King in hiding

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‘Lord Jesus, help me to see you clearly, today. Help me to listen to you and follow where you lead. Amen.’

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Bible passage Matthew 9:27–34

Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute
 27As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!"

 28When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?"
      "Yes, Lord," they replied.

 29Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you"; 30and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, "See that no one knows about this." 31But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.

 32While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."

 34But the Pharisees said, "It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons."

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

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Messiah healer
In contrast to yesterday’s encounters, Jesus keeps these blind men waiting (v 27). Why? The men have to pursue Jesus and even then Jesus questions the depth of their faith (v 28). So what did they believe about Jesus?

By using ‘Son of David’ (a Messianic title), they were confirming their belief that Jesus was the king described in Isaiah 9:2–7. If Jesus healed them, he would be fulfilling the words of Isaiah 35:5 where the healing of the blind was a sign that God had come to save his people.

Divided crowd
Imagine what would happen once word got out that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah. Jesus’ concern for privacy (v 28) and his news embargo on the healing (v 30) appear to be efforts to control potential Messiah-mania.

The evidence that Jesus is the Messiah continued to mount: the very next miracle (v 32) fulfilled Isaiah 35:6. I’ve heard people say that they would believe if they had evidence of God. But look at the different responses here: a few people believed and were rewarded for their faith (v 29), the majority were intrigued onlookers (v 33), and some were positively vitriolic in their reactions (v 34).

How does this compare with reactions you have received when you have shared the news about Jesus?


Today, the message of Jesus will be shared privately and publicly – in schools, workplaces and homes. Pray for people to receive Jesus their King.

Penny Boshoff

Deeper Bible study

‘You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.’ (2 Peter 1:19)

To Matthew, the miracle stories in this collection (Matthew 8:1 – 9:34) fulfil Isaiah’s prophecies. Soon he will record Jesus’ own response to John the Baptist (Matthew 11:4–6), declaring that his actions fulfilled Isaiah’s end-time visions, when the blind see and the mute speak (Isaiah 35:5,6). To complete his build-up to Jesus’ declaration, Matthew must first include the healing of the blind and the mute. Matthew tells these stories succinctly, to stress Jesus’ actions and the crowd’s reactions. While admiration and amazement are not yet faith, faith can follow, whereas the Pharisees’ response (v 34), calling good evil, is a hardened resistance to faith.

Restoring sight to the blind was significant at many levels, displaying Jesus’ divine power and showing his compassion for those suffering from blindness and its resulting shame and exclusion. As we have seen, however, these miracles have deeper significance. They did indeed happen (they are not allegories), but they also speak to us at a spiritual level. They resemble true-life parables, which as a child I was taught were ‘earthly stories with a heavenly meaning’.

Blindness and sight are an important word pair, part of the fundamental opposites of darkness and light, Scripture’s most potent images. Matthew’s readers would grasp the parallel between these men’s blindness and their own condition. ‘Son of David’, among Matthew’s most frequent titles for Jesus, was consciously part of his own title for his gospel. The blind men’s use of that Messianic title prompted the reader to see this as the blindness of believers. The message of the miracle was for insiders, not outsiders. Spiritual blindness is always a threat to the church. It is healed when those Christians whose spiritual vision remains darkened turn to the risen Christ, fully put their faith in him and let him restore their full sight.

John Harris

The curse of blindness

After the narrative of healing a woman with a relatively rare condition (Matthew 9:20–22), today’s narrative describes a much more common and ‘visible’ problem: blindness.

Besides blindness from birth, glaucoma was probably a prevalent reason for blindness in the ancient world. People who had once been productive members of society would find their central vision gradually clouding over until it was masked out. A limited amount of peripheral vision might remain, but nothing that would allow them to hold down a job of any sort.

Who sinned?
Though not ostracised because of stipulations in the Law, Judaism of this period believed that since God blesses those who are obedient to the Law, any one who is not materially blessed must be cursed by God.

The Old Testament certainly affirms that God blesses those who are obedient. If anything, though, it declares that sometimes those who love God suffer calamities (eg Job). Problems should not be taken as an indication of God’s punishment.

So the blind were despised and doubly disadvantaged. Their physical disability made them dependent on begging. Tainted with the whiff of sin, their situation was not ‘sexy’. Care for widows and orphans, the Law requires; it doesn’t mention the blind.

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

Exodus 27,28

Matthew 28


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Come to Jesus
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  • Rachael Hampton | Wednesday, 07 February 2018

    Child brides and suicide bombers; Rubia, baby Andrew and husband James, and Ken Eliot - kidnapped; Carol and Ruth and Sara. Whether the need is personal or global, our heartfelt prayers to this God of love and power who heals with a word, or a touch, will move the dial; bring change. May we be steadfast in prayer for each other and our suffering world. Thank you Word Live Family for your prayers and comments - you bless me every day.

  • Janet Webb | Wednesday, 07 February 2018

    Amen RACHAEL.

  • Roger Hall | Wednesday, 07 February 2018

    In league with the devil was He? Jesus died to save even those who have succumbed to the Devil! What a perfect Master, His blood is sufficient to wash even me, who has given in, to whom I apologise, and say I've done it again! Whereupon the answer is " there is no record of that."

  • Roxanne Macaulay | Wednesday, 07 February 2018

    May our they eyes of our hearts be open in Jesus name. Thank You, Jesus.

  • Angela Munday | Wednesday, 07 February 2018

    "The Morning Star", Jesus Himself, provides the light that enables us to live a fruitful and good life; we are able to 'see' where we need to be and what we need to do. We have a light to shine in our darkest moments and it will never be extinguished....."Because of your faith, it will happen." ( verse 29 ) Let us all 'push' on towards the victorious end. SARA - Praying you will take the light into your workplace and feel confident in all you do. Amen.

  • Sara Ward | Wednesday, 07 February 2018

    Thank you for your prayers and comments - it means so much to know we are not alone in our journey of faith. It is so easy sometimes to be deceived into thinking that the problems we face are some sort of punishment from God, because we trying to understand why bad things happen. I am gradually ‘recovering’ from what I’ve realised has been an emotionally abusive relationship, which has been going on for a long time. I cried out to God in my despair to make it stop, and looking back He prompted me to do something which in turn led to me having ‘breathing space’ and little by little I have begun to heal - very slowly and gently. I realise that it’s going to take a long time, and I will have ‘flashbacks’ because of the trauma but God has brought me through scary times in the past, and I know He’s doing it again. We just have to trust Him to heal us in His way and in His time. May God be with all in all our circumstances. x

  • Barbara Sabin | Wednesday, 07 February 2018

    When I am tempted to think that God sends punishment I read the book of Job what an amazing man he was and how he suffered but he never cursed God and God restored to him all he had lost. When our son was killed in a road accident 34 years ago I lost all my hair. After some very painful treatment which I decided not to proceed with I remembered Jesus saying And the very hairs on your head are all numbered..Luke 12 v 7 my hair grew without the treatment and today at the age of 78 years it is still dark with some grey it is thick and I marvel that God knew when I had a few strands and now sees the thick head and knows the thousands of strands. I trust him. I expect him to rebuke me when I am wrong, just as he cherishes me when I am walking close to Him.

  • Rebecca Huie | Wednesday, 07 February 2018

    Again we see Jesus healing all who asked Him. My prayers are for you, Carol, Ruth, Sara, and all who visit this site and have not posted requests. May our loving Lord manifest Himself in every way you need Him. He lives and loves and cares.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Wednesday, 07 February 2018

    Job reminds me of what a 'snitch' Satan is as he tried to blame God for sending calamity. He is still accusing someone else for his dirty work. I think it is safe to say that Job and Jesus are the only two who went through suffering and still kept their relationship right with God. Barbara I think God cherishes us 24/7. See what great love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God. 1 John 3:1

  • Hannah Strachan | Thursday, 08 February 2018

    Hi Gilvin, while Job certainly never cursed God, at his lowest point he got angry with God and admits sinning in his speech in Job 42:1-6. God forgave him immediately though as seen in Job being appointed to pray for his "friends" and their mistakes. Job is a type of Jesus but I fear that I disagree on your proposition that Job kept his relationship with God completely right in the same way Jesus did.

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