As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Luke 18:37-38
This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Did you catch it? When the blind man asked what was going on, the people in the crowd answered, “Oh, that guy – that celebrity, that new teacher and healer – Jesus from Nazareth is passing by.” But what did the blind man cry out? “Jesus, Son of David!”
To the Jews, “The Son of David” identified the Messiah.
“What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. Matthew 22:42
“It was part of Jewish Messianic expectation that the Messiah should be a descendant of King David, Israel’s ideal king.“i The Son of David would fulfill the prophecy given to Solomon in 2 Samuel 7:12-13:
When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Many of the people in the crowd were following a popular new megastar who performed miracles, who healed people and gave away free food, and (best of all) put down those holier-than-thou, stuck up priests. But the one who was blind was the one who saw Him for who he was. And it got Jesus’ attention. In all the clamorous crowd, one cried out to the “Son of David” for mercy. And it stopped Jesus in his tracks.
“What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Luke 18:41
Just before the incident with the beggar, Jesus had been approached by another kind of “blind” man.
A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18
Jesus picked up on the word “good” and challenged the man, saying “you call me ‘good.’ But only God is good.” In effect, Jesus was asking, “Are you saying I am God?” But I don’t think the man caught the implication. To the rich young ruler, Jesus was an excellent and distinguished teacher. A didaskalos in the Greek – an instructor and teacher with a small “t.”
He was fine with Jesus being an excellent teacher, but when challenged to make Jesus his Lord – “Sell everything you have and … come, follow me” – he balked. Yet, here is this blind beggar sitting in the dust, one whom many considered cursed, identifying Jesus as Messiah and Lord. And while the rich man walked away, the beggar followed. The one who was blind was the one who saw.
The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:45-46
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Luke 9:20
Lord, I want to see.
i Oxford Biblical Studies Online http://www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com/article/opr/t94/e490
Read more about Jesus as the Son of David here at GotQuestions.org What does it mean that Jesus is the son of David? https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-son-of-David.html
Image, Blind Beggar 1949 Kenya, by Sydney Oats https://flic.kr/p/68ZJYY