Inconvenient Compassion

Tonight, we transition from Matthew’s section about the place of the disciple to the Holy Week discourse. In the current section, we have discovered that the place of the disciple is the place of the lowly in this world, of servanthood, humility, and humble standing—not power, authority, or having much to gain. Even the section about the place of the disciples was all about Jesus. Tonight, Jesus heals more people before entering into Jerusalem.

Matthew 20:29-34

As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him.

And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”

The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.”

Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.

The blind men (v. 29-30)

As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him.
And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”

Jesus and His disciples departed from Jericho, and a large crowd followed. Two blind men, who are not in this crowd but simply sitting by the road, hear the crowd exulting Jesus. They cry out, “Lord, have mercy on us!” They confess Jesus as the rightful king in David’s kingly line.

The two blind men are not following Jesus. Since Jesus is departing, not in the marketplace, they are likely sitting near the city gates of Jericho begging. These men are like those we see near intersections holding cardboard signs. They cry out for mercy from Jesus.

Jesus’s attentiveness (v. 31-32)

The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

The crowd does what people often do in the world today. They ignore them, tell them to shut up, and neglect their requests. Why do those people have to be such a drain on society? What, their welfare check isn’t enough? Why are they using their disability as an excuse? They could go find some kind of work. God helps those who help themselves.

The men do quiet their voices. Instead, the more they are told to shut up, the more they cry out for the mercy of king Jesus. Jesus stops and calls them, “Hey, you two. What do you want Me to do for you?” Jesus has a crowd following Him. He has no reason to stop from a worldly perspective. He already has a large audience. He is departing from Jericho, which means He is on His way somewhere else—Jerusalem. Jesus is on His way to do the work He came to earth for—to be a substitutionary atonement for His chosen people (cf. v. 17-19). There is much Jesus must do before His crucifixion, and He nearly only has one week left until the fateful Friday (cf. 21-27). It seems Jesus has more important things to be focused on, it is crunch-time, and Jesus stops to ask what these blind beggars want from Him.

Our time and work is not as important as Jesus’s. Yet, we cannot be bothered, inconvenienced, or interrupted. Why not? Even when we, like the crowd, are not too busy, we cannot be bothered. We can’t be inconvenienced by others, church, or ministry. Sunday is our only day off and we need our personal time. We don’t want to hold up traffic to stop, get out of the car, and talk to that person (let alone hand him or her money). Our work is too important to be stopped. Have we forgotten that our time is not our own, and we have been given work for God’s glory—not ours? Personal time is a myth, as is any work that is not meant to glorify God. Yet, we use those things as excuses to be selfish. Life is not about convenience or getting as much done as possible. What if we were more like Jesus than the crowd?

Jesus’s compassion (v. 33-34)

They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.”
Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.

Surprise; they don’t beg for money. They ask Jesus for sight. Jesus does not ask them why they need sight. He does not stipulate their financial support or attendance. He is moved with compassion and gives them sight. Even though Jesus did not stipulate their attendance, they follow Him.

We serve an interruptible, compassionate king. May we strive to be like our king instead of like the world—so consumed with our schedules, agendas, tasks, and timelines. To be like Jesus, we live inconvenient, compassionate lives. Our time, money, work, and attention is not our own; may we never use them as excuses not to be about the Father’s business in all things. Note, this passage is not about sabbath rest, which is important; the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (cf. Mark 2:27-28). Jesus still served others on the Sabbath (cf. 12:1-13). So, not even the Sabbath can be used as an excuse for selfish use of our time and resources. Inconvenient compassion—That’s the Christian life. That is our introduction to Holy Week according to Matthew. 

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Leave a Reply