All three of the synoptic Gospels tell of the healing of the blind man. There are a couple of discrepancies that could lead us to conclude that these were separate incidents, however, the details of the story are so similar that we can easily see that they are likely versions of the same event. In the account written by Matthew, there are two blind men and in Mark and Luke they only mention one blind man, although they do not specify that there is only one. Also, in the Gospel according to Mark, the blind man is identified as Bartimaeus. In all three, a blind man calls out, is rebuked and Jesus asks the famous question, “What do you want me to do for you?” In all three accounts, the blind man is healed and follows him, giving glory to God.
This story is about the power of Jesus to heal us physically and spiritually. It is a foretaste of the healing power of his passion and death. He died on the cross to bring us into everlasting light. The pharisees failed to see that Jesus was the Messiah that was to come. They plotted and tried to catch him out. Many did not live what they preached. They were stuck in meaningless ways of enforcing the laws instead of caring for their people with compassion.
Are we walking around in pharisaic darkness, instead of living in the light, the light that is Jesus Christ or are our eyes open, to see the goodness of God, open to the way to follow him? Or, like the blind man, do we have the humility to cry out to God, for our needs, for mercy and forgiveness of our sins? Do we persevere in prayer? Jesus waits for us to tell him what we need. He knows, but he wants us to turn to him, to rely on him and not on ourselves. He wants us to reach out to him constantly and never give up.
As Thanksgiving is upon us, this is a perfect time to check on our scale of gratitude, to appreciate the gift of our families and friends. It is a perfect time to look around and see who Jesus has given us to take care of, or who he has placed in our path even for just a moment, to heal with a smile of friendship or an act of kindness.