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September 8, 2021 7:05 am
No one other than those who are blind can truly understand what it's like to function without eyesight beauty for the blind becomes defined by one's creative imagination rather than the actual color and contour of the roles to a blind person, even a friend smile was virtually invisible until you learn to interpret the way a smile so today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll describes an amazing moment when Jesus took compassion on two blind men in a spontaneous and permanent active healing their miracle provides a lesson for us all. The Bible this morning turned you. Chapter 20 we looking at the last few verses of that 20 of chapter which is like sort of a brief interlude between two significant series of events when you come join interlude like this in your reading of the Scriptures. Your tendency will be to sort of pass through it rather hurriedly and you'll miss some very important things that are a part of that segment. Remember, God never puts words on the page to just fill the spaces is always a reason, and these verses are no exception.
Looking at verses 29 through 34 Matthew chapter 20 as Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd followed behind two blind men were sitting beside the road when they heard that Jesus was coming that way. They began shouting Lori son of David, have mercy on us, we quiet the crowd yelled at them, but they only shouted louder. Lori, son of David, have mercy on us. When Jesus heard them. He stopped and called what you want me to do for you, Lord. They said we want to see Jesus felt compassion for them and touch their eyes instantly they could see them. They followed in this presentation of the gospel today.
My great hope is that if you have come into this room without Christ, that you will realize your situation, you will see it for yourself and you will allow Christ to take care of that for you.
Just as the blind could not get themselves site you cannot change your inner person. Only Christ can do that and he wants to do that, but you must acknowledge your own condition. Just as these were blind acknowledge their site for living the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures.
Studies by going to Insight world.org/studies. Now the message from Chuck that he titled seeing ourselves through blind eyes, a doctor's office is a perfect place to witness life in the raw. I was sitting in my eye doctor's office not too long ago awaiting an examination that for me comes about every 4 to 6 months and I it was a chance for me to look around the room. I'm not like most to come then and bury themselves in a magazine and wait for the name to be called. I like looking at people. The study of people is far more fascinating and you see a whole lot when you're in a doctor's waiting room. Among them are the older ones who have large white bandages across Their faces.
Having had surgery, no doubt in recent days. And then there are often the bewildered older teenagers and those in their 20s and 30s who find themselves unusually anxious because they're so young, but they're having struggles with their eyes, and because we only have two open. There is an extra amount of anxiety connected with difficulties with one's eyesight, Cynthia and I spoke to a man recently who, rather suddenly lost sight in one eye and it happened to be damage retina thankfully was able to have it repaired and an insiders is fine now but he said the frightening moment is the sudden realization is one eye. That's good whatever sitting there the door opened and in into the room wrote a wheelchair and my eye caught the the movement because the man was wearing a US Marine Corps cap pulled down over long gray hair and I noticed the side of the Vietnam vet wearing a glove on one hand, which didn't move. He was rolled up to the receptionist counter were he spoke quietly with the lady who was taking down the information and the one who was pushing him in the chair turned and brought him over near the door that would open and lead to the hallway that goes down for the doctors offices are located because his pant legs were pulled up a little bit higher than normal, sitting in that chair I was able to see that he was wearing sneakers that have been strapped on with thick, Nobel crow straps tying the shoes to double prostheses, no feet, no legs and I looked closer because he's a fellow Marine and and I saw hanging in a sling along side the wheelchair was a white cane in addition to his disabilities in the harsh reality of his condition, hit me this combat veteran was also blind. It doesn't get more raw than that I began to stand up. I want to go talk with him and thank him for his service and all that he endured and sharing things that Marine share together in his name was suddenly called the door open and before I could get to them to even meet him. He was wheeled into the office and I never saw him again.
He was out of sight, but it wasn't out of mind. I was left with a dozen or so thoughts of my own. Many of the beginning with what if the main one being what if I had returned to civilian life. Blind years ago and with disabilities, but a number of changes what happened to him in my life. As a result of being plunged into darkness. I couldn't help but wonder about the man who had come in and briefly set in the room and then left.
Couldn't I just couldn't get them out of my mind so I did what I'm going to ask you to do for the next 30 to 45 seconds would you do it please. Just close your eyes, all of you right now.
Just close your eyes and keep them close until I I ask you to open as you sit there with your eyes closed. Try to imagine your life from here on in that condition, you're not reduced in your sentences to hearing and feeling and smelling and tasting but your eyesight is gone. You no longer have the joy of seeing glorious scenes in nature or the faces of those you love for the faces of anyone with whom you're speaking you cannot see the distance between you and another object you cannot witness gifted and exciting athletes as they run down of the field and in the game of football or the court in basketball. You cannot witness an orchestra coming to a platform and beginning to chewed up for a concert. You no longer can see the food though. You can smell it on the plate in front of you, from now on. In every meal. You cannot even see the print on the page of the Bible you want nothing more. Right now, then being given your eyesight now open your eyes. That is exactly where the two men were who step onto the scene at the end of Matthew chapter 20 we know nothing about them.
We don't have their names given by Matthew. We don't over they lived or the condition of where they lived. We don't know how they got to where they came to beg all we know is that they live in or around the ancient town of Jericho, though they never saw Jericho they could only feel the blistering heat in the summer or the burning wind as the sand hit them in their faces. I realize why using the name Jericho in the word is familiar to many of us, but the location may not be and is often done with you. I like you to look at a map in the back of your Bible.
So when you turn from Matthew 20 back to the map that's marked the ministry of Jesus. It will either be a full-page or maybe even a double-page as it is in my Bible. If your Bible doesn't have a map you need another Bible you need to get serious about the Bible that you read from and study from. You need a set of maps you're on the right page. When you see a body of water to the north, Lark Sea of Galilee and the larger, much larger body of water toward the south, marked the Dead Sea. You will see the line between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. That's the Jordan River running north to south along this map in front of you now Jericho. When you get to the Dead Sea.
Look to the left, I would say West but some of you are geographically challenged so look to your left about 5 miles from the Jordan River. Jericho was located and now looked further to your left down a little because Jericho is east northeast of Jerusalem. Locate next the city of Jerusalem. Jericho is located about 18 miles from Jerusalem, connected by a rugged piece of road bed road in those days, a dangerous road is still rugged and it's still there, but that Eighteen Mile Rd. from Jericho up to Jerusalem rises 4600 feet because Jericho sits about 1400 feet below sea level, like the Dead Sea, Jerusalem sits 2300 feet above sea level. So your aunt arise sometimes sharper than other times. But it isn't an easy road to travel Jesus and his followers are along that road though it's not shown on our maps. There is a road between Jericho and Jerusalem and they have made their way through the city. Now back back to the passage is returned back to Matthew 20 as you can imagine when you read Dead Sea in the summer of the year. You can only imagine how hot it's a town made for camels and donkeys and that's why there are so many still there and Jericho.
It's hard on humans.
Of course, as is true in all deserts the winter months are the or the more enjoyable months.
Spring can be. It can be a place of beauty, but to enjoy the beauty of spring you need eyesight Clarence Edward McCartney puts his finger on the pathetic situation of these beggars were blind when he writes it was springtime in Palestine, but there was no springtime for these blind men for them, winter and summer, spring and autumn world the same that really says it all when you're blind it's all the same. Those who live in blindness do not sit in rooms painted in pastel colors. They do not see sunsets painted by God in brilliant orange and yellow.
The sky above them never hesitantly see clouds in the sea is never a deep cobalt blue no faces ever smiling or frowning. No mountaintops are ever covered with glistening pristine snow. Everything is always the same. It looks just like everything looked when you had your eyes closed as one gifted writer put it in an old piece titled God's trombone, which is a portrayal in the mind of an artist of the creation. It was as black as a thousand midnights in a cypress swamp when you're blind, that's life.
My Marine acquaintance there in that waiting room is in the world like that and so these two blind men that there was nothing for them to see. But at the same time there was much for them to hear and they heard something. We read in verse 30 of verse 29 of the large crowd following behind Jesus, you hear large crowds there noisy and that what they're saying you often includes names, in this case the name of Jesus, which is the beggars new Jesus was among the group no doubt, by the way, when you travel the Middle East the scene of a beggars is is not an unusual scene. You will often see them along the roadside and they are a familiar sight often pathetic their limbs are sometimes twisted. If they have limbs and their hands are out and there you sometime sort of in a chant or saying something you can understand it's in the language you don't know there's a cup there for you to place your calling for them. For the most part their authentic always like leaving the city of Ephesus in western Turkey because when you leave, you go by a number of shops and I like it that there is a signed by one of the shops genuine fake Rolex watches. I've always liked@because it did not try to fool anybody. Some beggars are phony, but more often than not, as in this case, the real and these two blind men when they heard the name Jesus. They heard hope they heard hope they can imagine what it would be like if he could just touch their eyes and give them what they cannot get themselves slight desperate.
This is their only chance to connect with the one who can transform the physical condition slowly begin to shout two blind men sitting beside the road when there Jesus was coming to begin shouting while course exactly what you are. I would do sitting there blind. The first word is a word of respect. Sarah Cory's is what you say when you don't know the name of the man beside the road and you need is you need directions you say Sir, excuse me sir, it's, it's the word Cory is not the word for Savior.
It's the word Sir Sir, but the next title to give them his messianic title son of David, somehow between that moment and a day in their past, they have become acquainted with and acknowledge he is Messiah will call them that unless you acknowledge that something David.
Maybe that will grab his attention. So David Marcy C. Have mercy on us, they shouted, and the crowd is impatient with them and they told to be quiet. Silence beggars when you are when you were among beggars. You can easily become cynical. The beggars were saying, in effect, we acknowledge who you are looking us over here. Look this way middle on shouting even though the crowds as we quiet there. They shot all the louder. From what I read they shouted even louder. Sir. So David, have mercy on us.
Remember the crowd as all better off than they are economically plus all the crowd has their site can they enter into the world of the beggars when you're not in that world. You don't know why people are shouting a number of years ago when we were living in Irving, a good family friend of ours invited our older siding and me to a cowboy football game on Monday night we had not been to the stadium.
It was then new. Now the old cowboy Stadium that's been replaced and and yet back then it was the cat's meow. We we really look forward to going and I began to say to Kurt, our older son was really a fan with me.
He was by the end of elementary age 79 years old and sits on.
Remember to be a big crowd. Need a hold dad's hand hold my hand and when you're that age it's like really hold your hand.
He goes that on outside hold my hand. We got to our seats. It was a great game and by the time it was over. The crowd was now on its way out and you remember the swirling walkways down in Europe and one level you can see the other level going down well I did I lost. He didn't hold my hand and so he made his way ahead of us and I could see him on the on the downward walk way ahead of us and so I go and the credit does Romeo like did I care that they were looking at me like I was a yo-yo yelling out out what their other son is your dad and I got louder and is looking like it will then I'm just yelling about when I yell I can read that one evening Jill for me when I really yelling I am right now you will Kurt Herdman looked up and I out want to tell them they're getting all my but by the time I got to him. He did hear that a few times by the time he got so I put my vice grip on him as we made our way out in.
I didn't care that the crowd didn't understand. I got a lost boy how much louder if I got no eyesight.
I love it that when Jesus heard them, remember he's in the tail end of his ministry.
He's been dealing with people for months and months and months and Bob just as easily walked on, not Jesus, not in this situation he heard them any stone they didn't know we stop as soon yelling and then a call.
They could hear what you want me to do for you will see below North Sea. This is a great moment touches the very area of the greatest need their eyes instantly. Just as quickly as you lifted your eyelids earlier.
See a beautiful illustration of the way Jesus pursues us when were lost listening to Insight for living in a message from Chuck Swindoll titled seeing ourselves through blind eyes and there's much more from this encounter between Jesus and the two blind men that we need to explore, so be sure to join us again when Chuck continues first. I like to draw your attention to a book Chuck Swindoll selected for a listening family are sodium Matthew has featured a number of references to the justice of God and the fairness of his actions in today's politically charged climate. These words are surfacing in our conversations as it relates to social justice, and even the worldview that is often referred to as critical race theory well when Chuck finished reading a new book called faultlines by fellow pastor Bodie Baucom immediately wanted to share with you your lay person who's trying to engage in grace filled conversations on race or pastor who wants to address these important cultural issues with the compassion of Jesus you want to read faultlines. You can purchase a copy right now by going to Insight.org/offer. In closing, I'll remind you that your generous donations are what empower Insight for living to deliver these daily Bible studies, when you give to actually make it possible for someone you may never meet in places you will likely never visit have access to this life-giving Bible teaching. So thanks for giving generously to this nonprofit Chuck's teaching is heard around the globe and in fact in eight languages other than English and were able to do so in part through your generous to give a donation today.
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Give firstname.lastname@example.org inviting you to join us again when Chuck Swindoll continues to describe seeing ourselves through blind eyes Thursday on Insight for living. The preceding message seeing ourselves through blind eyes was copyrighted in 2017 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles or swindling. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited