Lectio Divina shines a new light on today’s gospel text (Matt 9:27-31). The miracle of the blind men has aways been a story about Jesus’ compassion for suffering people, and the gratuitous gift of healing. Today a new message uncovers another gem to ponder.
The men naturally blind also had a false understanding of who Jesus was. They held the traditional image of the messiah as a descendent of David; a king who would redeem the earthly kingdom from oppression, and restore Jerusalem to its former glory. Jesus had tried to play down this idea when he reminded his disciples that David was mere human, who addressed Yahweh as “Lord”. David could not be greater than him.
During his life Jesus was addressed in many ways. But, He called himself the Son of Man and addressed God as Abba. It is this nature that he wished to emphasise. Those who understood this also understood that his kingdom was not of this world. For God to assume human nature was humbling and an act of love. And, he chose to become human, even to the extent of being born into the simplest of humble forms. His message does not concern success and earthly power but teaches repentance and the seeking of the kingdom of God.
Thus, Jesus overlooks that address reserved for the earthly messiah, and instead asks, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” The answering “Yes”, is an act of faith. It is this faith that Jesus refers to in his ironic, “According to your faith let it be done to you”. The doctrine that the blind men believed in was flawed. Yet, Jesus cures them based on their faith. Jesus is God capable of all things, including the curing of blindness. He who believes in truth shall see the true light and be cured. Jesus allows the imperfect doctrine to run for the moment. Because, as he said at his baptism, all righteousness needed to be fulfilled. His time was yet come.