Parallel Texts: Matthew 20:29-34; Luke 18:35-43
Jesus continues His journey to Jerusalem and reaches Jericho; it isn’t far now to His destination. As they were leaving the city, followed by a large crowd, a blind beggar calls out to Jesus and people rebuke him, telling him to be quiet, yet Jesus hears the man’s cry. We aren’t even into the story, but what an image!
Everyone around this poor fellow wanted him to shut up, but Jesus hears his cry and sends someone over to get him and bring him to Jesus. Does Jesus tell the man to be quiet? Certainly not; He asks the man what He can do for him.
“Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
I wasn’t with Mark when he wrote all of this, and I never had the opportunity to ask him why this story is stuck in this particular spot. Oh, sure, it was the next thing that happened; we can agree with that to a point, at least it’s the next thing Mark decided to tell us about. Ah yes, sometimes a story is more powerful because of what isn’t mentioned, and in this one, we have been in some pretty deep water in 10:1-45 haven’t we? Then, the next section is the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Right in the middle, between Jesus’ discussion of who is great in the Kingdom and His final entry into Jerusalem, the great climax of history, Mark drops this in: Why not mention something else, surely there were other incidents along the way?
Throughout the Kingdom Tour, Jesus has brought light into darkness; it’s been right there for all to see. Now, as He and the others begin their steep climb into the mountains to a Jerusalem that is as dark as can be, they are bringing the light of Truth and God’s Word along with them for all to see, and as Jesus and His entourage are walking past a blind man, the man shouts, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
And Jesus gives him sight so that he can see the Light of the World.
I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I think this is one of those “wow” moments.