Even today people struggle with blindness. Granted, today those who are blind have legal protections, braille, technology, and acceptance that wasn’t part of other cultures. In the New Testament era, the only “job” the blind could get was begging. Doesn’t sound very fulfilling or enjoyable.
Our story in Matthew takes place on Jesus’ last journey to Jerusalem. Whether the large crowd was only because of Jesus or also because of the approaching Holy Days is somewhat up for discussion. Regardless, though, the blind men were probably looking forward to having a more successful attempt at begging, due to the emotional high that people would have had, and the affiliation of almsgiving with Holy Days.
Instead, they hear Jesus is coming. They probably had already heard the stories of the miracles he performed. That Jesus would be near them would be exciting and would be hope-filled. They cried out, but the crowd tried to silence them. Some commentators take a symbolic view of this. The crowd is the world (and Satan) trying to drown out the coming salvation of Jesus. The blind men, like Christians, have to overcome the world to meet Jesus. It might be taking a few too many liberties, but the reality is these men overcame the crowd.
In all likelihood, this was not normal behavior for them. They would generally be meek so as to not be bullied. Yet, they went for it. They took the risk. Opposed the crowd. They could now see.
The weak. Foolish desires. The despised. Yet, Jesus heard their cries and healed them. Paul notes that the world has a different form of evaluation and valuing people than the Kingdom of God.
1) What have your thoughts been (whether now or in the past) of people who were not fully as capable (physical or mental) as you?
2) People are quick to value people based upon their physical bodies. Why do you think that is?
3) Why do you think Paul concludes with, “…so that no one may boast in his presence…”?