Lord have mercy on me, I want to regain...
Luke 18:18-43 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 23 But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”
28 Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” 29 And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”
31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, 33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” 34 But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.
35 As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. 36 Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. 37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he called out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, 41 “What do you want Me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.
In Today’s text it says: And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” When God asks a question, it is not because He doesn’t know the answer. When God asks a question He is asking us to answer something about ourselves to ourselves. Some might argue that Jesus, in this instance, was fully man and not God, so He did not possess the omniscience of God. To that I would say first, we don’t fully know and cannot fully comprehend how it was that Jesus, being fully God was also fully man. We can only speculate about that. Even if Jesus did not have the all knowing ability of God Himself, He was in constant communion with the Father, through prayer and through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing.” (John 5:19-20) Jesus asked the blind man what he wanted to reveal the man’s heart. It is interesting that when he first cried out, the blind man said: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The man did not justify himself, saying he deserved to see. He didn’t raise the idea that there was injustice that others could see and he could not. He simply asked for mercy. We tend to think of mercy as compassion, but that is only a part of what mercy is. Mercy is: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. Mercy is also forgiveness, forbearance and leniency. That’s what the blind man asked for.
I believe Jesus asked the question so He could look into the eyes of the blind man, although the man could not see, Jesus could see into his heart. Jesus could see that although this man was blind, he looked to Jesus with eyes of faith. Perhaps that’s what it really means in 2 Corinthians 5:7, when it says: for we walk by faith, not by sight. In order to truly walk in faith, we need to disregard what our natural senses tell us. We need to believe beyond what our physical eyes can see to see with eyes of faith. The blind man boldly asked for a miracle of mercy saying: “Lord, I want to regain my sight!” We are not told how he came to be blind, but his request implies that he previously had sight. Jesus response to his request for mercy was: “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” In Mark 11:24 Jesus says: "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Jesus though, and our faith is not like a magic Genie granting us everything we ask for. Remember, Jesus Himself could only do what He saw the Father doing. Our prayers of faith must be aligned with the will of God and we will only clearly know the will of the Father if we, like Jesus, are in constant communion with Him; if we will close our eyes to the things of this world and see only with eyes of faith.
There is another thing we can learn from the blind man today. Hebrews 4:16 says: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. The therefore in this verse is because in verse 15 it says: we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Having lived as a man, in a natural body like ours, Jesus knows and understands the difficulties we face. He Himself faced those same temptations, yet without sin. Then He became our High Priest, taking all our sin to the cross. We are encouraged then, to come boldly to Christ for our needs. It is important though that we, like the blind man ask for mercy not justice. You see there is another seat in heaven upon which Jesus is seated, the Judgment Seat of Christ. If we come to Christ demanding justice we will receive what we deserve, because God is a just God. We instead need to come boldly to the throne of grace. Ephesians 2:8 says: by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God Salvation is God’s gift to us because of His grace, His mercy and His love. It is also to His grace and mercy which we appeal to Him for all that He intends for us. The blind man asked to regain his sight. In Genesis it says that God created man and woman, men and women, in His image and likeness, perfect as He is perfect and He created men and women to have dominion, rule and authority over all of the things of earth. Like the blind man, our request to God, at the throne of grace, based on the finished work of the cross, should be to regain what we have lost. In today’s text it says: Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” Whatever we have lost, whether to the consequences of sin or through obedience to Christ, let us come boldly to the throne of grace, where there is help for our time of need. Let us ask to regain not necessarily all that we had, but rather all that God intended for us. Jesus says: “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You for Your grace and Your mercy. Thank You that You desire, through the finished work of the cross, the demonstration of Your love, to restore all things to the way You intended. Holy Spirit help me to see and hear, not with my physical eyes and ears, but with eyes and ears of faith, to see and hear the things that God is doing, so that I ask according to His will and regain all that He desires, mercy, grace and dominion. In Jesus name, because of the finished work of the cross I come boldly to the throne of grace. Amen.