A month ago we had St. Mark’s version of this story of Jesus curing the blind man
of Jericho. Since it is such a fine story, let’s go back over its details. There is no city in the world that lies as far below sea level as Jericho. Peter Sueda, a man who settled here in the sixties, used to talk about what an unpleasant place Jericho was. Peter owned an automobile agency in Jerusalem before the Jews took over, and he hated driving tourists down to Jericho. He said it was always hot there, and the big flies were on everything.
That is the kind of place where we should picture this blind man spending his life. For years he had the same spot in the dust of that roadside and he was forever brushing aside the annoying flies. On this day he felt the throngs of people pushing by. On hearing their excited talk he shouted out his questions, “What’s going on? Who are they talking about?”
The lame beggars sharing his bit of roadside told him it was Jesus, that prophet. Now, although begging for help was all the beggar was good for, he was blessed with a real mind and an eager personality. He had already come to the conclusions that this Jesus was actually the promised Messiah. He was the descendent of King David.
Knowing that this was his only chance, he used his full voice shouting, “Son of David, have pity on me!” His calls were so loud and incessant that he had everyone saying things like “Shut that beggar up!”
But things changed, because Jesus, stopped everyone, and he said, “Call him over.” The people, amused at what was happening, told the blind man, “Here’s your chance. He is calling you over.”
He jumped up, and throwing back his cloak, he stumbled wildly through an opening the crowd was making for him.
Jesus addressed him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see!”
“Your faith has saved you. Go hour way.”