A Blind Beggar Glorifies God

“A Blind Beggar Glorifies God”
A reflection on Luke 18:35-43
Monday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Luke 18:35-43 (Lectionary)

A Savior From the House of David

In fulfillment of the Canticles of Mary and Zechariah, Jesus, “born of the house of his servant David,” “lifted up the lowly” (Luke 1:52, 69). A blind beggar in Jericho, overlooked and dismissed by the crowd, drew the attention of the Savior. Upon hearing the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the blind man cried out for deliverance. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Addressing Jesus by his Messianic title, the beggar identified with Israel’s longing for redemption. The multitude around him, more blind than he, tried to silence him. In desperation, the beggar’s shout (boaó) escalated into a piercing scream (krazó) for help. “Son of David, have pity on me!”

Jesus Responds to Faith

While the ears of the crowd heard a nuisance, the ears of Christ heard a child of God. With compassion, Jesus turned his full attention to the blind man, dusty from sitting by the roadside day after day. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. With simple trust, the blind man begged, “Lord, please let me see.” With a word, Anablepson! (“Have sight!”), Jesus opened his eyes. Acknowledging the beggar’s role in seeking salvation, he added, “Your faith has healed you.”

Bartimaeus Glorifies God

Omitted in the Gospel of Mark, which names the blind man as “Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus” (Mark 10:46), Luke records the worshipful joy that followed the healing. With his sight restored, Bartimaeus followed Jesus, “giving glory to God.” The people, having witnessed the miracle, “gave praise to God.”

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has come to His people and set them free.

Canticle of Zechariah (Luke 1:68)

Cries for mercy turned to glory and praise
When the blind beggar met his Savior’s gaze.

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