Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 9:27-35.
And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us (Matthew 9:27).
And their eyes were opened (Matthew 9:30a).
What is the significance of the title “Son of David” which the blind men give to Christ as they call out to him for mercy?
This title recognizes first the fact that the Lord Jesus is, according to the flesh, a descendent of David. He was born in Bethlehem, the city of David. He was of the house and lineage of King David. Compare Paul’s words in Romans 1:3, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.”
Underneath this title, there is also a Messianic hope. A promise was made to David by the Lord in 2 Samuel 7 that from his seed would come one whose kingdom and throne would be established forever.
Later, the prophets, especially Isaiah, also spoke about this coming king, this “anointed one” (that’s what Messiah or Christ means) and what he would do. Compare (emphasis added):
Isaiah 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
Isaiah 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
And especially Isaiah 42 which describes the servant whom Christ will send “ To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house” (v. 7).
It is against this backdrop that we are to understand these wretched men calling out to Christ as the Son of David and pleading with him for mercy. It has been said that grace is when we get what we do not deserve. And mercy is when we do not get what we do deserve.
These sinful men deserved something far worse than blindness for their sin. They deserved death (Rom 6:23), but in crying out to the Lord Jesus as the Son of David for mercy they were asking him to show that he is the Messiah, to demonstrate his divine mercy toward them, by opening their blinded eyes.
In the end, Christ touched them, “And their eyes were opened” (Matthew 9:30a). That statement can be understood in two different ways. It could be referring to the restoration of their physical sight, but it could also be referring to the restoration of their spiritual sight. The third option is that it refers to both.
The lingering question is this: What is your response to Christ? Do you believe that he is the Christ, the Son of David, the Son of God? And believing do you have life in his name (cf. John 20:31)?
Christ is still opening the eyes of the spiritually blind. Psalm 146:8 says, “The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous.”
Are your eyes open to see the truth of Christ?
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle