Blind but not mute! Monday, 33rd week in ordinary time – Luke 18:35-43

Luke 18:35- 19:10 is a summary of Jesus’ ministry to the outcast. Luke now uses a story of Jesus’ mercy towards a blind beggar to conclude his travel narrative and to summarise Jesus’ ministry for societies unfortunates.

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem (9:51) and he is approaching the town of Jericho. Jericho  is about 15 miles from Jerusalem and was a popular resting place because it was an oasis. It was here that the pilgrims gathered to make the final leg of the journey to Jerusalem to celebrate the annual Passover feast.

Luke’s Gospel tells us that a blind man was begging by the roadside. We know from Mark’s Gospel ( Mark 10:46-52)  that his name is Bartimaeus. Ask any beggar and he will tell you that they know all about the ‘good spots’ to solicit charity and Bartimaeus knew that there would be a mass of people in Jericho that day preparing to make the final journey to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. That’s why he was sitting by the roadside with his hand out.

Clearly the popularity of Jesus precedes our Lord, for hearing the commotion Bartimaeus asks what’s happening only to be told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing that way. While he could not see he could certainly hear and Bartimaeus has heard of Jesus enough for him to make up his mind that Jesus was more than just the man from Nazareth but the Son of David. 

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