The Blind Begger

"Have mercy on me!" How often have I heard a begger cry out these words or words like them. Arm outstretched, cup held out, "Have mercy on me!" I purposely don't carry cash so that I will have an excuse not to give, but perhaps I should purposely carry cash for the purpose of giving. "Have mercy on me!"

Imagine this, Jesus walking down the road with his followers, on their way out of Jericho they pass by some beggers on the side of the road. They continue walking. Jesus continues walking!

Meanwhile, this blind man on the side of the road hears a crowd approaching as usual, but something about their conversation sounds different. He tunes in his attention and catches a few words "healing" "see that look on their faces" "faith" "the words..." He realizes that Jesus and his students are about to cross his path. Jesus, the one who he has heard can heal his blindness, so that he once again will be able to see! The blind man considers getting the group's attention, but then he holds back, nervous. An internal struggle takes place where the man tries to decide whether he will interupt this great teacher, great HEALER, in order to get help. Jesus passes and his opportunity for possible healing has also almost passed. And then he realizes that he already begs, how much worse could it be to swallow his pride and call out to the man who can make him well.

So, he cries out. Loudly, "have mercy on me!" Now those around him, hush him. "Please don't disturb the great teacher. He has nothing to offer you." A few of the disciples look back and think "Can't he see that we don't have any money to give him, why is he crying out to us." Nonetheless, the blind man has already made his decision, he has already made the investment, he knows this Jesus can heal him and this may be his only chance to once again live! "Son of David, Have Mercy on me!"

Jesus stops, turns, and tells those around him, possibly even those who had tried to silence the man or had thought critical thoughts toward him, to go and bring the blind man to him.

The man who is blind hears this and leaps from his place, throwing off his cloak, he hurries toward the voice of God!

Jesus asks him what he wants. What type of mercy is this man asking for? Is he like the others who just ask for money or food, not realizing that they are standing in the presence of one who could give much greater gifts? No, the blind man knows who this Jesus is and asks for sight - the one thing that only Jesus can give him and he cannot ask of anyone else. Ahhh, this man knows and he believes that the things he has heard are true!

"Go," Jesus speaks, "your faith has made you well."

(Mark 10:46-52)


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