Read Matthew 20:29-34
Crowds…they gathered to hear Christ’s teaching. They congregated to observe and experience His miracles. And, in today’s reading, we see a mobile crowd following Him. Even though it appears that they didn’t make the full trip, they set out with Him as He began the journey from Jericho to Jerusalem. It would be strenuous…more than 15 miles and a climb of over 3200 vertical feet.
I am sure that each person had his or her reason for following. Some may have been touched by His healing power…unlike the impact of the medical practices they had attempted. Others may have been inspired by the loving truths He shared in His teaching…unlike anything the religious leaders of the day had ever taught. Still others may have joined the throng because of mere peer pressure. They did not want to be the odd person out.
Whatever their reasons for following, they seemed to also have reasons for silencing the needs of two blind men they were passing by. Why did they try to shush them?
- Did they see themselves as a closed group? “Us 4000 or 400 or 40 or 4 and no more!”
- Were they more destination-oriented than people-focused? “We can’t be stopping for every little thing along the way or we will never get there!”
- Did they see the blind men as too marginalized? “Jesus came for mainstream people like me!”
- Did they see Jesus as one being limited in grace, love, and power? “If He gives attention to them, it will distract His focus and His resources from us!”
The Scriptures don’t give us their reasons for silencing the blind men, but I can imagine the excuses given above because I have seen them at work in my life. I am ashamed to admit that, but then I am inspired by the actions of Jesus.
He wasn’t too busy or goal oriented for this “interruption.” They weren’t nuisances, they were people with needs. He responded to these men with the same patient grace and mercy that He uses to touch me and that He used to touch many in the crowd. And, with His unlimited resources, there was more than enough room for two more to join the crowd.
Thanks, Lord, I needed that reminder.
Does your attitude about the needs of others and the compassion of Jesus need to change too?