Week 5 | Tuesday
Week 5: Faith in Action
A Blind Beggar Receives Sight: Eyes of Faith
by Janet Nygren
Read: Luke 18: 31-43
34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
- It’s tempting from our vantage point to be a bit harsh on the Twelve at this point–how could Jesus be more clear? How could his disciples not understand what he was saying? As you reflect on what the twelve disciples have seen and come to understand about Jesus, what would you say they are confident in, and how are they acting on it? What do they “see” and not see?
- Apparently the term “Son of David” in Judaism is recognition of the Messiah, the Promised One of God. What does the blind man “see” and not see? How does he act on his “assurance about what he does not see” (Heb. 11:1)?
- How would you say the disciples and the blind man are similar? How are they different?
- In light of yesterday’s parable (The Good Samaritan), it is interesting to note that Jesus is entering on that same road with his disciples toward Jerusalem. Like the Good Samaritan, Jesus also stops and shows mercy, spending the time and effort required to restore a man no one else cared about. As you think about your own faith in Jesus, the best “neighbor” ever, what are you confident in? What do you see that you are willing to act on?
- There’s a lot that we cannot see. What does faith look like for you in light of what you don’t know or understand?
- More than anything, Jesus wants us to be honest with him. He stops for us and says, “What do you want me to do for you?” Whatever this story raises in your mind–questions, doubts, confidence, boldness, need, thanksgiving–share honestly with him and ask him to help you grow in faith one step, whatever that might look like.
- What has “stepping out in faith” looked like for you in the past? Do you have any stories of acting boldly and seeing Jesus come through? Do you have any stories of feeling clueless but following Jesus anyway? Your stories encourage one another in faith, so we invite you to be part of one another’s journeys in that way.
I am the kind of person who likes to see the big picture. I want to know how my little part fits into what God is doing. It can often feel like my feeble contribution to the kingdom is such a tiny drop that it is pointless. Faith means trusting God for the big picture and being content to be faithful in the small things in whatever situation God has put me in today.
Eyes of faith take us beyond emotion to a place of obedience and trust. When we came to Cohoes, there was no youth group and almost no Sunday School. The people who had prayed us here called us “the kids”. I remember kneeling with Ken Stahl, the local Salvation Army officer, and praying a prayer of faith for the youth group and Sunday School that only existed with eyes of faith. Within a few years, faith had become sight. There are many who have prayed prayers in faith and have not seen the outward answers they expected. We realize as we look into the eyes of the Lord that He sees us and He knows our hopes and dreams. By His Spirit, we continue to pray prayers of faith that don’t always result in the answers we expect-and yet we continue to pray and to trust.
I love Jesus’ question when he asks: « What do you want me to do for you? ». Two things I noticed I have done in my lack of faith at times when I forget to ask Jesus for something and just whine instead. And then on the opposing side, I feel like I ask and the answer doesn’t come. Right now I have a lot of friends struggling with cancer and what I really want is for them all to be healed. It is such a matter of trust and faith and sometimes total confusion