Study Notes

Matthew 20:29-34


Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem, having traveled through the city of Jericho (Luke 18-19). This road had been the setting of Jesus' parable about the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30).

He is now just 13 miles from the city where He will die. But instead of obsessing over the horrible things which will happen to him in just a few short days, He is still focused on ministering to hurting people.

20:29 Large Crowd Follows Him

Jesus received all sorts of people:

Matt. 4:24 ...all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.

And because of this, large crowds followed Him wherever He went (Matt. 4:25).

20:30 Son Of David

Two blind men had heard the commotion and asked the people walking by what was going on (Luke 18:36). When they heard that the center of this crowd was the famous Jesus of Nazareth, they started to cry out (Mark 10:47).

They acknowledged Him as the Son of David (Matt. 20:30; Mark 10:47; Luke 18:38). This was one of the titles of the Messiah. Why were these blind men so emphatic to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah? Because they believed when Messiah came into His kingdom, that the words of Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled:

Is. 29:18-19 On that day the deaf will hear words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the LORD, and the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.


Jesus is the only hope for the blind to see. It is only of Him that we can say,

Matt. 11:5 the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up...

And we need to be honest with ourselves today: We are all blind in one way or another. We are all blind to the truth in some area.

And we're blind to things that most people can see about us. Things that we can't see about ourselves.

First of all, there are many who are blind to the truth of the gospel. We can see how desperately they need to be saved, but they are blinded, not able to see it themselves.

But all of us are also blind to certain areas of sin in our lives.

- Isn't it amazing how we can get a root of bitterness so big that it's growing out our ears? And yet everyone can see it but us.

- Isn't is amazing how people can be blind to areas of their flesh that are obvious to almost everyone else?

- Isn't it amazing that we can be so blind that we see those areas of blindness in everyone but ourselves, and we actually think that we are the only person who isn't blind.

Indeed, there are some of us who can't see that we can't see!

Have Mercy On Us

These men were blind, and they knew that Jesus was their only hope. And so they cried out to Him for mercy.

Notice, that they weren't yelling for justice. They weren't saying, "Give us what we deserve!" Lately, I have been acutely aware that in almost every difficult situation, people are saying, "I demand that justice be inflicted upon this person or those people." But rarely does a sane person say, "I demand that I get everything I deserve. I want everything that I have coming to me!"

No, mercy is what we must cry out for. Not justice, which is to get what we deserve, but mercy, which is to NOT get what we deserve. These blind men knew better. They cried out for mercy.

20:31 Be Quiet!

One day, you'll discover that you are blind. And if you choose to do something about it, it will probably cause a disruption in the people around you. You see, nobody likes a troublemaker. No one wants you to get loud or disrupt the peace just so you can cure your blindness.

Many of you have told me how the Lord began to reveal your blindness in certain areas. But when you wanted God to heal your blindness, you were told that you were fine, just to be quiet.

- The people at your last church told you to maintain the status quo.

- The people in your family said that you were in danger of becoming a religious nut, so they told you to settle down.

- Your friends tell you that you're over-reacting, and that you should just maintain.

There will always be crowds telling you to be quiet, to just live with your blindness. But follow the example of these men: Cry out all the more.

20:32 What Do You Want Me To Do For You?

What a great picture of the Lord: "What do you want Me to do for you?" God is able to do many things, and nothing is impossible for Him. But what do you want Him to do? "Well, I want to see, of course," you might reply. Really? Are you sure?

Remember that in the gospel of John we read about a man who'd been ill for 38 years. He was lying by the pool of Bethesda, and Jesus...

John 5:6 ...said to him, "Do you wish to get well?"

The man immediately answered, "Well, you see, I have nobody to help me. No one else is here for me. Not a soul will assist me into the pool."

Do you wish to get well or not? Some of us don't really want to see. We just want to whine and moan about how we can't see. That's why Jesus will often have this conversation with us before He does the miracle for us. "What do you want Me to do for you?"

20:33 We Want Our Eyes To Be Opened

These men knew what they wanted. And they knew they couldn't do it themselves. They didn't say, "Lord, we want to open our eyes." They said, "Lord, we want our eyes to be opened." They knew it was He Who would have to open their eyes.

Do you recognize that today? Only Jesus is going to be able to open your eyes. Some people today want to be your authority, want to be your healer. But Jesus would remind you,

Luke 6:39 ..."A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?"

Are you one who thinks that you are a leader, who directs people to follow you? Are you, as Paul said,

Rom. 2:19-20 ...confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth...

If in fact you are able to see clearly, then how did that happen? If it's true clarity of sight, it came from Jesus Christ. And if it came from Jesus Christ for you, then the only way you're going to lead properly is to direct those blind people to Jesus, not to yourself.

20:34 The Compassion That Gives Sight

Praise God for His ability to heal, and the compassion that causes Him to use that ability! The result of their healing was that they followed Him. May we follow that example today.

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