” As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, ‘See that no one knows of this.’ But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.” (Mat. 9:27-31)
The interactions between Jesus and those he heals in the gospels is always an interesting thing. If we look in the New Testament there are all sorts of reactions to Jesus and the healing that he performs. And, we see all sorts of reactions from Jesus when he heals. The pericope from Matthew’s gospel above is a portion of the daily lectionary readings for today (the full text is Matthew 9:27-34).
Some of the interactions are startling–witness the woman who surges through the crowd surrounding Jesus and dares to touch the fringe of his clothes and is instantly healed causing Jesus to stop and demand who touched him and why (Mark 5:25-34). Some of the interactions serve to remind us of our occasional lack of thankfulness–recall the the healing of the ten lepers in which only one, a Samaritan, turns back to praise God and say thank you to Jesus for being healed (Luke 17:12-19).
But today, the two blind men that Jesus heals are healed simply by saying two words: “Yes, Lord.” Through their belief simply that Jesus had the power to heal them, they were healed. And then Jesus sternly orders them to tell no one about it…and what do they turn around and do: they tell the entire countryside.
I wonder how it is that we are healed by Jesus. I wonder where we find in our lives that healing and restoration that Jesus gives so freely, many times simply by asking in faith. Perhaps it is something as simple as the touch of one we know and trust when we are hurting or in pain letting us know that we are not alone; or is it the prayer that is finally answered after we’ve prayed and prayed and prayed to God; could it be the mending of a relationship that we thought was irrevocably destroyed? Maybe it is being forgiven of our sins–the ones that only we know that we might never put into words–as the Rite I confession so graphically describes, “We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us” (BCP 331). I wonder how it is that we are healed by Jesus.
More importantly, I wonder how it is that we will act when we are healed.