(continued from part 1)
On one particular day, many people, a lot more than normal, were passing by the location where the blind beggar sat. There seemed to be an agitation, an out-of-the-ordinary excitement on the road. Accustomed to using his ears, the blind man heard the commotion. It was a tight, crowded crowd shuffling their feet unaware of him. I imagine he must have reached out his hands to grab different people who passed close to him. He wanted to understand what was happening, so he asked, “What’s going on? Where’s everyone going?”
Some in the crowd responded to him. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” they shared.
Now that news was intriguing. This blind man had heard of him. Jesus of Nazareth was becoming quite famous throughout Israel, in fact. He must be on his way to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover and had chosen to travel through Jericho on his way. Jesus was a teacher who spoke profoundly about the kingdom of God. Thousands had begun to follow him. There were rumors that he could even become the leader of the people of Israel; that he was from the line of the great King David himself. It was said that Jesus ushered authority over the religious rulers; that Roman centurions submitted to his commands; and that he was a miracle worker. Everyone had heard how he had given food to thousands who had none and how he had given peace to those tormented by evil spirits. There was a rumor that he had forced stillness upon a violent sea, and set his footprints upon tossing waves. Everyone talked about how Jesus had given steps to people who couldn’t move, speech to those who couldn’t talk, sound to those who couldn’t hear, life to those who couldn’t breathe. And… it was said, he had given vision to those who couldn’t see.
To the crowd, Jesus of Nazareth was a spectacle to behold, a celebrity from the northern frontiers. To the blind man, Jesus was much, much more.
This blind man saw Jesus. He saw Jesus as his hope. He saw Jesus as the one who would notice him. He didn't care about the crowds and the commotion. He didn't care about what people thought of him. He didn't care how people looked at him. He saw Jesus.
So he called out, at the top of his lungs, “JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!”
The blind man could see something that the crowd over-looked. The blind man saw, despite the darkness around him, who Jesus was… and therefore, what Jesus could do.
(to be continued tomorrow…)
*"Flat Tire-d" was originally delivered as a sermon 8 eight years ago.