“. . . and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached” (Luke 7:22).
These were difficult times for John; he soon was to be martyred and sought assurances that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah of God. In response, Jesus used the scientific method. According to the Old Testament at the time of the Lord’s coming, the blind and deaf would see and hear (Isaiah 35:5), the lame and mute would leap and shout (Isaiah 35:6), and the gospel would be preached to the poor (Isaiah 61:1; cf. Luke 4:18). This is precisely what was happening with Jesus’ ministry. His works proved His claims.
Two thousand years ago, some were critical because Jesus healed a blind beggar on the Sabbath (John 9:16), but the fact that the man was begging was an indictment against them! The Law stated that God’s people should be generous in their dealings with the poor of the land (Deuteronomy 15:7,8).
Jesus, by way of contrast, imparted joy to the man. Christ spat on the ground, formed mud, and placed it on this man’s blind eyes. He released him from the bondage to blindness and also fulfilled the Law by opening His “hand wide unto” the same (Deuteronomy 15:8).
Some religious spokesmen today attempt to diminish Jesus and His works. Denying that He was and is God in human flesh, they also try to cast doubt on the testimony about His miracles. The teaching elsewhere in Scripture seems to apply here as well: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).
Many poor people today have lives radically changed by Jesus, but others remain spiritually blind. May the same Lord continue to apply His life-transforming mercy to many more today. PGH