"What do you want Me to do for you?" "Lord," he said, "let me see again."
personal dealing with men. As he did not heal in troops and companies but addressed himself to each individual man or woman that was sick or suffering, blind or lame, so does he now make his appeal to each individual heart, and say to this man and to that man, "What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?" And what do we want of him, as he thus approaches us?
I. THOSE WHO WANT NOTHING IN PARTICULAR. They meet with their neighbours to worship him and to hear about him, but they have no sense of need in their hearts; their souls are not suffering and smarting under a painful sense of sin; their hearts are not athirst for the living God and Saviour. They wish for "bread enough," but it is not the bread of life for which they hunger; they would like much to be wealthy, but they arc not careful to be "rich toward God."
II. THOSE WHO WANT NOTHING OF CHRIST NOW. The time will come when they will be glad of a Saviour and Friend - some future hour of sorrow, or difficulty, or loneliness, and certainly the hour of death; they would like to keep open the line of communication, but at present they do not feel that they want anything of the great Healer of hearts. But let us look rather at -
III. WHAT WE ALL DO REALLY WANT OF HIM. If our Divine Father is not to be disappointed in us, if our lives on earth are not to be miserable failures, then may we all urge, with this blind man, "Lord, that we may receive our sight!" For it is essential to the life of our life that we should be enlightened upon:
1. The transcendent value of the human spirit, and thus understand of how much more value we ourselves are than any of our earthly surroundings, or than the body which is our temporary residence.
2. The intimate and tender relation in which we stand to God. That God is the one Being with whom we have to do, from whom we cannot withhold our love and service without doing him and ourselves the greatest wrong, who is "earnestly remembering" and patiently seeking us in our distance and estrangement.
3. The supreme and abiding blessedness of the service of Christ; that this is the soul's only true rest and portion, its peace and its inheritance. We want that these great saving truths should stand out before the eyes of our soul as the solid and living facts, in comparison with which all other things are of small account; we want to recognize in them the great verities which alone will satisfy and save us. If we would that Christ should do this for us, we must remember that what he is saying to us is this:
(1) "Learn of me;"
(2) "Believe in me;" "Have faith in me;"
(3) "Abide in me;"
(4) "Follow me." ? C.
A certain blind man sat by the wayside.
I. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE IMMEDIATE SEIZING OF OPPORTUNITIES.
II. THE IMPORTANCE OF PERTINACITY, IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE SOUL.
III. THE ROOT OF THIS PROMPTNESS OF ACTION — OF THIS UNDAUNTED PERTINACITY — WAS FAITH.
IV. THE RESTORED SIGHT IS USED IN FOLLOWING CHRIST, AND IN GLORIFYING GOD.
Clergyman's Magazine.I. HINDRANCES WHICH BESET US IN COMING TO CHRIST FOR MERCY.
1. Our own blindness.
2. Impediments that others cast in the way.
II. ACTIONS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OUR COMING TO CHRIST.
1. Jesus stood still.
2. On Jesus showing Himself favourable, then at once did multitude.
3. In eagerness to go to Jesus, man left garment behind (Mark 10:50). Must cast off custom and habit of sin. Then, going to the Saviour will be easy, and prayer will be heard and answered.
III. BLESSING RECEIVED; EFFECT PRODUCED.
1. What the poor man willed, the Lord granted.
2. A new follower.Application:
1. Let no worldly hindrances debar from Christ.
2. Many encouragements to go. Go.
3. Having gone, truly, wholly — surely follow Him.
(Clergyman's Magazine.)I. Now, looking stedfastly that this may be the case, I wish to speak very pointedly to you about two or three things. First, when Jesus passed by the blind man it was to that man A DAY OF HOPE. It was an hour of hope to that blind man, and if Jesus passes by now this is an hour of hope to you. But, does He pass by? I answer — Yes. There are different respects in which this may be interpreted of our Lord's conduct. In a certain sense He has been passing by some of you ever since you began to discern right from wrong. More especially is is a time of Christ's passing by when the gospel is preached with power.
II. Secondly, as it was a time of hope to that poor blind man, so was it especially A TIME OF ACTIVITY. You that anxiously desire salvation, regard attentively these words. A man cannot be saved by what he does; salvation is in Christ, yet no man is saved except as he seeks earnestly after Christ.
1. This man listened attentively.
2. He inquired with eagerness what it meant.
3. When this man had asked the question, and had been told in reply that Jesus of Nazareth passed by, notice what he did next, he began to pray. His cry was a prayer, and his prayer was a cry.
4. After this man had thus pleaded, it is noteworthy that Jesus stood still and called him. That much-prized, though all patched and filthy garment, he threw right away; it might have made him a minute or two slower, so off he threw it, and away he flung it. Ah! and it is a great mercy when a poor soul feels that it can throw away anything and everything to get to Christ.
5. Once more. When this man had come to Jesus, and Jesus said to him, "What wilt thou that 1 should do unto thee?" the man returned a straightforward and intelligent answer, "Lord, that I might receive my sight."
6. Still, I cannot withhold one other remark. That which really brought salvation to this blind man was his faith, for Christ says, "Thy faith hath saved thee." Now, here is the greatest point of all — faith! Faith; for work without faith is of little worth. Faith is the great saving grace; it is the real life-germ.
III. It was also AN HOUR OF CRISIS.
IV. Lastly, remember that this hour of Jesus passing by is AN HOUR THAT WILL SOON BE GONE. Did you notice that word, "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by?"
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(E. J. Hardy, M. A.)
(W. M. Hay Aitken, M. A.)
(J. Leckie, D. D.)
1. BE PERSUADED THAT YOU ARE ALL SPIRITUALLY IN THE CONDITION OF BARTIMEUS — and that without Divine illumination, you are no more qualified for the concerns of the moral world than a blind man is for those of the natural world.
2. BE PERSUADED THAT, WITH REGARD TO THE REMOVAL OF THIS BLINDNESS, YOU ARE IN AS HOPEFUL A CONDITION AS THIS POOR MAN. In all these miracles our blessed Lord holds Himself forth as the all-sufficient helper of sinners.
3. BE PERSUADED TO IMITATE THE IMPORTUNITY OF THIS BLIND BEGGAR, IN CRYING FOR MERCY. And especially let your importunity, like this poor man's, appear with regard to two things. First, like him, seize the present moment. Let not the opportunity afforded you be lost by delay. Secondly, like him, be not silenced by discouragement and opposition.
4. If He has healed you! — if you can say, "One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see." LIKE BARTIMEUS, BE CAREFUL TO FOLLOW THE SAVIOUR. This is the best way to evidence your cure. This is also the best way to improve your deliverance. Thus you will "show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light." Follow Him, then, as an imitator of His example.
What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?Matthew 18:20). And He asks of each the question in the text. Three classes of replies.
1. The reply of some is, "Let us alone — leave us." Diogenes wished Alexander, as the greatest favour he could bestow, to "stand out of my sunshine." Christ stands between some men and what they imagine to be sunshine.(1) How ungrateful is such a reply. What pain and grief it must give Him who died to save us.(2) How mad it is. If we could succeed we should have destroyed our only hope — broken the only bridge by which we might return.
2. The reply of others is, "Lull our consciences to rest." They want ease, but not holiness, pardon without change of heart.(1) How vain is such a search. Christ's offers are always coupled with requirements ( Matthew 11:28-30; Matthew 5:8).(2) How utterly worthless it would be. It would be a sham, and we should know it and despise
3. The reply of others is, "Cleanse, purify, renew us." Like this man they ask for sight. Like the leper they ask to be made clean. They cry in their doubts and fears, "I believe; help Thou mine unbelief." And such never come in vain. Christ meets with them, and though they touch but the hem of His garment, grants, their requests (Luke 4:18).
(J. N. Norton, D. D.)
(F. W. P. Greenwood, D. D.).
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