|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:29-34 It is good for those under the same trial, or infirmity of body or mind, to join in prayer to God for relief, that they may quicken and encourage one another. There is mercy enough in Christ for all that ask. They were earnest in prayer. They cried out as men in earnest. Cold desires beg denials. They were humble in prayer, casting themselves upon, and referring themselves cheerfully to, the Mediator's mercy. They showed faith in prayer, by the title they gave to Christ. Surely it was by the Holy Ghost that they called Jesus, Lord. They persevered in prayer. When they were in pursuit of such mercy, it was no time for timidity or hesitation: they cried earnestly. Christ encouraged them. The wants and burdens of the body we are soon sensible of, and can readily relate. Oh that we did as feelingly complain of our spiritual maladies, especially our spiritual blindness! Many are spiritually blind, yet say they see. Jesus cured these blind men; and when they had received sight, they followed him. None follow Christ blindly. He first by his grace opens men's eyes, and so draws their hearts after him. These miracles are our call to Jesus; may we hear it, and make it our daily prayer to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Verse 34. - Touched their eyes. Only St. Matthew mentions this action of our Lord; but in all other cases of the cure of blindness the healing touch of the Man accompanied the word of the God (comp. Matthew 9:29; Mark 8:23; John 9:6), and Christ did not now depart from his usual practice. Thus, as we have noticed before, he connected the cure with himself. He proved that his flesh taken unto the Godhead was life-giving, remedial, efficacious; and he confirmed the faith of the sufferers and bystanders by showing that there was no deceit or collusion. The other synoptists give Christ's assurance to the men, that the restoration of their sight was the reward of faith - a faith exhibited by the invocation of Jesus as "Son of David," by continued importunity amid surrounding difficulties, by confidence in his power and willingness to heal brought to a point by Christ's question, "What will ye that I shall do unto you?" They followed him. A fact only less remarkable than the miracle that led to it. The impulse of a grateful heart drew them along the road which the Saviour travelled. They may have accompanied him to Jerusalem, and joined the applauding multitude which escorted him to the holy city, and employed their new power of sight in observing that wonderful spectacle which the next few days afforded. One, at any rate, of these men, Bartimaeus, seems to have become known in the early Church as a devoted follower of Christ, and hence his name is recorded for all time in the sacred narrative.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So Jesus had compassion on them,.... His bowels moved towards them as a man; he pitied their miserable and distressed condition, and discovered the tenderness of his heart towards them by some outward sign, by his looks, or by some gesture or another:
and touched their eyes; with his bare hand, without the use of any instrument or medicine. The Ethiopic version adds; "and said unto them, according to your faith shall it be unto you"; which seems to be taken out of Matthew 9:29. The Evangelist Mark relates, that "Jesus said unto him (Bartimaeus) go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole": not that the virtue of healing came from the act of faith, but from the object of it; his faith was not the cause of, nor the reason why, but the way and means in and by which he received the cure:
and immediately their eyes received sight; or, as the Syriac and Persic versions render the words, "that moment their eyes were opened": the cure was wrought at once, directly; a clear proof of the omnipotence of Christ, and of his true and proper deity: the words, "their eyes", are not in some copies: and are omitted by the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, which read thus, "they immediately saw". The Persic version adds, and they saw the world; the men and things of it, which they either had never seen before, or, at least, for a considerable time; which must be a very surprising and agreeable sight to them.
And they followed him; in a corporal sense they joined the multitude, and went after him to Jerusalem; partly to express their gratitude for such a wonderful favour bestowed upon them; and partly that they might be witnesses of the power of his deity, and the truth of his Messiahship, as they went along, and at Jerusalem: and in a spiritual sense; they became his disciples, they embraced his doctrines, believed in him as the Messiah, submitted to his ordinances, imitated him in the exercise of grace, and in the performance of duty: for, at the same time he restored their bodily sight, he gave them a spiritual one to look to him, and follow him, the light of the world, that they might enjoy the light of life in another world.
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