Following his baptism and temptation in the wilderness, Jesus set out in his public ministry preaching a message or repentance and the nearness of Gods kingdom. He performed many miracles; healing people of leprosy, feeding great multitudes, and raising a little girl from death. In the middle of chapter eight, Jesus encountered a blind man who begged for his sight. Spitting on the man’s eyes and laying hands upon him, Jesus restored his vision. This miracle, and the miracle healing of blind Bartimaeus in chapter ten, form bookends for Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem. It would seem the world blinded by sin would need a miracle in order to recognize Jesus for who he is.
Making his way onto the city of Jerusalem, one might say such sight was given. The people recognized Jesus and greeted him as their king. As he rode into the city on the colt, people waved branches and lined the streets with their coats. They shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” But did they see truly? Did the crowds see Jesus as Savior? By week’s end their shouts were much different. Hosannas were replaced with calls for crucifixion.
Today, so many walk through the world, blind to their need for God’s mercy and grace. Living for the sake of themselves, so many who do not recognize Jesus, also fail to recognize their sinfulness. Rather than listen to a message of repentance, an even louder message rings in the ears of society; “If it feels good do it.” Others will recognize Jesus, but define his grace according to their own set of circumstances, replacing God’s law with their own definition of love. It seems our world is no different than those in Jerusalem witnessing Jesus’ triumphal entry. So many love Jesus for who they want him to be, not for who he truly is.
People of God, through the eyes of faith, we can recognize Jesus; he is our savior and Lord. In a world filled with false teachers, empty promises and blind ambition, Jesus, our king, Jesus has opened our eyes to the nearness of God’s kingdom. He has shown us the way to the kingdom; love God with all our heart, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Through him there is forgiveness, mercy and grace. Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Open our eyes, O Lord, that we may recognize you always as our Savior and King. Amen.