All people need to be certain they have mercy from the Lord and should cry out to him until they receive it.
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’
38 He called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’
39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’
40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 ‘What do you want me to do for you?’
‘Lord, I want to see,’ he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.’43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
Everyone needs Jesus. Coming to that realisation can be very troubling. Deep need which only Jesus can deal with is rarely understood by others. The blind man in the passage for today understood deep need. He survived by begging and no doubt understood better than most what it is feel hopeless and helpless. When he heard that Jesus was coming by, he seized his opportunity. He does what all people need to do, he cries out to Jesus for mercy.
We have a lot to learn from him. Firstly, as he desires help from Jesus, he does not act like the lady who sneaked up behind Jesus and touched his cloak in the hope of being helped while remaining anonymous. Jesus would have none of that and brought her before all as one who was trusting in him. No such problem with the blind man, he calls loudly, publicly and unashamedly. Secondly, we can learn from the language used here that he repeatedly cried out. There was real persistence. Thirdly, his words indicate a real sense of urgency. He clearly trusted that Jesus and only Jesus could help so the tone was, it is now or never. There was no indifference here. Fourthly, he gives Jesus a full messianic title. That simply means that he recognised Jesus as the promised King, descended from David, who would save his people. Fifthly, we see that he pleads for mercy. He certainly wanted sight for his eyes, but he approaches Jesus as an unworthy sinner who needs mercy.
Because we are sinners the deepest need we have is to be forgiven, and assured we are forgiven. Many Christians know in a general sense they are forgiven. However, there can be certain issues or perhaps just one where there is uncertainty. “If only I knew I am forgiven for that.” It is only appropriate that we approach him with unashamed boldness and call out to him for mercy for everything. We need to repeat that plea with urgency until we are confident we have received it. We must approach him with confidence that he is our all-powerful King who died for us to provide mercy to even the greatest sinners.
Like the blind man we can be discouraged in this. He was told to be silent. He was an embarrassment to them. He wasn’t important enough to be troubling Jesus with his problems. We may not have people saying those exact words to us; although you may. Nonetheless, there will be pressure on us from all sorts of directions which will discourage us from such a passionate approach to Jesus to know his mercy. How do we respond? Like the blind man. Be even more bold and determined to know that all is forgiven and that you can live your life under the glorious mercy of King Jesus.
Head: Are you clearly certain that all your sins are forgiven? Are there some you need to be clearer about?
Heart: Have you left your sense of shame for sin with Jesus?
Hands: Think of some way today to show to yourself and others that you have confidence in forgiveness through Jesus.
Prayer: Loving Father, I have sinned against you in many ways. I deserved to be condemned but I place myself in the care of the Lord Jesus who died for me. Please give to me assurance that all is forgiven, especially those sins in my life which give me particular shame. Please remove from me any impediments to serving you with all love for you. In Jesus name. Amen
A song to listen to: Raised with Jesus
Living Church – Creek Road