The blind man heard the commotion, but couldn’t see. He listened as the volume of a large crowd grew louder and closer. Jesus of Nazareth was passing his way someone told him. This blind man had heard about this man. He had heard he was more than Jesus of Nazareth. The blind man recognized this Jesus of Nazareth as The Son of David. He understood this man was the King of Israel, the Savior of the Word, and the ONLY one who could help him. He believed Jesus would provide help for him.
The blind man was sitting by the road begging, Luke 18 explains. He had no means of caring for himself. The appearance of this man was probably unkept and tattered. Needs galore were this man’s life. The Bible does not tell us if the blindness came upon him later in life or as a child. To the blind man, he had a need and that was what he was concerned about. It didn’t matter whether this had always consumed him or if it seemed a more tragic, sudden event.
As he sat along the road, he began calling out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” The louder the crowd got, the louder he called out. He was calling directly to Jesus. He was not asking someone else to call for him. He wasn’t saying, “It sure would be nice for me not to be blind anymore.” He was calling to get the attention of Jesus who was passing by his way.
As Jesus got closer, the people around him told him some things like: this isn’t about you, be quiet, you are too loud, go home, shut up NOW!
The blind man had a great need. This was his opportunity. Jesus had never passed this way before, and he may not pass this way again. The blind man called louder and louder and LOUDER. Desperation sounded in his voice. Hope in the midst of his hopeless circumstance had risen. He repeated over and over again with expressed confidence, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
It wasn’t long before the cries entered the ear of Jesus, registered in his mind, and got his attention. He heard someone calling his name. He heard the desperation of their cry. He recognized the confidence in the request. Jesus stopped walking. The crowd stopped walking.
Jesus ordered for this man to be brought to him. “Follow the voice of the one who is crying out for my compassion until you find him, then bring him to me.” Jesus walked no further until the man was brought to Jesus.
Everyone’s eyes were on the blind man and Jesus. I think the crowd got silent to see what would happen. Would Jesus have compassion on this blind man? Do you see what he looks like? Jesus could see the un-kept-ness of this man. The Son of David was not blind. He was well aware of the great need of this man. Jesus knew the need and what the man needed even before he asked.
“What compassion do you want me to show to you?” Jesus asked the blind man.
“Make me so I can see again.” the man answered with confident boldness in Jesus’ ability and willingness to help him.
“Receive your sight. Your confidence in my ability and my willingness to help has made you whole.” Jesus declared to the blind man.
Immediately the man could see. His sight was restored. Jesus walked on, the man followed in honor and reverence for his healer. When the large crowd saw what Jesus had done, they attributed praise to God.
The blind man got his prayer answered. There are 10 points we can learn from this blind man as we think about our prayers.
Tip One – Have a Root Need
The blind man knew what his “root need” was. He understand the source of his problem. The man needed many, many things. He probably needed food, shelter, clothes, friends, a job, and many more things. However, he narrowed it down to the root cause of all his needs, and that was his sight. He knew that if he could see, the other things would take care of themselves.
When you pray, are you praying for your root need? Are you taking the time to evaluate the situation and getting to the “bottom” of what is the cause?
You may be praying for God to change your circumstances, but maybe you should be praying for God to change you. Take some time to consider the “root need” in your life that may be affecting your circumstances. Identify it and begin seeking deliverance from it.
Tip Two – Recognize God is the ONLY One Who Can Help
There were many people around the blind man. His begging must have been profitable or he wouldn’t have done it. He got some assistance from those around him, but it didn’t solve his problem.
I would think he was thankful for all the help he could get, but it didn’t meet his real need, his root need. He was aware, God was the ONLY one who could help him.
He believed God was willing to help him and able to help him. Confidence in God was at the core of his hope.
Tip Three – Persistently Cry Out For God’s Help
“Son of David, have mercy on me!” was the call of the man. Endlessly, frequently, regularly, urgently are some words that describe the manner in which the blind man made his request heard.
He wasn’t like us who get down to pray and have to think for a minute to remember what we made a point to take the time to pray about. Or say, “Oh yeah, that’s what I was going to ask God for.”
The need of the man was ever before him. He was very aware of his great need. The blind man unceasingly cried out for help. Even when others tried to shut him up, he didn’t let them stifle his determination to be heard.
Tip Four – Listen For God’s Direction and Follow It
He got quiet. The blind man cried out and cried out and cried out. Then he listened. He heard them say things like: Jesus wants you, Jesus heard your cry, Jesus wants you to go close to him.
A shush fell over the man and the crowd as the man listened for the direction of Jesus. He followed the direction of Jesus. He found himself in Jesus’ direct presence. He may have heard Jesus breathing, knowing he was in the presence of the very King of Israel.
The attention of the blind man was no longer focused on getting the attention of Jesus, he had his attention, and now the blind man’s attention was turned to listen and follow.
Tip Five– Make Your Needs Known
Jesus asked him specifically, “What do you want me to do for you?” The man said in a matter of fact, clear, uncovered way, his root need. What the core of his problem was.
The man had originally asked Jesus for mercy, for his compassion, for his tenderness. Jesus said, in what way can I show my benevolence to you?
The man said, “I want to regain my sight”. He made his root need known. He could have explained, and Jesus would have listened to all the affects in the blind man’s life because of his blindness. The man, however, told Jesus the root problem. He made his most central need known at Jesus’ request.
Tip Six– Be Confident God Meets Your Need
Eager confident anticipation in Jesus’ ability to do what he asked was exuding from the blind man. There was no waver or unbelief. The blind man was positive, assured, convinced, and courageous in the Son of David, he now stood in front of, was able to do just what he asked.
The man had heard Jesus was passing by, called out for help, gotten the attention of Jesus, and now stood in his presence. There was no doubt in the blind man’s mind, Jesus would meet his need.
Boldly the man had made his request known. Hope filled the air he breathed.
Tip Seven– Receive the Fulfillment
The extent Jesus was able to heal the man was based on the man’s faith. Jesus said, “Receive your sight, your faith has made you well.” The ability to see was received because of the confidence the blind man had in the Son of David.
Jesus did not praise his persistence, didn’t comment on his specific request, and didn’t commend him for going against the grain. Instead, Jesus met the man’s need according to his faith.
The man received his sight to the same degree he was confident in Jesus’ willingness and ability to give him sight.
Tip Eight– Follow Jesus
The first thing the blind man saw was Jesus. The blind man was convinced Jesus was the very King of Israel. He had a front row seat to the presence of the King of Israel. He took the time to linger.
Revealed before the now seeing blind man was the very essence of God. The very Messiah, Savior of the World. The One who had made the world and everything in it was within touching distance from him.
He decided he would stay close to Jesus, follow him, keep his eyes on him, and gaze on him to capture everything he could.
Tip Nine– Glorify God
Earlier in the story, people had told him to be quiet. They had told him he was making too much noise. Now he wasn’t making noise to get Jesus’ attention. He had Jesus’ attention. He was now pointing to Jesus. He was giving Jesus high honor. He was exalting Jesus.
Instead of everyone looking at him with his continual asking for mercy, he was causing everyone’s gaze to be turned to Jesus. The One whom he was now able to behold with his own eyes. He was expressing great celebration for the One who had given him his sight back. The One who had treated the root need of his life.
Tip Ten– Generate Praise in Others
When the man was crying out before Jesus gave him his sight back, the man was not generating praise for God. Now that the man had his sight and gotten his prayers answered, it caused others to praise God.
Others saw what the man was, what God had done, and how the man was made whole. This caused great celebration to God. The testimony of this healed man, made others lift up and declare the praise of God.
If you’ve been a follower of Jesus for a long time, a little while, or never at all, these 10 tips for effective prayer are for you. Begin using these tips by considering what your root need is. Take some time to think about it. What’s at the core of your life that is stealing your joy, killing your energy, and destroying your life? Name it. Determine it. Remember it. Then move to Tip 2.
These 10 tips worked for the blind man and they will work for you. Notice the man didn’t move on to the next tip until after he completed the tip before. Therefore, be sure to complete Tip One before moving on to Tip Two and so on.