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Seeing Jesus

Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Can you see what this blind man saw before he could actually see?

The Blind Man

Mark Gives us his name …
Mark 10:46 ESV
And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.
Mark 10:46–52 ESV
And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
Let’s call him Bart!
Matthew’s account also tells us that there were two blind beggars
Mark 10:47 ESV
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Matthew 20:29–30 ESV
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!”
Mark and Luke dont say there was only one … they only refer to one. Probably focusing on the vocal one of the two.
There is another slight difference in the accounts that I need to mention:
> Matthew and Mark report the story as Jesus going out of Jericho
> Luke states that it occurred as he was approaching Jericho
Remember - Matthew was there; Mark got account from Peter (who was there) and Luke interviewed eyewitnesses who were there
All three under direction and inspiration of HS
Sometimes even eye witness accounts can vary and all be true.
Proposed solutions:
Some say differences accounted for by fact that Jesus was leaving Old Jericho and entering rebuilt Jericho. [old Jericho not inhabited in Jesus’ day]
Others - propose a two part event … Bart cried out … entered the city … tagged along with the crowd … eventually heard by Jesus and healed.
However you resolve the concerns:
This is Jesus’ last public miracle (cp. - Malchus’ ear)
This account and 19:1-10 - Last two people wha are “converted” in Luke. They both demonstrate how Israel was to respond to her Messiah.
They both stand in contrast to the Pharisee and the Rich Young Ruler in chapter 18
Pharisee and Rich Ruler - Trusted in what was in them
Bart and Zaccheus - Sought Mercy and Came to Jesus in Humility

What the Blind Man Saw

Luke 18:35–37 ESV
As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
Beggar heard commotion
Since he was limited by physical sight … there were things he did see
He saw his need … clearly
His request was straight forward
Luke 18:41 ESV
“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”
The man was in abject poverty … he was begging
He lived in a culture that made no provision for the poor and destitute
He saw more than his blindness … He cried out for salvation
Luke 18:38 ESV
And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
His only plea … Mercy
This cry … this need tells us that he saw his spiritual need as clearly as his physical need
Bare minimum the man was asking for physical healing
Luke, Volumes 1 & 2 What the Blind Man Saw

But as Darrell Bock indicates, our “need for mercy is often associated with sin, and sometimes mercy is needed because the plight is particularly desperate.”

Luke, Volumes 1 & 2 What the Blind Man Saw

In its fullest sense, mercy is the love of God for sinners, the grace by which he rescues us from our lost and sorry condition. Mercy is what David asked for when he prayed: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions” (Ps. 51:1). Whether he realized it or not, when the blind man asked for mercy he was asking Jesus for something more than his sight; he was begging for his salvation.

MERCY = the love of God for sinners
IT IS THE GRACE by which he rescues us from our lost and sorry condition
Mercy is what David asked for ...
Psalm
Psalm 51:1 ESV
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Whether he realized it or not the blind man when he asked for mercy he was asking Jesus for more than his sight … he was begging for his salvation.
AA Recognizes this principle … step one of the 12 steps = We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
Folks … step one is always to admit that there is a problem …
The Blind man by the road saw his need of a saviour
Much more clearly than the rich ruler
the Rich ruler in 18:18-25 would have been better off to be this blind beggar who saw His spiritual poverty
The Blind Man saw His need for Jesus
Luke, Volumes 1 & 2 What the Blind Man Saw

Richard Phillips points out that the various miracles in Luke show us the deadly and disabling effects of sin: “Leprosy shows sin’s corrupting power and condemning presence. The lame show sin’s debilitating power. The dead proclaim the wages of sin; the demon-possessed show the destructive domination that is always the result of our bondage to sin and to Satan.”

What this Blind beggar shows us by his disability and his plea for mercy …
He shows us the blinding effects of sin
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
What a statement … apart from Christ we are blind … blind to the very thing we we need to see … our sin and need of a saviour
Without the work of the HS we fail to even see that main corrupting power
Do you see your need of a Saviour? If not ask the HS to open your eyes
Ask the HS to Open your Eyes … and ask God for Mercy
The BLIND MAN ASLO SAW … Importantly … who JESUS WAS
The crowd referred to Him as Jesus of Nazareth
The Blind Man called him “Jesus Son of David”
Luke 18:38–39 ESV
And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Luke 18:
The Blind man was referring to Him as MESSIAH … The Saviour whom God had promised to send
In those days the Traditional Synagogue prayer included petition for God to have mercy … “on the kingdom of the house of David, of the Messiah of thy righteousness.”
“on the kingdom of the house of David, of the Messiah of thy righteousness.”
By calling Him the Son of david He was acknowledging him as SAVIOUR
Luke 2:4 ESV
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
2 Samuel 7:12–13 ESV
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
He was declaring Jesus Israel’s royal king … David’s rightful heir … and God’s Righteous Messiah
Others saw Jesus as a good teacher … a miracle worker … the Blind Man SAW HIM as Saviour
Any one who calls on the name of Jesus like this Blind Man will be saved …
A powerful example of this saving principle at work in today’s world comes from the life of a student at Kenya’s Scott Theological College. Here is how a teacher at the school describes the man’s testimony:
Francis Ayul comes from the upper Nile River in Southern Sudan. He shared his testimony during the graduation ceremony and we held back our tears: alternating between joy, grief, and then back to joy. He is the only child of 13 siblings still alive. As a young man, he enlisted in the SPLA to fight the Islamic army from the north; he did so for 13 years, earning prestige for his fighting prowess, until he was shot twice in the stomach one hot afternoon. For three days, he lived (barely) among the dead, wondering at times if he was still alive, while hyenas and vultures hovered around his still body. It was during the third day, when—as he held an AK47 to his head to take his own life—he remembered the name of Jesus from his youth and called out, “Jesus, save me.” As he was praying, his comrades returned and found his eyes still blinking and carried him to where he could receive medical help. He promised Jesus, out of gratitude, that he would serve him the rest of his life. Francis returns to southern Sudan to train pastors and serve as a missionary in outreach areas.
Ryken, P. G. (2009). Luke. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (Vol. 2, p. 295). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
SPLA = Sudan People's Liberation Army
The Blind Man - Remember Him … Bart … Not only saw Jesus as Savior … but also as LORD
HIS LORD
Luke 18:41 ESV
“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”
Lord is not just a sign of respect … it amounted to a confession of Faith
Jesus is both Saviour AND Lord
Bart was not only grasping Jesus as the Saviour …
Bart also was submitting himself to Jesus as Lord … to worship and obey him
Luke, Volumes 1 & 2 What Else the Blind Man Saw

Someone once asked Helen Keller, “Isn’t it terrible to be blind?” She responded by saying, “Better to be blind and see with your heart, than to have two good eyes and see nothing.”

Keller’s words are an apt description of Bart by the side of the road
For all his blindness … He was given penetrating spiritual insight.
How is your sight … do you see your sin and need for a saviour as well as He did.
Bart … Saw His Need
Bart saw Jesus as Saviour and Lord
And the First thing His Restored Eyes saw was JESUS … who said earlier in Luke
Luke 4:18 ESV
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
Have you experienced this MINISTRY OF JESUS
Ephesians 1:17–18 ESV
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Jesus made an amazing statement to Bart there on that Roadside …
Luke 10:42 ESV
but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 18:42 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.”
The verb translated “Made you well” is the verb … to save
The word encompasses all aspects of saving.
Depending on the Context - may indicate healing, delivering, rescuing, keeping, preserving.
In God’s grand Scheme He will one day save us from every last consequence of sin … Including Sickness, disability, disease.
Bart experienced both physical healing and the healing of his soul on this day
The error of many faith healers is that they expect the same as a result even now.
This miracle (and all the miracles of Christ) hold out the glorious promise of a deliverance that is yet to come
Revelation 21:4 ESV
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Bart still awaited that Perfect Salvation … but He caught His first glimpse of it when He caught His first glimpse of Jesus
Even before Jesus healed Bart he saw more than most people
The way he received his sight … physical and spiritual was by grace through faith
Luke 18:42 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.”
The blind man was seeing by believing
It was his faith that made him well … saved him
Properly speaking it was Jesus that saved him
Bart Saw Jesus
B. B. Warfield was right when he said that it is not even faith, strictly speaking, that saves, “but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or the nature of faith, but in the object of faith … Christ himself.” This is what saved the man by the Jericho road: faith in Jesus. Therefore, his example shows us what it means to put our own trust in Christ.
Ryken, P. G. (2009). Luke. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (Vol. 2, p. 298). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
He came to Jesus in and with all his distress and questions … and he believed
His Faith was Genuine and Complete
last Year I spoke on the completeness of Faith … what are it’s essential Components … Remember?
There are three essential components … Bart seems to have had all three>
Knowledge (Notittia)
Belief (Assensus)
Trust (Fiducia)
Knowledge - Notiittia - Comes from the regenerated mind - Faith is not a subjective feeling … It is based on objective content - Jesus - Son of David - Power to Save
Lived, Died, Rose again … Has anyone explained the good news to you
Belief - (Assensus) Faith begins in the mind … but it doesnt end there … needs to get to the heart - This is accepting the message as true - Bart called out to the saviour and LORD
the heart embraced what the mind knew as true
Trust - Fiducia - Trust is the volitional element of faith --- It is marked by unconditional surrender to IX
Martin Luther called this the faith that “throws itself on God”
Luke, Volumes 1 & 2 Knowing, Believing, Trusting

The trusting aspect of faith was graphically illustrated in the ministry of John Paton, for when Paton

first went out as a pioneer missionary to the New Hebrides islands, he found that the natives among whom he began to work had no way of writing their language. He began to learn it and in time began to work on a translation of the Bible for them. Soon he discovered that they had no world for “faith.” This was serious, of course, for a person can hardly translate the Bible without it. One day he went on a hunt with one of the natives. They shot a large deer in the course of the hunt, and tying its legs together and supporting it on a pole, laboriously trekked back down the mountain path to Paton’s home near the seashore. As they reached the veranda both men threw the deer down, and the native immediately flopped into one of the deck chairs that stood on the porch exclaiming, “My, it is good to stretch yourself out here and rest.” Paton immediately jumped to his feet and recorded the phrase. In his final translation of the New Testament this was the word used to convey the idea of trust, faith, and belief.

Faith is resting on Jesus for salvation. Or, to use the most famous definition of all, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). There is no better example than the blind man by the Jericho road, who was certain of what he did not see!

Look at the mark of Bart’s faith
Luke 18:43 ESV
And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
Luke 18:
Faith, writes Anthony Hoekema, is “a response to God’s call by the acceptance of Christ with the total person—that is, with assured conviction of the truth of the gospel, and with trustful reliance on God in Christ for salvation, together with genuine commitment to Christ and to his service.”
Ryken, P. G. (2009). Luke. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (Vol. 2, p. 302). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
Luke, Volumes 1 & 2 Following Jesus

Will you see Jesus? Do not let him pass you by! Imagine how tragic it would have been if the blind man in Jericho had heard Jesus walking by but never cried out to him in faith. Unless the man had raised his voice at that very moment, he would have missed his chance to see Jesus, and he would have been lost forever. Now Jesus has come your way. Will you call out to him in faith? Jesus has to be believed to be seen; if you believe in him, you will see him, and by his mercy you will be saved.

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