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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
April 15, 2018
Blind. Webster’s primary definition of that word is “sightless,” that is, one who cannot see. But there are many other definitions that can be given to the word other than just the lack of the physical ability to receive, process and comprehend the images produced by electro-magnetic radiation – light. This morning we are going to look at the miracle Jesus performed when He restored the sight of two blind men, but we also find that there are spiritual applications to us within the story. Turn to Matthew 20:29 and bookmark the parallel passages in Mark 10:46 and Luke 18:35
As you are turning there, let me remind you of the context. Jesus has been steadily traveling toward Jerusalem where, as He has repeatedly told His disciples, “the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up” (20:18-19). Jesus has been traveling from Galilee toward Jerusalem for some time and He has been ministering to the people along the way. His plan is to be in Jerusalem for the Passover. He and the disciples have now crossed over the Jordan river from Perea (the modern day country of Jordan). As Jesus has passed through different areas, more people would start to follow Him. In addition the roads are full of other pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem for Passover. When they find that Jesus is near, they also join up with the crowds that are following Him, so there is a great multitude around and following Jesus. They are happy and festive for the Passover season is a cheerful one. We pick up the narrative in Matthew 20:29.
And as they were going out from Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
Now before we go any further, I need to address the critics who claim that Matthew must be wrong in his description because Mark and Luke mention only one blind man, and Luke states this occurs as Jesus was going in to Jericho rather than going out of that city. Critics have held this up as yet another claim of the Bible contradicting itself and why you cannot trust it. However, the critics fail again because their quest is to cause disbelief and not honestly consider what is written as they would any other historical narrative document.
First, it must be understood that the Bible does not record everything. It is a complete narrative of all we need to know for life and faith, but it is not a comprehensive historical account. The apostle John makes this point at the conclusion of his account of Jesus’ life writing in John 21:24-25, “This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written.
Second, there is nothing unusual about those who record an event recounting what occurred slightly differently than what others say about the same event. This is easily seen with any news story reported by more than one observer. There are two major reasons for this. The first is simply a matter of perspective. If you are seeing an event from the north and I am seeing an event from the south, we will observe the same overall action, but also see many different details. For example, we both see a building on fire, but you see smoke and fire coming out the windows, and I see firemen rescuing people through the windows. The second reason is simply from the emphasis on what was considered important by the observer. Using the same example, you emphasize the tragedy of the building burning down and I emphasize the bravery of the firemen rescuing the people from the burning building. This difference in emphasis is compounded when someone who was not present collects information and then tells the story to others. The reporter will emphasize those points in the story that fits the purpose of his story. Again, using the same example, a reporter emphasizing the destruction of the fire might not even mention the people who were rescued while a reporter extolling the virtues of the firemen might only mention the damage to the building in passing.
When we compare Matthew, Mark and Luke, we need to keep in mind these simple reasons for the differences in what they report. Matthew is the only one actually present. Mark writes his account based on Peter’s memories, and Luke specifically states he has complied his gospel account from the stories that were handed down by eyewitnesses and his own investigations. In addition, each gospel writer has a slightly different emphasis in their accounts. Matthew is writing to Jews and presenting Jesus as the promised Messiah, the king. Mark is writing to Romans and emphasizes Jesus as the powerful Son of God who came as prophet and servant of God to man. Luke is writing to a Greek man (Theophilus) presenting an historical, chronological account with emphasis on Jesus as the Son of Man, the perfect priest.
Matthew includes the detail of the second blind man being present while Mark and Luke emphasize the man who spoke out whom Mark notes is named Bartimaeus. Mark & Luke put more emphasis on the blind man’s actions and response while Matthew places more emphasis on what Jesus did than on the blind men themselves.
The difference in whether Jesus was going into or out of Jericho is dependent upon perspective since there was both an old Jericho near the ruins of the ancient city and the large spring that was present there, and there was a newer Jericho closer to the palace complex Herod had built spanning the wadi Qelt about two miles southwest. If all three accounts are of the same event, then Matthew speaks of it in reference to the old Jericho while Luke notes it in reference to the new Jericho. Mark would also place it as having come into the old Jericho and departing from it. I think this is probably the case.
There is also the possibility that more than one event of healing is recorded. There certainly would have been plenty of blind men in the area. Blindness was common in the ancient world as it still is in undeveloped countries. People were blinded by accidents or battle wounds, and there were several infections that could blind a child at birth (examples: gonorrhea and trachoma which is a very severe form of conjunctivitis). Blind people were also attracted to Jericho due to a balsam bush that grew there that was used to make a medicine. Blind people would go to Jericho in hopes of being cured. After Bartimaeus was healed, he could have easily positioned his blind friends in a place where they could meet Jesus and be healed too.
Be careful when someone claims that the Bible is contradictory or does not report the truth. There are some things that are difficult to understand and need explanation, but nothing in history or archeology or anything else has yet proven the Bible to be wrong. Instead, the more research that is done, it is the skeptics that are proven wrong and the Bible correct.
In comparing the three accounts, Mark 10:46 states “as [Jesus] was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd.” Matthew 20:29 notes “as they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him.” As I stated earlier, there were many pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem for Passover, so it is no surprise that a large crowd would be following Jesus. Some may have been following Him since He left Galilee. As they leave the old city of Jericho and make their way southwest to the new city that had been built in the vicinity of Herod’s winter palace, Mark 10:46 informs us that “a blind beggar named Bartimeaus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.” Matthew 20:30 gives the extra detail that there were two blind men sitting there. Since blind men were usually reduced to making a living by begging, this would have been a good spot for them to beg for alms from the many people passing by. Suddenly they realize that the size of the crowd passing by has gotten much larger. There would have been a lot of talking, shouting and singing by the happy throng heading to Jerusalem. Luke 18:36 states, “Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.” Matthew and Mark both indicate that it was upon hearing this that he began to cry out.
Bartimaeus shouts out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on Me!” From what Matthew 20:30 states, the other beggar joined in shouting out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David.” Because of the noise that would accompany a large crowd, it would have been insufficient for them to just raise their voices. They are having to scream. All three accounts describe it with the Greek word, kravzw / kraz , which means to “cry out,” “shout,” “scream,” “with the possible implication of the unpleasant nature of the sound” (Louw-Nida). That is understandable since they know Jesus is passing by, but they cannot see Him to go up to Him. They must make themselves heard over the noise of the crowd if they are to get Jesus’ attention and hear their plea. Clearly, they knew about Jesus healing other people, so this was their chance for a miracle and they might never be so close to Him again. In desperate hope, they shout out loudly to Jesus.
The crowd was in a festive mood and did not want it interrupted by such screaming. All three accounts record that “the crowd,” “many” and “those that led the way” “were sternly telling him to be quiet.” The crowd was much better off physically, economically and socially than these two blind men, but they were unconcerned about them. That is the way people are apart from the working of God in their lives. They are often callous to those around them only caring about their own desires. They resent the intrusion of their happy journey by the screaming of these two blind men. Somehow I cannot picture this as saying, “Will you please be quiet!” I imagine it more as something like, “Shut up you beggars!”
But as one commentator put it, the two blind men “refused to be bludgeoned into silence by the indifferent crowd.” Instead they “cried out all the more” saying, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” and, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
There is a lot to learn about faith from this story. First, the phrase they used to identify Jesus, “Son of David,” is Messianic, so they are crying out to Him in that capacity. It is probable that they understood some of the prophecies that Messiah would give sight to the blind (Psalm 146:8; Isaiah 29:18; 32:3; etc.). The point here is that they believed what they heard about Jesus and acted upon it. That is faith. What have you heard about Jesus? Do you know what the Bible says about Him? What do you believe about Him? Have you acted upon that yet?
Second, they also demonstrate persistence in their faith. They did not let the many obstacles they faced deter them. If they had become filled with self pity and blamed God for their blindness, they would have never sought Jesus out and would have remained in their darkness. They could not see Jesus to find Him, but when they heard that He was near, they did all the could to get His attention. Their shouting brought a rebuke from the crowd to get them to quiet down, but they did not let that stop them either. They were persistent in crying out to the Lord, and they were rewarded for it. God states in Jeremiah 29:13 that “you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Are you persistent in pursuing God?
I know that some of you here today do not yet have a personal relationship with the living God. You have not yet received the salvation from sin that God offers through faith in Jesus Christ. Let me commend you for being here today as you do seek after Him, but at the same time, let me challenge you that you must search for Him with all your heart. Are you being that diligent in striving to know and understand God? Hebrews 11:6 states that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Others of you know God to some degree, but you still struggle with understanding and submitting to Him. How persistent are you in your search for God? Is your faith of the same type as these two blind men? Or do you continue in trying to put God in your own box while insisting that He do things your way?
You see, another lesson to learn from this concerns spiritual blindness. These two men could not see the world around them. They were blind, yet they could see much better spiritually than those who had their eyesight, could read the Law of Moses, and claimed to follow it. It is no wonder that Jesus called the hypocritical, unbelieving scribes and Pharisees “blind guides leading the blind” (Matt. 15:14). They had no perception about what was true and what was just their own will at work. John 1:9-11 states of Jesus that He “was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. he was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” These false religious leaders of Israel could not see that Jesus was the light. What Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:19-20 applied directly to them, “This is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” They were spiritually blind because they did not want to see God’s truth. The same is true today.
Are you spiritually blind? Certainly part of the reason for that is the fact that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4), but part of it must also be found in your own refusal to see what God has revealed. This is what makes you remain as an unbeliever who can continue to be blinded by the devil. You will remain in your blindness until you come to Jesus Christ in the same way that these two blind men did, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” You have to admit your sinfulness and need for God’s mercy. Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to be persistent in calling out until you hear from Him? Remember the promise of the Scripture is that if you will seek Him out will all your heart, you will find Him. And when you find Him, you will find compassion, grace and mercy.
At that moment in time when these blind men were crying out to Jesus, there were many things to preoccupy His mind and attention. He knows that in a week or so He would begin to suffer many things in Jerusalem culminating in His condemnation, crucifixion and burial. He is about to make the final ascent up the hill to Jerusalem where all this suffering would take place. Jesus is having trouble getting His disciples to understand what would happen, for they are still fighting among themselves about who would be the greatest in the kingdom. (See: Being Great in God’s Kingdom) He only has a week or so left to prepare them. There was a large crowd around Jesus, so would He even hear the cry of the two blind men? And if He did hear them, did He really have time to stop? Were not the needs of the crowds and His disciples who still seemed to have so much more to learn more important? Did Jesus not have needs Himself? Did He not still need to prepare Himself for lay ahead?
All three gospels state that Jesus stopped and called for the blind men to be brought to Him. Jesus was never in such a hurry that He failed to hear those who cried out to Him. Despite all that Jesus was currently facing Himself, He was still attentive to the needs of others and paid attention to the outcasts of society. Jesus heard the men and responded.
Mark 10:49-50 gives us some extra detail about Bartimaeus. “So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.” 50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. That detail demonstrates his faith that Jesus would grant his request. He cast aside his cloak believing that he could go back later and get it himself once Jesus had given him his sight. These men had faith in Jesus. They believed that if Jesus heard them, then He would help them. It is probable that they heard about Jesus healing other blind men.
After they were brought to Jesus, all three accounts state, “Jesus said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’” The need may seem obvious, but Jesus consistently has people articulate what they want before He grants their requests. All three accounts say essentially the same thing. Matthew – “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” Mark – “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” Luke – “Lord, I want to regain my sight.” The grammar indicates they had lost their sight and so knew what had been lost when they went blind. A factor that adds additional anguish over being blind.
The use of the title, “Lord,” does not indicate by itself that they understood Jesus’ identity, for it was a term of respect used for a variety of people, but again, the title, “Son of David” does. They understood that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel all told of an heir of David’s that would sit on his throne forever. That title was part of the prophecy of the Angel in Luke 1:32 that Jesus would be given the “throne of his father David.”
Their persistence in calling out to Jesus for mercy despite the crowd, also demonstrates their belief about Jesus. A cry for mercy is an appeal for compassion, not a demand for rights. They understood that they were unworthy, so theirs is a humble entreaty. While we cannot be completely sure about their extent of faith, we can be sure that they understood Jesus’ was the Messiah and had the supernatural ability to heal.
Matthew 20:34 says Jesus was moved with compassion. That
characterizes His response to people. Over and over again we find that Jesus was moved with compassion and healed people of their diseases and sickness. Moved with compassion, he raised the dead. Moved with compassion, He forgave people their sins. Here again He is moved with compassion over the suffering of mankind.
Matthew 20:34 emphasizes Jesus actions recording that “Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight.” Mark and Luke emphasize the blind man. Mark 10:52 states, “And Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight.” Luke reports, “And Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight.”
Notice two things from this. First, Jesus recognized their faith and linked it to their healing. It is Jesus’ action that heals them, but that was in response to their faith. Second, their healing was immediate. Jesus’ miracles were always complete, usually instantaneous, and often defied any possible natural explanation. Jesus simply touched their eyes and they were healed. The power was within Him to restore their sight. There was neither an operation nor medicine, just a touch. The apostles later healed the same way.
The Gift of Healing
Since we live in a day when there are those who claim to have the gift of healing, I get asked if I believe that gift is operating today. The answer is no for two reasons. The first is that my study of Scripture and history has lead me to believe that the “sign” gifts such as healing were not permanent, but only for a short time to attest to the authority of the apostles as the Scriptures were being written.
Second, a more pointed and pragmatic reason, is that I have not found that those claiming the gift of healing do it in the same way as either Jesus or the Apostles. First, they could heal all who were brought to them (Matthew 4:23; 8:16; Acts 5:15), not just some.
Second, they could heal whether the individual had faith or not. People Jesus healed that did not express any faith include the lame man at Bethesda (John 5), the man with the withered hand (Luke 6), and the son of the widow at Nain whom He raised from the dead, and Peter healed Aeneas (Acts 9:33-34).
Third, they healed completely through a variety of different methods. They did not have to have a healing service or go through any sort of ritual. Sometimes Jesus had the person do something such as go wash in a certain pool, sometimes He did something like make a salve of mud and applied it, sometimes He simply touched the person, and sometimes He simply spoke and healed the person even if they were not in His presence such as the Centurion’s servant. People carried the sick out into the streets so that Peter’s shadow might fall on them and heal them.
Fourth, Jesus and the Apostles did things that defied any possible natural explanation. Among the many self-acclaimed faith healers of history and our own day there is a marked absence of blind people regaining sight, of missing limbs growing back, of people dead for four days being raised back to life. Many of the things faith-healers claim can be faked, and many others are the product of the power of suggestion working in a desperate mind giving a temporary improvement. Even worse is the faith healers tactic of placing the burden of the healing on the faith of the sick individual contrary to James 5. If the person is not made well, they blame that individual for not having enough faith.
Let me be clear, God can do anything He wants, any time He wants, in any manner He wants in keeping with His own character and promises. We do not limit God, and there are times that God in mercy does miraculously heal. I have seen it. But at the same time, I must also be clear that those claiming to have the gift of healing are false since they do not operate in the same manner or with the same ability as Jesus or the Apostles. They are charlatans, fakes and some are demonic. Jesus has compassion on these two blind men and wonderfully and miraculously healed them immediately and completely.
The Compassion of God
Jesus shows compassion in healing the blind men. That is a display of God’s character. God’s compassion begins with His patience. 2 Peter 3:9 states that God “is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” He is long-suffering in enduring our sinful rebellion against Him. We should never ask God to be fair or just with us for what we deserve is judgment and everlasting condemnation. What we want from God is patience, mercy and grace, and He lovingly grants all of those to anyone who will humbly ask for them. Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11:28–30 is, 28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” The offer of salvation from sin and its judgment is to all who will believe as stated in numerous Scriptures (John 1:12; 3:15-16, 36; 6:47; 11:25-26; 20:31; Mark 16:16; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 10:9-13;1 John 5:1;13) including John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus is compassionate and will grant forgiveness to those who turn from their sins to believe in Him to receive eternal life. Have you sought out God’s compassion? If not, why not? What delays you? What Jesus did for the eyes of these two blind men, He desires to do for the spiritual blindness of your soul which is of infinite more importance. Will you call out to Him as they did?
A final spiritual truth from this story that we must apply in our own lives is following Jesus. After the blind men were given back their sight, our texts tell us that they followed Jesus. Luke adds that not only were they glorifying God, but all the people that saw it also gave praise to God. If God has removed your spiritual blindness so that you can now truly see, then following Him is the only reasonable response.
If you had been blind for many years and then had your sight restored, your world would change so radically that you would need a guide to explain what you were seeing. Your mobility would be vastly increased, but you would still need someone to point out the way. It would be silly for a blind person who had their sight restored to continue to try to find their way around by groping or using a cane. Yet that is the way many people continue to try to do things spiritually even after they come to Christ. Old habits can die hard, but they need to be put to death so that the new habits which take into account new capabilities can be built. We follow Jesus, our healer and guide.
One final point I want to make is that Jesus accepts them using the Messianic title, “Son of David” without hesitation, and He does not put any restrictions on these men as He had done with earlier healings (Matthew 9:27). In the past, Jesus had often told people He healed not to tell others, but He no longer does that now that He is approaching Jerusalem. It is now time for the fact of His Messiahship to be proclaimed. As we shall see in a few weeks, that is exactly what happens when Jesus does enter Jerusalem. The people cry out, “Hosanna to the Son of David . . .” Jesus time had come.
Jesus did not come and die on the cross to give you a fire insurance policy. He died as your substitute. It should have been you and me on that cross, for death is the just penalty for our sin. Instead, because of His everlasting love, because of His compassion for people, Jesus took our place and paid the price for us. He did it to break the bondage of sin and its effects, one of which is condemnation to eternal hell. You were not saved from sin to continue in sin. That would be ludicrous. You were saved to walk in newness of life and the
good works which God prepared beforehand, and be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 6:4; 8:29; Ephesians 2:20). If you have come to Jesus to receive mercy and be given spiritual life, then you need to follow Him. To do less puts into question what you actually believe about Jesus and whether you have been given spiritual sight or remain spiritually blind.
Blind = _____________, one who cannot see. A physical inability, or metaphorically – a spiritual inability
Jesus, along with a __________of pilgrims, is heading to Jerusalem where He will suffer and be crucified
The Bible is complete for spiritual life, but it is not a ____________________record – John 21:24-45
It is normal for accounts of an event to ___________ in details depending on perspective and emphasis
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all vary in their _____________, and at times also in their perspectives
Matthew, who was present, gives additional detail and emphasizes __________ actions
Mark and Luke, who were not present, give other detail and emphasize the _______________ actions
There was an old Jericho near its ancient spring and a new Jericho near Herod’s winter palace ___________
There is some possibility more than one healing is recorded for there ___________blind people in Jericho
Continued research continues to affirm the ____________ accuracy and the falsity of skeptics’ claims
Two blind beggars hear a large crowd passing by and learn ____________is passing by
They ___________ loudly to Jesus, Son of David, for mercy with Bartimaeus calling Him, Lord
The crowd is callous and does not like their nose, so they sternly tell them to be _________
The “Son of David” title is _____________- they believed what they heard and acted on it – that is faith
They were _______________ in faith to overcome obstacles that would deter them
To seek Jesus, _______ upon what you have learned and be persistent (Hebrews 11:6)
They were physically blind, but they could see better ____________than the religious leaders with eyesight
Do not remain spiritually blind – Seek Jesus and cry out to Him for ___________
Jesus would have had __________ things on His mind and much around was distracting
Jesus heard and paid _______________ to their cry
Mark 10:49-50 – Bartimaeus demonstrated his __________ in Jesus by throwing off his cloak and coming
The need was obvious, but Jesus had them ____________ their desires
Their ______________ in calling to Jesus despite the crowd also demonstrated the nature of their faith
Matthew 20:34 – Jesus was moved by _____________ to touch their eyes and heal them immediately
The Gift of Healing
The evidence of Scripture and history is that the apostolic sign gifts were ___________ to that age
Those claiming to have the gift of healing do not practice it as did either __________ or the apostles
Jesus & the apostles healed _________they encountered, and not just a few
Jesus & the apostles could heal whether the individual had _________ or not.
Jesus & the apostles healed ____________ through a variety of different methods
Healing by Jesus & the apostles _______________________- blind, deaf, lame, withered limbs, death
Contrary to James 5, “Faith healers” blame a lack of healing on the individual’s lack of ___________
God can do anything, anytime, in any manner He wants in keeping with His ____________ and promises
“Faith healers” are ______________, fakes or demonically empowered
The Compassion of God
God’s compassion begins with His ___________ – 2 Peter 3:9
It extends in His mercy, grace and offer of __________based on faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ
The blind men regained their sight and _________Jesus – those given spiritual sight should also follow Him
Jesus is our healer from spiritual blindness and our __________to righteous living
Jesus does not restrict the men He healed from telling others – the time to proclaim the __________has come
Salvation frees you FROM sin, not TO sin. Those who have their spiritual blindness removed _______Jesus
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times a reference is made to blindness. 2) Discuss with your parents how Jesus healed the blind men and how He heals spiritual blindness.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why is “spiritual blindness” a good metaphor for sinners? Context: What has happened while on Jesus and the disciples have been walking on the road to Jericho? Why are they accompanied by a large crowd? What are some of the reasons there would be differences in the various gospel accounts about the same event? Which of the gospel writers was present at this event? Where did the other writers get their information? Each gospel writer makes a different emphasis in his account. List out the group / individual to whom each author writes and emphasis of each account. What are the possible solutions to the question of whether Jesus was approaching Jericho or departing Jericho? Why does Matthew give the detail there were two blind men while Mark describes only blind Bartimaeus? What do the blind men do when they hear Jesus is approaching? Why do they do that? What is the crowd’s reaction? What do the blind men do in reaction to the crowd? What things could have been on Jesus mind as He is traveling to Jerusalem? How does His stopping to talk with the blind men show great compassion? Why does Jesus ask them what they wanted? How do they demonstrate their faith in Jesus – and in particular, Bartimaeus? How did Jesus heal them? What are the differences in the manner in which Jesus and the apostles healed people and the manner in which “faith healers” claim to heal people? Do “faith healers” have the Biblical gift of healing? Why or why not? Why is it contrary James 5 to make healing depending on the faith of the individual? What are some of the ways in which God demonstrates His compassion on mankind? On what basis and how does a person receive forgiveness for their sins? Why doesn’t Jesus restrict these men from telling others what He has done with other people He has healed (Matthew 9:27)? Why would it be normal for a person who receives God’s mercy and has their spiritual blindness removed to follow Jesus? What are some reasons a person professing faith in Jesus would not follow Him?
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