It was just days before what we now refer to as Holy Week - the week before Easter or Resurrection Sunday - that Jesus stopped to heal a blind man who was calling out to him from the street. This wasn't an unusual occasion in Jesus' earthly ministry. Jesus seemed to spend a lot of his ministry performing miracles, fending off entrapping questions from religious leaders and communicating through parables.
The story of Jesus healing this blind man is found in the chapters of Matthew 20, Mark 10 and Luke 18. The three gospels vary on the details, but the request of the man is the same: He wanted to see. Jesus heals the man, and Scripture records the man as then following Jesus.
If the now-sighted man followed Jesus in the next days, he would have seen a magnificent sight. As Jesus and his followers likely descended the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem, they would have been treated to a picturesque view of the city. Over the course of one week, Jesus would be exalted, tried for his alleged crimes, convicted, tortured, ridiculed, killed and buried. He would also be abandoned by his friends and many of his followers.
Before all of that, Jesus looked over the expanse of the city of people who had rejected the peace he offered. At that moment, he wept.
"As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, 'If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes.'" (Luke 19:41-42, NIV)
The blind man Jesus had healed just before he entered the city wasn't the only one with vision problems. There was a huge contingency of people wholly unsatisfied with the brand of peace Jesus brought. They wanted a leader who would end their earthly woes and momentary frustrations. Jesus offered an eternal peace, but that did nothing to sate their hunger for earthly comforts.
I want my life to be easy. I like to feel comfortable. I want the powers that be to implement laws and policies that facilitate my way of living. I want my food the moment I'm hungry, and I want to fall asleep the moment after I yawn. I want all my clients to pay their invoices on time or early. I want high quality at a discount price.
I want God to grant all these things for me, and I blind myself to the peace he offers when I demand that he meet my petty wants. Until I cry out to God the same way the blind man did, I think the peace Jesus offered then and still offers to this day will elude me.
I'm praying for you, dear believer, that this week you'll allow God to open your eyes to the peace he offers to you.
Contact Jamie H. Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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