Just and merciful God, you are the one who is worthy of praise. All glory and honor to you.
Read MATTHEW 9:27–34
Jesus Heals the Blind and the Mute
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 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.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.’1
We live in an age of information. We’re reliant on it – but we’re also vulnerable to information spreading out of control, especially when it turns into disinformation. We have to learn the skill of distinguishing truth from fake news.
Today’s passage shows that this is not only a modern problem. Jesus ordered the no-longer-blind men to keep their healing secret (v 30). Matthew doesn’t explain why: possibly it was to prevent undue publicity, hastening Jesus’ arrest as a revolutionary.2 Anyway, the men did exactly the opposite (v 31). One of the paradoxes of Jesus’ ministry is that the one who controlled the winds and the waves could not prevent these men from spreading the news of their healing. It reminds us that God never seeks to control our will. He always invites, never forces, us to comply with his initiatives. He did not prevent human will nailing Jesus to the cross.
Whereas the men’s failure to obey Jesus’ injunction was natural and probably well-intentioned, the Pharisees’ response was more malevolent. Motivated by jealousy, fear, or insecurity, they tried to undermine the crowd’s amazement at Jesus’ acts by spreading a conspiracy theory questioning the source of his powers (v 34). Matthew does not tell us how the crowd responded. Would they have noticed that the blind men, with mysterious spiritual insight, addressed Jesus with a messianic title (‘Son of David’) (v 27)? Or recalled Jesus’ compassion towards those who came to him for help? Or remembered their wonder at Jesus casting out the forces of darkness? If they did, they would have ignored the Pharisees’ derision and clung to their instinct that Jesus represented something good and amazing that had never been seen before (v 33). When others seek to undermine our faith, do we listen to them? Or do we remind ourselves again of the truth?
Remind yourself of why you believe in Jesus. Share his truth with another.
Lord God, life, and the people around me present me with a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges. Grant me wisdom and discernment as I navigate these landmines that confront my walk with you.
1 Ps 89:1 2 Keener, Matthew, p262
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