- Sermon Notes
There’s More to See
Illus. Not sure what happened.
This morning we are continuing in Matthew 20:29-34 where we see two blind men who had lost their sight, but despite where their situation had placed them, they cried out to Jesus, trusting Him to bring illumination to that which had once grown dim, and open their eyes to see beyond their present reality.
Read: Matthew 20:29-34
The men in this story did not have their eyesight, but, they had great spiritual insight into who Jesus was, knowing that He was the One who could make a way for them. Others have their physical eyesight in-tact, but find themselves spiritually in lack, only willing to walk according to their physical sight rather than according to the understanding that ultimately, the only way forward is by faith. It was true in Jesus day, and remains a reality in ours.
Helen Keller, “The only think worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
Proverbs 29:18, Where there is no vision, people perish.
Perhaps this morning you have come to a place on your journey where the things of the Lord and walking according to His word was once so clear, but that day seems far away and today is blurry at best. You have your physical eyesight, but have lost your spiritual insight and have told yourself there is nothing more to see and have begun living your life accordingly.
In the midst of their misfortune, the blind men are made aware that Jesus was coming near. Despite their difficulty and their inability to see, they knew that before Jesus was the place for them to be to let Him determine whether there was more for them to see.
I don’t know where you find yourself today. Perhaps you are in the place where you cannot see, and know that before Jesus is the place you need to be. The Bible makes it clear that when we gather in His name, He is near. If you find yourself lacking sight or vision, if you have turned from the mission the Lord has in store for you and know you are not seeing things clearly. I encourage you to not let the opportunity to draw near to Jesus pass you by today. There is more for you to see.
I. Check Your Vision
Matthew 20:29-30, As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
We are introduced to the two blind men in the book of Matthew, but here they are not named. This account is recorded in Mark (10:46-52) and Luke (18:35-42) as well, yet only one of the blind men is mentioned, and he is mentioned by name, Bartimaeus.
What we know is that blind people on the side of the road would have been a common occurrence, particularly in the city.
None of them could work and few had families who could or would support them. That said, most were beggars.
Bartimaeus is identified in Mark 10:46 as a “blind beggar,” and we can surmise that the man next to him here was as well.
The men we are introduced to were painfully aware of their plight. They had at some point in time become blind, and find themselves on the side of the road begging for alms amongst others likely in a similar situation.
In the midst of their daily pattern, begging by the side of the road, they hear that Jesus was passing by and they immediately cry out to Him.
The Greek word here for “cried out,” is “krazo,” meaning: to scream, shriek, exclaim, cry out.
Illus. It is used in Scripture many times.
In each situation those crying out knew their need and displayed the desperation of their need or circumstance.
Illus. Different cries.
Psalm 18:6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
The men here had become blind and knew that they were in dire need of Jesus and that He was their only hope.
By calling Him “Son of David,” it was evident that they understood who exactly Jesus was. The Messiah would be a descendent from the line of King David (Is. 9:6-7, Jeremiah 23:5-6)
Isaiah 35:4-5, Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance… But He will save you. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped…”
Illus. By this time, Jesus had healed many.
These men knew that they were blind, and with their blindness defined, they knew it was Jesus they needed.
I bring this up because the fact that the men knew they could not see, was essential to their willingness to pursue Jesus fervently.
And for you and for me, there has to be an understanding of our situation personally, to know our need, to understand what we have lost sight of, or haven’t been able to see. It is that reality which will drive us to pursue Jesus fervently.
Revelation 3:17-18, Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
The picture here is of a church that was lukewarm. They weren’t seeing spiritually. They did not know what they had lost, how far they had gone, and in Revelation, the Lord in His love, is letting them know.
And there is great danger for you and me there as well.
John Haywood (1546), “There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.”
While we understand physical blindness, there is no mistaking it if you experience it. We also understand, however, that the Bible speaks about spiritual blindness which is far worse, as the consequences are eternal.
Illus. What do you see?
Matthew 13:13-15, While seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.’
It is there that Jesus was talking about the parables, that there were those who were unwilling and therefore unable to understand His words, His ways, His kingdom, His warnings.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4, …If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Are your eyes open and aware of the things of the world, but blind to the ways and words of Jesus?
Ephesians 5:8, For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.
Let God’s Word illuminate your life and become the instrument you utilized to ensure you are seeing properly.
Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Illus. What happens when the light turns on?
Persist in your pursuit of Jesus
Matthew 20:30-31, And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
Knowing their need and that Jesus was the One who could change their situation, they cried out to Him.
After crying out, with the recognition of Jesus’ position, the crowd sternly tells them to be quiet, but the two knew their need and cried out all the more.
In your need for Jesus, don’t become quiet when the “crowd” in your life tells you to quiet down.
Illus. It’s not going to work.
James 4:8, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Psalm 145:18, The Lord is near to all who call upon Him…
The Lord is near to all who call, the question is, are you calling upon Him?
Illus. Parable of persistence in prayer.
The blind men persisted in their pursuit, what do you need from Jesus today, call upon Him.
Set your sights on the Savior
Matthew 20:32-33, And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.”
What happens here is powerful as well and important for us to see.
Jesus asks the two, “what is it you want for me to do?”
Knowing their need, they told the Lord that they wanted, for their eyes to be opened.
Matthew 20:34, Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.
Jesus’ was moved with compassion, which is a picture of Him being stirred with love and sympathy to the deepest depths.
In His compassion, He responded to their request and these men, once blind, were now able to see.
After touching their eyes, verse 34 reads that they “regained” their sight. The picture of these men is that they once could see, but something changed.
While we don’t know what caused their blindness, we do know where their healing was found. The solution to their situation was getting before Jesus.
And if you have become blind to the things of the Lord, today it’s not about the situations, decision, or circumstances that got you to that place, but about turning to the God mercy and grace.
Lamentations 3:22, This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
There is more for you to see, put your faith and trust in Jesus, His compassions never fail, they are new, for me and for you, every morning.
After Jesus touched their eyes, they could see again. And as they opened their eyes, the One they saw standing before them was Jesus and immediately began to follow Him.
Job 42:5, My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
These blind men had heard of Jesus, but now they see.
Their faith was now sight, and with great faith and the object of that faith before them, they were determined to follow. Their sights were set on Him, focus fixed on following immediately.
Illus. Set your sights.
Romans 15:13, Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They *said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.