November 2 (Daily reading: Luke 19) Luke 18:35 begins, “As Jesus was approaching Jericho;” Luke 19:1 continues, “He entered Jericho.” What followed were the stories of two men; one was physically blind, but both were spiritually blind. The blind man was a beggar named Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46). He heard a crowd approaching because Jesus was passing by, so he called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Lk. 18:39). Bartimaeus believed that Jesus could make him see. When they took him to Jesus, Jesus told him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well. Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God” (Lk. 18:42-43).
When Jesus entered Jericho, He met a man named Zacchaeus, a wealthy tax collector. He had been blinded spiritually by his love of position and money, which had led him to betray his own people and become a hated person. He, like Bartimaeus, had heard of Jesus, and He wanted to see Him, so much so that he climbed a tree to get a better view because he was short. He probably almost fell out of the tree in shock when Jesus stopped and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” (Lk. 19:5). This visit led to Zacchaeus finding his spiritual sight: “Today salvation has come to this house…For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Lk. 19:9-10).
Both men recognized that Jesus was the answer to their need. Whatever our situation, our natural condition is spiritual blindness. Only Jesus can give us spiritual sight! We see also that Jesus sought them out; He was not in Jericho by chance! Luke reminded us of why Jesus came to earth: to seek out and to save those who are lost in their sins. He is still doing the same thing today!
– Al Gary