Matthew 20:29-34 Blind Men See And Follow Jesus.

Matthew 20:29-34 Blind Men See And Follow Jesus.

All three gospels record this visit to Jericho (v. 29 Cf. Mk. 10:46-52; Lk. 18:35-43). The New Geneva Study Bible posits that there may have been two Jerichos, but it seems to may too much of whether the incident happened as they were entering it or going out, when it seems that they were simply passing through.* It was a city of palm trees near the Jordan, that was made famous by its defeat by the Israelites under Joshua (Nu. 22:1; Dt. 34:3; II Chr. 28:15; Joshua 6). It was later rebuilt by Hiel with his firstborn and youngest sons (I Kgs. 16:34), just as Joshua had prophesied (6:26), and in doing so was covenantally cursed.

Unlike the other two gospels, Matthew mentions two blind men. It is likely that Mark and Luke simply focused on the one who took the lead, one “Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus” (Mk. 10:46). Interestingly, the knowledge that it was Jesus of Nazareth (Mt. 2:23; Lk. 2:39-51; 4:16-30; Jn. 1:46), led them to refer to Jesus as “the Son of David” seeking his mercy for their healing (Mk. 10:47; Lk. 18:37-38).** Jesus was called a Nazarene (Mt. 2:23), and his followers as Nazarenes (Acts 24:5). The important thing to note is that people connected Nazareth to Bethlehem and the prediction that the Messiah would come as David’s son from there (Jn. 7:42).

Ironically,  this same passage in John records how the apostate religious leadership nevertheless rejected the authority of Jesus saying to Jesus, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee” (v. 52). Evidently they forgot the words recorded at Isaiah 9 of the Great Light arising in Galilee, of a Son who would be called, among other things, ‘Mighty God’, who would sit “upon the throne of David and over his kingdom” (vv. 6-7)!  In any case, Jesus did have compassion on these men, and out of mercy granted their request to receive their sight (vv. 32-33). And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him” (v. 34).

*“Luke implies Jesus was entering Jericho, whereas Matthew and Mark say the incident occurred as they “went out” of Jericho (Matt. 20:30; Mark 10:46). There seem to have been two “Jerichos” about a mile apart: the ruins of the Old Testament city conquered by Joshua (Josh. 6), and a city built by Herod the Great. The encounter may have happened as Jesus was leaving the old city and entering the new.” (1641)

**”Son of David. A popular messianic title Mk. 10:47; 11:10; 12:35) drawn from the Old Testament (Is. 11:1-3; Jer. 23:5, 6; Ezek. 34:23, 24).” (NGSB 1584)

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