And he comes to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man to him, and sought him to touch him.…
The only progressed cure recorded in the New Testament. Why was it not instantaneous like the rest? Nothing our Lord did or left undone was without meaning; so there must have been a reason for this. That reason cannot have been in Christ. He was no respecter of persons; His tender sympathy yearned over this sufferer as tenderly as over the rest. It must be traced, then, to the man himself and his fellow citizens. It the tone of morality had been higher in Bethsaida, if public opinion had been more upright, if the collective example of the citizens had been better, the probability is that the man would not have been so criminal. Now, what was wrong?
I. WANT OF FAITH. Why was there a lack of faith?
1. Because there was a lack of earnestness. Distinct evidence of this. His friends bring him to Christ, and from the fact that he does not speak except to answer a question, we infer that he was not particularly anxious to be brought. No such eagerness as in the case of Bartimaeus.
2. Because there was a want of knowledge. This man was an inhabitant of Bethsaida Julius, which was within easy walking distance of most of Christ's great works. The people living there had heard His wonderful words of life; and surely if those who could see, and who therefore, were without excuse, had realized their privileges and acted up to them they might have taught this man; but they had not done so. They had not rejoiced in the good news from God; they had not realized that the promised Messiah had come; they had not hastened to be His witnesses to their neighbours. If they had done so, they would have brought home to the mind of this poor blind man such a sense of the power and love of Jesus Christ, that he would not have hesitated for one moment to believe that Christ was well able to restore him at once to perfect vision. And because they were so unworthy Christ sends the man to his house, saying, "Neither go into the town," etc. His fellow citizens were not worthy to hear the story of the great work which God had wrought in him. We must not cast our pearls before swine, or give .hat which is holy to the dogs. This man himself was the monument of their spiritual shortcomings; and if in the first hour of his faith in Christ and his own personal experience of the power of Christ, he had returned to his cold-blooded, indifferent, cynical neighbours, they might have quenched the little flame of grateful love which was springing up in his heart.
(Hugh Price Hughes.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.