“Lord,” he said, “I want to see!”
And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.”
Luke 18:41b-42, NLT*
On the way to Jericho, Jesus responds to a blind beggar’s plea. I love this story, and the man’s cry, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38, NLT*) can become our own in times of distress. It’s one of the variations of the Jesus Prayer.
Jesus’ approach is different in this brief encounter. (It’s only 9 verses; take time to read it here: Luke 18:35-43, NLT.)
While the crowd tries to shush the man, Jesus stops and commands him to be brought near. He invites (or commands) the beggar to make his petition – a petition Jesus grants with an authoritative response and with none of the touching or further instructions He often gives.
Instead of a dusty road, the actions bring a picture of an elegant throne room. This is a King’s response to a subject’s plea.
At first I wondered why. Jesus is usually more approachable for the common people. Reading the story again, I see a hint of His reasoning.
When the blind man asks about the crowd noise, the people say “Jesus the Nazarene” (or “Jesus of Nazareth”) is passing by. Excitement fills the air. This is the miracle-worker.
The beggar calls Him a different name: “Jesus, Son of David.” From what he’s heard about Jesus, this man’s spirit knows the truth. Jesus isn’t just a travelling healer. Jesus is the promised King. The Messiah.
I think Jesus responds in Kingly fashion here both to meet the man where he is and reinforce his belief, and to give the crowd a chance to realize there’s more to discover.
What difference would it make in our prayer lives if we remembered we’re approaching the King – who welcomes us and who has complete authority to meet our needs?
Jesus, Saviour, Son of David. You are our King, who came in the flesh and defeated death and hell. You save us when we cry out to You, even though we have nothing to offer but ourselves. Thank You for such grace, power and love. Strengthen our faith to believe that You are fully approachable and fully able to meet our deepest needs.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.