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Flashback Episode — Lessons from a Formerly Blind Man: Luke 18:35-43

Listen to this episode and/or subscribe on ReflectiveBibleStudy.com...Flashback Episode: Year of Miracles – Episode 43: As Jesus approached Jericho, discover a miracle that only happened because the one needing help was vocal enough to make his faith visible. Discover also how the crowd almost missed out on a miracle and an opportunity to praise God. Join the discussion on the original episode's page: Click Here. Read the transcript: As we come closer to the week leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, we discover two similar miracles. Some gospel records, and many lists of Jesus’ miracles combine these two miracles into one, and while I can understand this because of their similarities, I see their distinct details outweighing the similarities leading me to believe that these are two separate events. Because of this, we will deal with each miracle separately, and even though they are similar, I’m pretty sure we can discover some things we can take away from each. The miracle we will be focusing in on in this episode is found in Luke’s gospel, chapter 18, and we will read it from the Good News Translation. Starting in verse 35, Luke tells us that: 35 As Jesus was coming near Jericho, there was a blind man sitting by the road, begging. 36 When he heard the crowd passing by, he asked, “What is this?” 37 “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” they told him. 38 He cried out, “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!” 39 The people in front scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David! Have mercy on me!” 40 So Jesus stopped and ordered the blind man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Sir,” he answered, “I want to see again.” 42 Jesus said to him, “Then see! Your faith has made you well.” 43 At once he was able to see, and he followed Jesus, giving thanks to God. When the crowd saw it, they all praised God. In this miracle, we see many similarities with other miracles that took place earlier in the gospels, but in this miracle, many of the key details surrounding Jesus’ miracles are summarized nicely in what Luke describes. In this event, we see a simple progression we might be able to use to see miracles happen in our own lives as well. To set the stage for this event, we have a blind man begging by the side of the road near the city of Jericho. Since this is late in Jesus’ ministry, the blind man likely knows about Jesus, but it is possible that he doesn’t have any friends willing or able to take him to find Jesus. Looking at the gospel record, Jesus likely only visited Jericho one time during His entire ministry, and with this visit being later on, this brings a sense of urgency to this blind beggar. Setting the stage for this miracle teaches us that when God sends us an opportunity for faith, we must be ready to grab a hold of it. When the man asks what is going on and discovers that Jesus is passing by, we discover that he is ready to be heard. The man believes Jesus to be the promised Messiah, the Son of David that God promised, and he honors Jesus with this title while asking for mercy. This teaches us that when asking for God to help, we should remember who God is and give Him honor and respect. It is unlikely God would help someone who is criticizing or cursing Him, even though it is possible. Then the crowd gets involved, but not in a good way. Whether they were trying to hear what Jesus was teaching, or whether they simply didn’t recognize the opportunity present, those near the blind man scold him and tell him to be quiet. This reminds us that the more vocal we are about God and the more vocal we are about needing God’s help, the more resistance and/or ridicule we will face. However, this man was ready to face a little resistance. While others might have given up and stayed quiet, this man knows that this is likely his only shot at a miracle for him, and this resistance simply results in him shouting louder. When we face resistance, consider it an opportunity to lean more into God and as an opportunity to further demonstrate your faith and commitment in a visible way. Jesus then stopped and asked the crowd to bring the blind man to Him. Whether this happened immediately when Jesus heard the blind man the first time, or if there had been several increasingly louder cries for mercy, the faith of the blind man is clearly known. When Jesus calls the blind man to Him, and when Jesus asks the blind man what he wants from Jesus, while the blind man could have asked for anything, only one thing was out of his reach. The blind man wanted to see again. This detail is fascinating, because it tells us that something had happened to this man’s sight that caused him to lose it. Because he wants to see again, that meant he had been able to see at an earlier point in his life and that he hadn’t been born blind. We can learn from this that sometimes things don’t go our way and sometimes life throws things at us that we would rather not face. However, while in front of Jesus, the blind man asks for restored sight, and Jesus responds by telling him that his faith had made him well. This reminds us of one big theme within this entire year of podcasting that Faith + Jesus = A Miracle. While we can see some results when placing our faith in other things, Jesus is the only place that we should place our faith because Jesus is the only One who has seen the details of what is coming in our life, and the only One who has also seen how to successfully navigate the trials. While sometimes God works miracles through other sources, this doesn’t mean that God wasn’t behind the miracle in the first place. At the close of this event, we see the healed man following Jesus, giving thanks to God, and we discover that the crowd praised God. While the crowd wasn’t interested in seeing a miracle at the beginning of this event, we discover that through this miracle, they were given one more reason to praise God. When miracles happen in our own lives, either to us personally or to those we know, let’s use these miracles as opportunities to thank and praise God for what He has done and is doing in our lives and in the world today. As we come to the end of another podcast episode, here are the challenges I will leave you with: Always, seek God first and place Him first in your life. Intentionally look for ways to make your faith in God visible and push past any resistance you face, choosing to see the resistance as an opportunity to demonstrate the faith you have in God. While Satan would have resistance cripple our faith, we can choose to respond to this resistance as an opportunity to show him and others what our faith is made of. Also, keep praying and studying the Bible for yourself to learn, grow, and move closer to God in your own life. While pastors, podcasters, and other people can share great ideas, filter everything you hear, read, and see through the truth of the Bible, because the Bible is the best source for knowing God’s Truth. And as I end every set of challenges by saying in one way or another, never stop short of, back away from, chicken out of, or be pressured into abandoning where God wants to lead you to in your life with Him! Listen to this episode and/or subscribe on ReflectiveBibleStudy.com...Read this article on the web on it's official page: Flashback Episode — Lessons from a Formerly Blind Man: Luke 18:35-43

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