Matthew 20:20-34 – Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.
The first part of this passage was part of a sermon I preached yesterday about how the service of every member is needed in the Church. I used Christ’s servanthood as an example of what service entails. Due to lack of time (and the fact that it would have been just a tad off point) – I was not able to look at the episode that followed – how Jesus then went out and once again demonstrated that he was a servant by healing the two blind men. What strikes me about this passage this morning however is the callousness of the crowd who simply wanted the blind men to shut up and go away. Without a doubt there were many in the crowd who themselves had been healed from various diseases, from being lame or deaf or even demon possessed. But they had their own ideas about Jesus – they were now looking for him to free them from Roman tyranny – and so they took the grace they had received from Jesus for granted. It would be so easy to look down on the crowd if I did not see my own heart in them. How I have my own ideas about how I should serve Jesus with my day, of who Jesus should care about – and so my heart is often callous as well. I pray God will keep his grace to be always at the forefront of my mind – so that I might desire – and be a part of – seeing that grace go to others as well. How about you?