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Two Blind Men Receive Sight July 21, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 20:29-34.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus has completed His ministry in Peraea and is heading to Jerusalem. Two blind beggars scream at Him – acknowledging Him as the Messiah and beseeching Him to have mercy on them. He feels their pain – and restores their sight. They respond to this miracle by praising God.

Thoughts: Here, two blind men acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah. Ryle offers some insights on this point:

Such faith may well put us to shame. With all our books of evidence, lives of saints and libraries of divinity, how few know anything of simple, child-like confidence in Christ’s mercy and Christ’s power. Even among believers, the degree of faith is often strangely disproportionate to the privileges enjoyed. Many an unlearned man who can only read his New Testament with difficulty possesses the spirit of unhesitating trust in Christ’s advocacy, while deeply-read divines are harassed by questionings and doubts.

Ryle’s insights resonate with me, as I often struggle to display “simple, child-like confidence” in Christ. While I am grateful for the opportunities that God has granted me to delve into apologetics, I have found that wrestling with difficult questions can elicit doubts concerning God’s existence and/or faithfulness. God has given us the ability to think and reason, yet these faculties can be misused. Perhaps this points to the essence of our Christian faith; by stating that abductive reasoning leads us to God, one admits the existence of alternate explanations for our observations. Moreover, even “deeply-read divines” cannot rule out these alternate explanations until the next life. That being said, God still calls – and enables – us to thrive in this temporal state of tension.

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Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute March 3, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 9:27-34.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus performs two miracles:

  • restoring the sight of two blind men – who have repeatedly affirmed His identity as the Messiah
  • healing a deaf and dumb man who had been possessed by a demon.

Many are astounded by these miracles – yet the Pharisees assert that Satan is the source of Jesus’ power.

Thoughts: Here, we see that two blind men recognized Jesus as the Messiah. Ryle offers some insights on this point:

They could not, of course, have seen the miracles that he did: they could only know him by common report. But the eyes of their understanding were enlightened, if their bodily eyes were dark. They saw the truth which teachers of the law and Pharisees could not see; they saw that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. They believed that he was able to heal them.

As modern-day believers, we can – and should – identify with these blind men. We have not seen Jesus with our “bodily eyes” – yet we have received reports of Him. The blind men had accumulated information about Jesus, and they had to consider the following question: given what they knew, were they in the presence of the Messiah?

Similarly, we have accumulated information about Jesus, and we have to consider the following question: given what we know, is Jesus the Messiah?

We need His wisdom and strength on a daily basis to answer that question in the affirmative, as Satan constantly tempts us to answer it in the negative.