Among Christians, we’ve come up with our own “church talk”. There are certain words that we use in the church that have become watered down. We use them a lot without really understanding their Biblical significance.
As we continue through the Gospel of Luke, we’ll talk about one of these words – mercy.
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
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!”
Luke 18:35-39 NIV
The first thing I see in this passage is that this man believed something about Jesus. His faith was so strong that a crowd of people couldn’t turn him from his course.
We need to know the whole story. The account of this in Mark, chapter 10, tells us that he was the son of Timaeus. There’s a reason why we’re told this. The Hebrew word, timaeus, means to be spiritually unclean or defiled. He had carried the stigma of this his entire life.
The crowd looked at him and saw the son of a defiled, worthless father. They couldn’t see any reason that Jesus would bother with someone like him. Unfortunately, there are times when we look at others, or even ourselves, in this same way.
What made the difference was that this man knew the truth about the Lord. It’s manifest in the words that he shouted.
“Jesus, Son of David.” That was the title he used in calling the Lord. This is a Messianic title. It means that the blind man was trusting Christ as the Messiah and Savior of Israel. He was coming to Jesus because of who the Lord was, and not just because he wanted a healing.
This blind man had been praying and meditating on the words of Christ. How do I know this? Even the disciples of the Lord only knew He was Messiah because of a revelation from God (Matthew 16:15-17). So, in spite of his blindness, this man was spiritually sensitive.
“Have mercy on me!” This is the key to the whole passage. He wanted to be healed, yet he asked for mercy. Our generation has no concept of what this word means in the Bible.
Mercy is the favor God shows to His obedient sons and daughters. It’s the privilege of sonship. For a more detailed teaching on mercy, click here.
What this shows me is that this man did not choose to identify with his earthly, unclean, father. Instead, he found his place as a son of Abraham. Thus, he had the right to call upon the Messiah as his Lord and Healer. The Lord responded to his cry.
Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
Luke 18:40-43 NIV
This is very applicable to us in our generation. How do we approach God? Do we come to Him based upon our need?
We should come to Christ on the basis of who He is. Jesus Christ is Lord, Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer, etc. We should also see ourselves correctly – as a child of God – holy and righteous in His sight. This makes all the difference.
Question: How does your view of Jesus and yourself affect your ability to receive from God?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi