Mat_9:27. And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
No sooner does Jesus move than fresh candidates for his bounty appear: the blind seek sight from him. Two sightless men had become companions in affliction, they may have been father and son. They were in downright earnest, for they “followed him, crying, and saying, Have mercy on us.” Persevering, vehement, yet intelligent was their appeal. They were of one mind in reference to Jesus, and therefore they went one way, and used one prayer, to one and the same person. Our Lord is here called by his royal name: “Thou Son of David.” Even the blind could see that he was a king’s son. As Son of David, he is entreated to show mercy, and act according to his royal nature. It is mercy which gives us our faculties, and mercy alone can restore them. This prayer suits us when we perceive our own darkness of mind. When we cannot see our way into truth, let us appeal to the Lord for gracious instruction, ever remembering that we have no claim except that which originates in his mercy.
Mat_9:28. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
They were most eager for the boon. They gave him no leisure: they pressed into the house where he had sought privacy and rest: they came to him, even to Jesus himself. The Lord would have them express their faith, and so he makes inquiry of them as to what they believe about himself. Jesus makes no inquiry about their eyes, but only about their faith this is ever the vital point. They could not see, but they could believe, and they did so.
They had a specific faith as to the matter about which they prayed; for our Lord put it plainly, “Believe ye that I am able to do THIS? “They had also a clear view of the character of him to whom they applied; for they had already styled him “Son of David,” and now they called him “Lord.”
Mat_9:29. Then touched he their eyes, saying, according to your faith be it unto you.
Again he arouses their faith; and this time he throws the whole responsibility upon their confidence in him. “According to your faith be it unto you.” He touched them with his hand; but they must also touch him with their faith. The word of power in the last sentence is one upon which he acts so continually, that we may call it, as to many blessings, a rule of the kingdom. We have the measuring of our own mercies; our faith obtains less or more according to its own capacity to receive. Had these men been mere pretenders to faith they would have remained blind. If we will not in very truth trust our Lord, we shall die in our sins.
Mat_9:30. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.
They both saw the double miracle was wrought at the same moment. Comrades in the dark, they are now companions in the light. Singular that for two souls there should thus be one destiny! It was a singular double fact, and deserved to be made widely known; but our Lord had wise reasons for requiring silence He “straitly charged them.” He left them no option: he demanded complete silence. He that opened their eyes closed their mouths. Jesus did not desire fame, he wanted less crowding; he wished to avoid excitement; and therefore he was express and peremptory in his order: “See that no man know it.”
Mat_9:31. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame on all that country.
They most industriously published what they were bidden to conceal till “all that country” rang with the news. In this they erred greatly, and probably caused the Saviour so much inconvenience by the pressure of the crowd, that he had to remove from the town. We may not hope that we are doing right if we disobey our Lord. However natural disobedience may appear to be, it is disobedience, and must not be excused. Even it the results turned out to be advantageous, it would not make it right to break the command of our Lord. Silence is more than golden when our King commands it. He doth not seek applause, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets that he may be known to be doing a great work. His followers do well to copy his example. We do not wonder that our Lord’s name became famous when there were such persons to advertise it. How earnestly and eloquently would the two formerly blind men tell the story of how he opened their eyes! We are not forbidden, but exhorted to make known the wonders of his grace. Let us not fail in this natural, this necessary, this useful duty. More and more let us “spread abroad his fame.”
Mat_9:32. As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
As a pair of patients leave the surgery, another poor creature comes in. Note the “behold.” The case is striking. He comes not freely, or of his own accord: “they brought” him: thus should we bring men to Jesus. He does not cry for help, for he is “a dumb man.” Let us open our mouths for the dumb. He is not himself, but he is “possessed with a devil.” Poor creature! Will anything be done for him?
Mat_9:33. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
Our Lord does not deal with the symptoms, but with the source of the disorder, even with the evil spirit. “The devil was cast out”; and it is mentioned as if that were a matter of course when Jesus came on the scene. The devil had silenced the man, and so, when the evil one was gone, “the dumb spake.” How we should like to know what he said! Whatever he said it matters not; the wonder was that he could say anything. The people confessed that this was a wonder quite unprecedented; and in this they only said the truth: “It was never so seen in Israel.” Jesus is great at surprises: he has novelties of gracious power. The people were quick to express their admiration yet we see very little trace of their believing in our Lord’s mission. It is a small thing to marvel, but a great thing to believe. O Lord, give the people around us to see such revivals and conversions, as they have never known before!
Mat_9:34. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.
Of course, they had some bitter sentence ready. Nothing was too bad for them to say of Jesus. They were hard pressed when they took to this statement which our Lord in another place so easily answered. They hinted that such power over demons must have come to him through an unholy compact with “the prince of the devils.” Surely this was going very near to the unpardonable sin.
Mat_9:35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
This exposition consisted of readings from Mat_9:27-35; and Mat_20:29-34.