Who knows if he ever had hope of being freed from his misery before? But he recognized the unique and for him only opportunity when Jesus passed very close to him.
Do not miss your hour of grace when the Lord meets you.
In Luke 18, we read that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, with a large crowd accompanying Him. Just as they reached Jericho, an unexpected incident occurred. It suddenly involved a blind man! The blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and, because of him, there was quite a commotion. How strange! Who actually purposefully pays any attention to a blind beggar? Compassionate people throw a penny into his cup and go on. Here it was different! The beggar suddenly attracted the attention of Jesus and the crowd. He must have heard many things about Jesus, and now Jesus was passing very close to him. He believed he could be free from his misery, and so he cried out for mercy and help. He had believed and understood that this special hour of grace was before him. But when we put ourselves into the position of this poor man, how merciless were those who threatened him to be silent!
I read an article titled: “Overcome your imperfections.” Even the first sentences in this essay impressed me. It said: “Just knowing our imperfections should teach us to always have a humble attitude. There are actually very few perfect things in this world. The perfect picture has never been painted. The perfect song has never been sung. The perfect sermon has never been preached….” In his article, the author wrote about a young blind woman and shared some of her personal testimony. She did not seek to gain pity, but she knew how to use her talents effectively! She was a gifted singer, and facing a large audience, she said: “I have never been able to see in my life, but God has placed me in a beautiful environment that even I can experience. I have found the greatest happiness, the peace of my soul!”
Let us assume that the blind man in our story was born blind. Therefore, he had never seen a sunrise, a sunset, the moonlight, the mountains, the sea, or the starry sky. He had never seen a flash of lightning or a rainbow, never seen a sprouting seed, a ripe harvest field, flowering meadows, or ripe fruit. He could never have seen the vibrant colorings of birds, a blooming rose, or the lovely smile of a child. He only knew the constant, never-ending darkness around him! This gives us a little insight into the deep distress of this blind man. He was a helpless person. Who could expect him to let this opportunity to gain his sight pass by? So he cried out from the depths of his heart! That was actually all he could do. While the people rejected and threatened him, Jesus did just the opposite! He listened to his cry of distress, stood still, and asked that this man be led to Him. Now the blind man knew for certain that a special hour of grace had come to him.
Let us take a closer look at this situation. We must not overlook the fact that Jesus was actually already on His way to Golgotha. What might have been going on in His mind because of this? He was facing the greatest struggle and the most bitter suffering of His life! When someone is preparing for monumental tasks, he usually won’t pay much attention to a beggar by the roadside!
Jesus was always very close to people’s misery. John writes, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). This Son of God was ready to go to Golgotha to sacrifice Himself for our guilt and sins! He did not pass by the suffering of a blind beggar either! He saw his need, stopped, and had him brought to Him. This man was to experience a special hour of grace! Imagine if that had been one of us!
The moment this blind man was called, he knew that he would experience a major turn of events in his life. He was transferred from constant darkness into glorious light! His crying out showed clear proof of his faith, and this faith helped him! “We’re living by faith in the Savior alone, who suffered on Calvary for sin to atone” a songwriter wrote.
We find that the poor man sitting beside the road near Jericho apparently knew more about Jesus than anyone realized. The people had said to him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He cried out, “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me!” He knew that Jesus was of the royal line of David. As He passed close by, he realized, “He is the Savior of the world!” David says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” The blind man had been allowed to experience this in a literal sense!
The distress of the blind man is comparable to the state of distress in the world. Many people of our time lack divine light and inner sight. In the prophecies pointing to Christ, we read: “the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” (see Malachi 4:2). Unfortunately, the vast majority of people have not seen anything of this Sun and its light. This is a very unfortunate fact. But only in this light can we recognize ourselves, our inner need, and Christ as the only Savior and Redeemer. Therefore, anyone who is in inner darkness should earnestly cry out to the Lord for mercy so that he can obtain help and salvation for his soul.