In the original setting, we wonder what the two blind men really thought of Jesus. They called him “Son of David,” that is, the Messiah. Did they think that the Messiah had the power to bring healing? Most probably, the faith of the blind men consisted mainly in their confidence that Jesus could do what they would ask him. They were placing their trust on someone they knew, even if only in a very limited way. This is implied in Jesus’ query: “Do you believe that I can do this?” But we have to read the episode also on the second level—that of Matthew and his community— and see Jesus as the Davidic Messiah and the fulfiller of the ancient prophecies. A sign of the age of salvation is that Jesus brings healing from blindness: “Here is your God, he comes with vindication… Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared” (Is 35:4-5). The healing of blindness is also a sign of God’s sovereign power: the Messiah, the servant of God, is set as a covenant of the people… to open the eyes of the blind (Is 42:6-7).
The third level concerns us who, during this Advent season, prepare for the birth of the Messiah. We will be addressing him as the Son of David in the liturgy. Do we believe that Jesus can help us in our need, even in our desperation? Do we cry out to him, “Have pity on us!”?
GOSPEL • MATTHEW 9:27-31
As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
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