The Rev’d Derek Arnold
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THE READING Matthew 9.27-31
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you;” and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
“Son of David” was a fashionable way of addressing Jesus because it was known that the Messiah would be a descendant of David as mentioned in Isaiah chapter 9 verse 7. However this is the first time the title is used in Matthew gospel, and Jesus’ ability to give sight to the blind was also prophesied by Isaiah. So these two blind men were on the right trail, but Jesus didn’t respond immediately, he waited to see if they had faith.
Not everyone who asks for help, honestly believes that God will heal them. I mean, how many of us truthfully believe that God will help us when we ask him?
But these two blind men were persistent, they followed Jesus’ right into the place where he was staying. Their faith told them that Jesus could heal them and they weren’t going to let anything get in their way from finding him. It shows real faith in action and it tells us that if we believe Jesus is the answer to our prayers then don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of reaching him.
Once again, like other incidents of healing, Jesus warns them sternly not to tell anyone but still they went out and couldn’t help letting everyone know what had happened. I always wonder why Jesus didn’t want people to tell anyone, but then I realised he didn’t want people to think that he was just a healer. He healed because he had compassion on people, but he also wanted to bring spiritual, as well a physical healing to the world.
This is the middle story of three sets of miracles, first the bleeding woman and the dead girl were considered unclean, and then these two blind men, followed by the healing of the man who couldn’t speak. All were unprivileged, outcasts of society, but Jesus didn’t care. He had compassion for those on the margins of normal life, this was the newness of Jesus. These miracles had several things in common and they were intended to teach. Yes the new had come but these miracles had only been accessible by faith. I think this and the other miracles are telling us that the human heart can be resistant and can be deceived if we are not careful but actually it is only when we truly trust by faith that we will find salvation.
THE COLLECT for the First Sunday of Advent
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.