Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
In our Gospel reading for this week, Jesus encounters a blind beggar, to whom he restores sight (Luke 18:35-43). There’s no doubt that this miracle shows something of Jesus’ power to heal and restore. But a few little words which we might pass by carelessly tell yet another crucial story. The beggar, hearing a commotion, learns that Jesus of Nazareth is passing. The way he responds, and Jesus’ response in turn, is very telling.
The man cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” (ESV). This is a profound plea on several levels. First, he recognizes that Jesus of Nazareth is a direct descendant of King David. Was this common knowledge? At least to this man, Jesus was not considered the possibly illegitimate son of an impoverished carepenter. He was recognized as royalty. In effect, the man calls Jesus, “Your Royal Highness.” Based on the genealogical information we are given in Luke’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel, this is exactly right. Jesus had a valid claim as an earthly king, and at least one blind beggar knew it.
The king, the Son of David, had another special claim. God had told David he would always have someone to sit on his throne. It was to be an eternal kingdom. Though the throne had been vacant for many years Jesus was the recognizable heir to the throne.
The man cries out for mercy. This is a common petition to lay before a king. But notice the mercy the man asks for. It is not a political position, a financial blessing, or relief from prosecution. He asks for miraculous healing. No earthly king can do such a thing. He is asking for divine intervention in his life.
How does Jesus respond? As the divine heir to David’s eternal throne, he has mercy on the man and heals him. He does what only God can do. He accepts both the idea that he is king and shows that he is also God.
When we are confrtonted with Jesus and His actions, we realize we are dealing with the living God. We also see that he has mercy on us. This is the true Son of David.
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