Jesus said to the blind beggar near
“What do you want me to do for you?” [The beggar] said, “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed Jesus, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.
~Luke 18:41-43 (NRSV).
This beggar had courage, but more so faith in Jesus of Nazareth as Healer. He risked abuse and shut down, even physical injury. Imagine being blind and being in such a situation—ordered to be quiet, yet with the pluck to shout out again, even louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
What the beggar was actually saying is, “You, Jesus, are the promised Messiah,” referring to him as Son of David.
This is a little less obvious than having the faith to simply ask—anyone can ask.
No, this beggar was committing the unforgivable sin of blasphemy if he called anyone else Son of David. In the case of the Jews, they’d have crucified the man; for this is the very sin they accused and found Jesus ‘guilty’ of (Luke 22:71). The blind beggar was risking his life by a count of high treason.
But, he got it right! Such life-risking faith deserved reward. Jesus is perhaps the only one who sees the depth and splendour of this man’s faith.
Desperate to See Again
What drives someone to risk their life to gain something like sight?
We can understand, in our day, why people take little and large risks at the hand of surgeons, in being healed medically from cancers, or rare life-threatening disorders.
These risks are calculated because they stand to reap quality of life and/or years added. Situations creating desperation cause people to make the most reasoned judgments. These are life and death issues.
Yet living life is a life and death issue.
The want to ‘see again,’ even for those who’ve never been open to see spiritually, has to come as a desperate thing. Unfortunately, the many going this way do so because life has become desperate—we just aren’t needy of God until we truly need God.
Faith and Real Life
We can venture to say that life doesn’t become real until we dredge up the courage to live by faith.
If a blind beggar can risk life on several levels to see physically, can we sighted persons risk losing what we cannot keep, so as to see spiritually? It’s the only way we’ll succeed in life.
We know this by the ways we live by sight, and not by faith. We miss the mark, fail, propagate relational problems, and get despondent. This is like God saying, “Ask for, and live by, Spiritual sight—which can address your problems. Don’t rely on your physical sight alone. Life will be chaos that way.”
Living by faith means so many things that are opposite to the way we live this typical life.
Do we really want to be healed of our spiritual blindness—a day by day, lifelong process? This is a question to ask ourselves.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.