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March 4 | Matthew 20:29-34


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Matthew's Take

by Pr. Dave Mann


Compare today’s reading in Matthew 20 with yesterday’s reading in Mark 10. See also Luke 18:35-43. The three texts have so much in common that they likely describe the same event. To identify the unique message that the Holy Spirit has for us in Matthew 20, let’s focus on those elements that are unique to how Matthew depicts this healing.

 

Matthew’s first unique word is “two.” There were two blind men alongside the road. Mark and Luke focus on only one of them and Mark actually names him, but Matthew clearly states that there were two men. This is not a contradiction between the three renderings of the event. It is just that Matthew gives different specifics in his account. Jesus many times comes alongside those who are unnamed and neglected. Do you sometimes feel unnoticed or overlooked?  Jesus has a blessing for you as well.

 

Matthew notes that on three occasions the two blind men address Jesus as “Lord”– in verses 30, 31, and 33.  The Greek term used here – kyrie  was commonly used as a term of respect for highly regarded men. We might use the English term “Sir.”  However, in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament compiled in the mid-second century B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt, the term kyrie was used for the name of God, YHWH. So, in the first century, when the Greek language was dominant, the New Testament was written in Greek. Consequently, quotations from the Old Testament were normally drawn from the Septuagint. Therefore, when people addressed Jesus as “Kyrie,” the common term for respect, it was also distinctly possible that they were acclaiming more for Jesus – that he was the Messiah, and even that he was divine. Were these two blind men publicly announcing what the rest of the large crowd was only considering silently?

 

Finally, in verse 34, Matthew uniquely wrote, “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes.” The suffering of these men moved Jesus’ heart. Perhaps he was also moved by their persistence, as they cried out to the Lord Jesus – Kyrie Ιησούς! Even as the crowd tried to silence them, they insisted on attracting the attention of Jesus to their need. Many times, Jesus simply spoke a word and people were healed. This time, Jesus physically touched the body part that needed healing. Oh, what the two blind men must have felt at that moment! Was it a warmth?  Was it a tingling? Was it a burning? Whatever they felt, it was life-giving!


PRAYER

O Lord Jesus, I need your touch. I need your compassion in my life. I need you. Parts of my life are broken. Come by your Holy Spirit. Grant me the persistence to cry out to you unceasingly, even when other influences in my life seek to suppress my prayer. Come, Jesus, be LORD in my life. Amen!






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2 Comments


robin.lorms
Mar 04

Good morning, Pastor Dave.


Your scholarly insights into the translations are very much appreciated. We are so blessed to have knowledgeable men of God who know the Word to inspire and instruct us.

I noticed that twice the blind men call Jesus, " Son of David" which I have always interpreted as a reference to the Messiah. After reading your explanation of the translation it makes sense to me that the blind men would cry out to the One they perceived to be the Messiah----One who could actually heal them. I also wonder who was instructing the blind men in the Old Testament.?One day we will find out lots of answers.

God bless you, Pastor Dave.


Robin Lorms

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chuckcoleman25
Mar 04

Thank you for sharing your insight on that passage.

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