Before Jesus reaches this part in his journey, he tells the disciples that they are on their way to Jerusalem. There he will be betrayed, mocked, scourged, and crucified. And, on the third day, he will rise again. A large crowd is following them. It appears as though everyone is preparing for Jesus to make a triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Even the disciples don’t appear to make the connection that Jesus is going to die.
The best way to put it is that it didn’t really sink in what he said to them. Somehow all these folks are laboring under the idea that Jesus is the new political leader and will set up his reign. This would seem to be the case. In verses 20 through 24 James and John and their mother ask Jesus if one can sit on one side and the other one on the other. Jesus tells them they don’t know what they are asking.
It’s the blind men who recognize who Jesus is. They cry out to him and call him “thou son of David.” Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 35:5,6) had said that the Messiah would come from the Son of David. Two blind men knew this was the Messiah and wanted him to have mercy on them. It’s very much like the thief who was crucified with Jesus and asked him to remember him when he came into paradise.
Jesus hears the blind men and stops dead in his tracks. Jesus, the ultimate man of mercy, listens. He responds, “What can I do for you?” It’s a simple request they know he can fulfill. “Give us our sight.” Jesus was moved by their faith, touched their eyes and healed them. Being the believers that they are, they followed him.
As Pastor Josh pointed out these men who were believers knew Jesus was coming by. “Don’t ever have the notion that God doesn’t care for you. He does care.” He went on to say that even in the most profound moments ahead of him, Jesus took the time to stop and tend to others. If we are to be more like Jesus, we should follow him just like the blind men did. Fanny Crosby wrote a hymn based on this story: “Son of David! Hear my cry; Savior, do not pass me by; Touch these eyelids veiled in night, Turn their darkness into light.” Let that song be your prayer.