Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20100303.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LXVI: Christ's Identity As God's Savior By The Response Of Outcasts To Him
A. Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In The Blind Beggar's Response To Him
Lesson: Since a blind man without access to reading Scripture, but only hearing of it, and of his access only to hearing of Jesus' works, had heard Jesus had performed miracles only of what he had heard the Biblical Messiah could do, expressed such a strong faith in Jesus to be healed of his blindness, then God had made the messianic qualifications of Jesus clear to all of Israel's poor, uneducated people!
- If Jesus is God's true Savior of the world, we should expect that a loving God would have led even the poorest, least educated, downcast in society to be reached by Him so they would be able to trust in Him.
- For this reason, one may wonder if one reason Israel rejected Jesus was because His presentation was not adequately comprehensibe to the many poor, formally uneducated people in Israel.
- However, Luke 18:35-43 records an event that shows God had very effectively communicated the truth about His Son even to such people, and we view it for our edification and application today (as follows):
- Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In The Blind Beggar's Response To Him, Luke 18:35-43.
- When Jesus traveled to the city of Jericho, He came near where a blind beggar sat begging, Luke 18:35. [Liberal theologians have soundly critiqued the Bible record here, claiming (1) Matthew 20:30 refers to two blind men, not one as in Luke 18:35 and Mark 10:46, and (2) since Jesus met them upon leaving Jericho according to Matthew 20:29 and Mark 10:46, not entering it as in Luke 18:35, (3) these records badly err! In answer, (1) there were 2 beggars, but Bartimaeus (named in Mark) was the dominant one who spoke with Jesus, so only he is named in Mark and Luke! (2) Also, there were 2 cities, old Canaanite Jericho and the newer Herodian city, and the beggars sat between the old Jericho Jesus had just left and the newer Jericho He was entering, B. K. Com., N. T., p. 67; Zon. Pict. Ency. of the Bible, v. One, p. 481.]
- When the main blind man heard a boisterous crowd of people coming his way, he asked them what the crowd's presence meant, and they explained that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, Luke 18:37.
- At this news, Bartimaeus immediately cried out, "Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me," Lk. 18:38.
- This was an amazing statement for a helplessly, formally uneducated blind man to make (as follows):
- The expression, "son of David" was a Messianic one, so this blind man had heard Biblical teaching on the Messiah, A. Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah, 1972, ii, p. 49.
- He also had evidently heard enough reports of Jesus' miracles from people who passed him to know that Jesus had given evidence of not only being a servant of Israel's God, but of being the Messiah!
- Furthermore, the fact that he would cry out for Jesus to help him out of his blindness in view of his use of a Messianic title for Christ means the blind man understood the connection between reports of Jesus' healing efforts and of Isaiah 35:4-5's claim that the Messiah would heal the blind! (Luke 18:41a,b)
- This also means this blind man had heard of the Isaiah 35:4-5 prophecy, and that he had put its message of hope for the blind together with reports he had heard of Jesus' healing ministry as far off as Galilee over 60 miles away, cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., map 12!
- When the crowd told the blind man not to bother Jesus (Luke 18:39a), he cried out his Messianic address all the more, revealing a strong faith that Jesus was indeed the Messiah Who would heal him, Lk. 18:39b!
- Jesus stood still in response to such faith, and commanded that the man be brought to Him, Luke 18:40.
- Once the two met, Jesus asked the blind man what he wanted Him to do for him, Luke 18:41a. He replied that he wanted to receive his sight as Isaiah 35:3-5 had predicted of the Messiah's ministry, so Jesus directed that he receive his sight, noting that his faith had made him well, Luke 18:41b-42 ESV, NIV.
- Upon immediately receiving his sight, Bartimaeus followed Jesus, glorifying God, and all of the people around likewise gave praise to the Lord for witnessing such a great, life-changing miracle, Luke 18:43!
Application: (1) May we believe that Jesus is truly God's true Savior! (2) May we also trust that God is willing and able to get His truth to all uneducated, poor folk, and (3) that He can educate us even if we are not formally trained about His deep spiritual truths about Christ as He did for blind Bartimaeus!