In Luke 18:35, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem where he will be crucified. Before he gets there he goes through the town of Jericho. Huge crowds are surrounding him as he enters Jericho. But just outside the city sits a beggar- a wretch of a man who wasn’t allowed to enter with the crowd. He’s blind, very poor, and very dismissed, I assume, by those who walked by him day by day. Yet on this particular day, all the beggar wants is the attention of Jesus.
Would Jesus notice him? Would the blind beggar miss Jesus because of the huge crowd? If they happened to meet, would Jesus heal him? Would the blind beggar yell at Jesus because of his difficult life? Would Jesus be ticked off at the beggar for succumbing to such a horrible existence? Would the crowd be ticked-off at Jesus for paying attention to this man? Would Jesus make a difference in this man’s life? Would the man’s heart be pure in begging Jesus or would his motive be rotten? Would Jesus think it was okay to beg for God’s attention?
The often unnoticed reality is that each of us is actually in a position where we need to beg. Many of us just haven’t been forced to admit it yet. Billions of us are living without what we need to spiritually survive. Our souls are empty, tired, weak, poor, hungry, and dying. We need Jesus. We need him to help us. We need him to save us. We are blind to what’s around us and forced to scramble for a living. We are overcome by the acrid stench of a decaying world. We are unable to get ourselves out of the situation. We all experience hands-in-our-head-sorrow. We all need to cry out for a rescuer. We need to beg for the attention of someone who can lift us out of death.
It’s hard for us to admit our condition. How difficult it is to accept humility. It goes against our pride to accept a lending hand, to accept our weakness, to admit our blind, begging condition.
But we need to beg for Jesus. Just look at what happens when we do. Luke 18:35-44:
As soon as the beggar heard Jesus was near he cried out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The beggar was rebuked and verbally abused by the crowd… so he shouted louder “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped walking and ordered the man to be brought to him. Jesus simply asked the man, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The beggar said, “Lord, I want to see.”
[Interesting, instead of saying “OK” or “I’ll do this for you”,] Jesus commands the beggar to “Receive your sight.” Immediately the beggar receives his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw this [notably: the same crowd that had abused him], they also praised God.