Bread – Sight

June 29, 2012


Readings for Friday, June 29 designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Num. 20:1-13; Rom. 5:12-21; Matt. 20:29-34; Psalms 102, 107

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From our reading today in Matthew – “…they [two blind men] cried out all the more, ‘Lord have mercy on us, Son of David’ … Jesus called them and said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, let our eyes be opened.’” Matt. 20:31-33

In our misery, we cry out in our prayers “Lord have mercy on me.” When God talks to us and asks us what we want, what will be our reply?

Will it be “I want food” or “I want a job” or “I want to be cured of this disease” or “I don’t want to hurt anymore?” These are the things in life which we consider practical, which will help us confront the daily grind of a broken world, of broken relationships, of a broken body. These are the things we are inclined to ask for. The two blind men sitting on the side of the road in Jesus’ day were probably beggars. The kinds of mercy shown on them by other passersby were probably a few coins or perhaps a fish. This is probably why Jesus asked “what do you want?” The answer could very well have been a bowl of porridge.

Instead the answer was profound – “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” In many respects, this is a request that even transcends them becoming un-blind. They could have said “We want to see.” But somehow these blind men knew that mere sight was not enough, that the kind of sight they wanted, that they needed, was the kind of sight that was “opened.” There is no really good English term for this. It is like the difference between “seeing” and “really seeing.” It is like the difference between merely seeing a person standing in front of you and seeing into and through that person, into their heart. It is like the difference between noticing someone and loving someone. Both involve sight and seeing; only one involves having your eyes “opened.”

So the beggars, who were probably in need of food, shelter, wine, and some purpose in their life, asked instead that their “eyes be opened.” Another name for this might be “discernment.” Another name for this might be “wisdom.”

The kind of sight which is open is given freely by Jesus in this passage, and the rest of Scripture tells us that wisdom (open sight) is available to any Christian who asks. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Jas. 1:5

Are we today sitting in our misery, asking for a better government, better health, better job, better this or better that? Or are we asking for our sight to be opened, that we may see clearly and openly in the evil day, that we may see clearly and openly both ourselves and our neighbors, that we may see clearly and openly our God.

See, when the blind men’s eyes were opened, what (or, more properly, who) was the first thing (person) they saw? Jesus. Not the world, not themselves, not other people – but the truth. They saw the Truth, the Way, and the Life. They saw Jesus.

Do you have something to be miserable about, angry about, upset about, depressed about? You are a son or daughter of Adam and Eve and so the answer to that question is “yes.” Jesus is walking down the road and asks you, “What do you want?” What is your answer? That your sight be opened so that you can see Him, or a bowl of porridge.

The question is His; the answer is yours. What do you want? Mere sight or sight that is open. The solution for today or the solution for eternity.

What say you to Jesus’ question, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

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