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Matthew 20:34  (King James Version)
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<< Matthew 20:33   Matthew 21:1 >>


Matthew 20:29-34

Christ's healing of blind Bartimaeus is the only miraculous healing of blindness recorded in at least three of the Gospels (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43). Although the accounts of the healing of Bartimaeus are similar, they contain a few significant differences. The two major ones concern the place of the miracle and the people in the miracle.

With regard to the place, Matthew and Mark report this healing to have taken place when Jesus left the city of Jericho. However, Luke writes, “Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho” (Luke 18:35). The alleged discrepancy is answered by noting that two Jerichos (a new and an old city) existed at that time, the new Jericho lying about two miles south of old Jericho. Leaving old Jericho would be the same as “coming near [new] Jericho,” as Luke records it.

With regard to the people, Matthew reports two people were healed while Mark and Luke mention only one person. The latter simply focus on the healing of the prominent individual, Bartimaeus (only Mark reports his name), while Matthew reports on both individuals who were healed. This incident is one of two times that Matthew records two people involved in a miracle where the others account for only one. The second is the exorcism in Gardara (Matthew 8:28-34; Luke 8:27-39; Mark 5:1-20).

Mark provides the fullest detail about Bartimaeus' healing. Jesus, journeying to Jerusalem for the last time with His disciples, led a large procession of people. In less than a week He would give His life as the sacrifice for sins. Although feeling the pressure of the suffering He was about to endure, Jesus' compassion still motivated Him to tend to the needy.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Blind Bartimaeus



Matthew 20:29-34

While Bartimaeus sits by the roadside wondering, “Why all the commotion?” he is told that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. In addressing Him as “O Lord, Son of David,” his crying out to Him for mercy acknowledges Christ's deity and humanity, as well as signifying his acceptance of His Messiahship as the future King of Israel. “Son of David” was a well-known designation of the expected Prophet (Ezekiel 34:23-24; Matthew 9:27; Luke 1:32), the Promised One at whose coming the eyes of the blind would be opened (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5).

The fact that their eyes can now see alludes not only to receiving physical sight, but also—more importantly—to their eyes being opened spiritually, verified by the words “and they followed Him” (Matthew 20:34; Mark 10:52; Luke 18:43). The world ridicules Christians for calling out to God in faith, but this is exactly what the Son of God wants us to do. Many who are spiritually blind to God's truth have a bitter attitude, disliking those whose eyes are opened to Christ, the only path to salvation.

Since Bartimaeus was blind, he likely felt a certain tension while straining to ascertain Jesus' reaction to his shout. No doubt, he felt great relief when He responded with compassion. Most people do not realize how far they are from God and the wonderful gifts He offers to those who respond to His call. However, because they will not cast off their self-righteousness, they remain alienated from Him, at enmity with Christ (Romans 10:3). When God calls, we must lay aside every weight and enticing sin (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Blind Bartimaeus




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Matthew 20:34:

Matthew 14:14
Matthew 20:29-34
Matthew 20:29-34
Mark :
Luke 7:13
Luke 10:30-37

 

<< Matthew 20:33   Matthew 21:1 >>



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