THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
D. Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen In His Discipling Of His Followers, Matthew 6:13-20:34
3. Christ's Messianic Identity Seen In His Teaching On Living The Cross Before The Crown
j. Christ's Demonstration Of Messianic Authority Regardless Of His Coming Cross
A. The idea that the Messiah had to face a cross before His crown was foreign to the Jews, and Jesus' death temporarily caused His disciples to be disillusioned, to doubt that He was the Messiah, cf. Luke 24:13-21a.
B. Thus, for their later edification after His resurrection when they would recall the event, while in the vicinity of Jericho and heading toward Jerusalem, Jesus performed a final miracle that asserted His Messianic authority.
C. We view that event in Matthew 20:29-34 for our edification (as follows):
II. Christ's Demonstration Of Messianic Authority Regardless Of His Coming Cross, Matthew 20:29-34.
A. [Jesus' healing of the blind men in Matthew 20:29-34 is there said to have occurred when Jesus left Jericho while in Luke 18:35 the incident is reported to have happened when Jesus approached Jericho, and Luke states He healed one blind man opposite Matthew's claim that He healed two men, so critics claim this shows the Bible errs. However, two men were doubtless healed, with one man being more vocal, and there were two cities of Jericho, an old and a new one with the blind men situated between them, B. K. C., N. T., p. 67.]
B. As Jesus headed up to Jerusalem toward the cross, two blind men sitting by the way side heard that He was passing by, and they cried out, saying, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David!" (Matthew 20:29-30)
C. The term, "son of David" was a title of the Messiah (Ibid.), so these men were acknowledging their faith in Jesus as the Messiah, and Jesus Himself in Matthew 11:2-6 had testified to the disciples of John the Baptizer that His fulfilling the Isaiah 35:5 prediction that the blind would be healed in the coming of the Messiah.
D. The fact that these men knew of such a title for Jesus shows the entire nation was accountable to trust in Him:
1. These men, being blind, had only heard of these truths about Jesus, and had only heard of Messiah's healing of the blind as predicted in Isaiah 35:5, so there was enough information floating about in the conversations of and teachings of the leaders in Israel that even such blind men knew these facts!
2. Also, we note Matthew 9:27 records an earlier event when two blind men had cried out to Jesus, "Thou son of David, have mercy on us" so that Jesus had healed them! These men had spread the news of this account in all of Galilee far north of where the Jericho blind men were healed (Matt. 9:1), so Jesus' fame for such miracles was apparently a nationwide fame!
3. Then, when Jesus in Matthew 15:21-22 arrived in far northern Israel and a Gentile woman had hailed Him with the expression "Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David" similar what all these blind men said, it revealed there must have been region-wide knowledge of Jesus' capacity to perform miracles in line with the Isaiah 35:5 prophecy, further testifying to all Israel's accountability to trust in Him!
E. Nevertheless, the Hebrew crowd rebuked these blind men outside Jericho, telling them to be quiet, Matthew 20:31a. The crowd was inexcusably not trusting in Christ as the Messiah.
F. Yet, the blind men cried out the more, saying, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David," Matt. 20:31b.
G. This exercise of faith gained Jesus' response: He stood still and called them, saying, "What will you that I shall do unto you?" (Matthew 20:32) and they replied, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened," Matthew 20:33.
H. Jesus compassionately touched their eyes, immediately giving them sight, so they followed Him, Matt. 20:34.
Lesson: Regardless of His coming cross, regardless if the nation of Israel was inexcusably failing to believe that He was the promised Messiah in healing the blind, when two blind men near Jericho appealed to Jesus to be healed in faith that He was the Messiah, Jesus proceeded to heal them, exhibiting His authority as the Messiah.
Application: (1) May we believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, that we might have eternal life, John 20:31. (2) May we APPLY what we KNOW to be OBVIOUS Biblical truths for BLESSING as did these blind men, the blind men of Matthew 9 and the Gentile woman of Matthew 15, rising ABOVE the unbelief of many around us who live in inexcusable darkness. (3) May we not fear what the crowd about us unbiblically thinks or does in reaction or opposition to our application of God's Word, but like these blind men outside Jericho simply apply it in faith! (4) May we heed the AUTHORITY of Jesus as God and the Messiah and obey Him in our lives! [(5) May we not doubt the Bible due to charges of critics that it has errors, but do our homework in defense of its validity!]