“And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ And stopping, Jesus called them and said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, let our eyes be opened.’ And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.” Matthew 20:29-34
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7
Perhaps they heard the buzz, a clamor of recognition of the Man who told stories and healed the sick and demon-possessed. When the blind men heard that Jesus was near, they cried out to get His attention: Lord, have mercy on us! They didn’t immediately ask for specific help or healing, but for His heart of mercy to see their debilitated condition and come near. And against the press and rebuking of the crowds, He did. Jesus couldn’t not show mercy- it was His nature and motivation, the blood-type that pulsed through His veins.
And in that spirit He dug deeper to ask what they really wanted from its bubbling well. Let us see. Christ Jesus saw perfectly their pitiful state- unable to work as others did, nor to behold the intricate beauties of earth and sky, loved ones and colors- and mercy moved pity to move His healing hands.
Consider the contrast of reactions to Jesus. The proud swaggered in His wake, vociferously trying to dictate His whereabouts and concentration. They knew best, and how to get ahead, and had no time or inclination to bother with those on the outskirts. But at the roadside, the impoverished knew He was able, full of love and compassion, and cried out a different plea. They who were humble and needy recognized the humble, steadfast love of this Suffering Servant. They appealed to the mercy that identified His voice and ways. (Isaiah 53:2-11)
Am I so moved? Has the mercy of God in Christ quieted my pride, gripped me so tightly I can hardly breathe except to thank Him, and ask for open eyes? Has it captivated my heart and overtaken my compulsions toward others? How might Christ’s mercy begin to define my sights, my plans, my reactions, my interactions, my ministry to others? (Jeremiah 31:20,34; Matthew 18:21-35; Hebrews 8:12)
“Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections and bound my soul fast.
“Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.” ~John Stocker (1776)
Good Father, may I daily approach You and appeal to You on the basis of Your marvelous mercy. And may I honor You by extending that mercy lovingly and generously to others. (Ephesians 4:32; Hebrews 4:16)