed since the time of Jesus?……. or are pastors the exact same way?….. even more subtle in their approach to hypocrisy.
26 BLIND PHARISEE! FIRST CLEAN THE INSIDE OF THE CUP AND DISH, AND THEN THE OUTSIDE WILL BE CLEAN.
How can we be led by blind men…… when we give no thought to what their insides are like?……
How can you follow a man who you don’t know from the inside…… all you see is the outside and that dictates your belief in what he says?
27 “WOE TO YOU, TEACHERS OF THE LAW AND PHARISEES, YOU HYPOCRITES! YOU ARE LIKE WHITEWASHED TOMBS, WHICH LOOK BEAUTIFUL ON THE OUTSIDE BUT ON THE INSIDE ARE FULL OF DEAD MEN’S BONES AND EVERYTHING UNCLEAN.
On the outside they look beautiful.
They look exactly how you would expect a “good” person to look like.
But on the inside….. they are filthy.
28 IN THE SAME WAY, ON THE OUTSIDE YOU APPEAR TO PEOPLE AS RIGHTEOUS BUT ON THE INSIDE YOU ARE FULL OF HYPOCRISY AND WICKEDNESS.
On the outside they look like good people.
On the inside they are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Has anything changed?……or are pastors of today exactly the same?
29 “WOE TO YOU, TEACHERS OF THE LAW AND PHARISEES, YOU HYPOCRITES! YOU BUILD TOMBS FOR THE PROPHETS AND DECORATE THE GRAVES OF THE RIGHTEOUS.
30 AND YOU SAY, ‘IF WE HAD LIVED IN THE DAYS OF OUR FOREFATHERS, WE WOULD NOT HAVE TAKEN PART WITH THEM IN SHEDDING THE BLOOD OF THE PROPHETS.’
31 SO YOU TESTIFY AGAINST YOURSELVES THAT YOU ARE THE DESCENDANTS OF THOSE WHO MURDERED THE PROPHETS.
32 FILL UP, THEM, THE MEASURE OF THE SIN OF YOUR FOREFATHERS!
33 “YOU SNAKES! YOU BROOD OF VIPERS! HOW WILL YOU ESCAPE BEING CONDEMNED TO HELL?
34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.
35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
36 I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, ALL THIS WILL COME UPON THIS GENERATION..
It is relatively significant that it was pastors that killed Jesus.
It was never in the interest of pastors to preach the message of Jesus……and it still isn’t.
The message of Jesus does not fill up churches.
The message of Jesus is more likely to drive people away.
The pastors of today will claim they are different from their forefathers…….. they will claim that if they were around in the time of Jesus they would not have been part of those that killed him.
But in truth pastors kill Jesus everyday.
Everyday they ignore his message and preach something different.
Everyday they reject the gospel in favour of something that is easier to handle….. something that the congregation would like to hear.
37 “O JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM, YOU WHO KILL THE PROPHETS AND STONE THOSE SENT TO YOU, HOW OFTEN I HAVE LONGED TO GATHER YOUR CHILDREN TOGETHER, AS A HEN GATHERS HER CHICKS UNDER HER WINGS, BUT YOU WERE NOT WILLING.
38 Look, your house is left to you desolate.
39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
We are not willing to listen to the message.
That is why we are still blind.
We would rather listen to pastors telling us what we want to hear…..than listen to the message straight from the horses mouth.
Our opinions are based on what “other people say”….. instead of what we have found out to be the truth for ourselves.
We will never be able to see.
“If we are content in our blindness”.
To be continued……