Matthew 9:27-31 – The Blind Will See

John Carter – February 24, 2019

{No Audio Avaiable}


To introduce the hearer to the teachings of Jesus in the context of the Old and the New Testament. The Gospel according to Matthew lends itself to this end because Matthew spends a great deal of time quoting and alluding to the Old Testament as he describes the life and teachings of Jesus.


Do you obey the one that gives sight to the blind?



  • For your word from which we derive our theology and doctrine which then drives us to praise and rejoicing.


  •  For becoming bored with your teachings.


  • To keep, to obey your commands


Isaiah 35

Again we start be reading Isaiah 35 because it is clear that Matthew 9:18-38 parallels the prophecy given to Isaiah. Last week we saw courage and strength for the weak and feeble. This week we see sight given to the blind. Next week the mute will be given speech, and the week following we will see God’s heart and purpose for his people.

Do you obey the one that gives sight to the blind?


‘Son of David’ is a term referencing Jesus’ kingly role. These men in effect called Jesus, ‘King’.

Son of David

  • Matthew 1:1 – The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
  • Matthew 1:20 – But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
  • Matthew 9:27 – And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”
  • Matthew 12:23 – And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?”
  • Matthew 15:22 – And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.”
  • Matthew 20:30 – And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
  • Matthew 20:31 – The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
  • Matthew 21:9 – And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
  • Matthew 21:15 – But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant,
  • Matthew 22:42(41-46) – saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.”

These blind men followed Jesus – but clearly, they were doing it with great difficulty. How else could two blind-men follow a moving object? This word for ‘follow’ carries the weight of discipleship in a certain context, but here, and in the last section it carries the idea of intently following. Purposeful and intentional activity. But along with their intentional following, they were also crying-out; yelling for attention. This was not a gentle calling but an intense yelling, even screaming, for help. These blind-men may have lacked vision but they did not lack lungs. They were begging for mercy as if their very lives depended on it. Mercy! Mercy! Mercy! Son of David, King Jesus, have mercy on us!

In Greek ‘mercy’ can be used as a noun or as a verb. Here it is used as a verb. In other words, the mercy spoken of here is not a thing to be given but an action to be done. English needs additional words to inform us whether mercy is being used as a verb or noun. Here the use is being used as a verb. More explicitly, mercy here is being used as an imperative, a command.

A few weeks ago I challenged each of you to obey Jesus and discover what he was talking about in Matt. 9:13 (9-13).


Not only were these men screaming out, but they were also doing it for some time.

Here Jesus is walking along as these two blind-men are following him asking for mercy. But instead of stopping on the road where it would be easy for the blind-men Jesus continues walking until he enters a house. And then after these men have followed Jesus for an unknown time and distance Jesus finally responds to their call for mercy. This would have certainly only intensified their plea for help. If you’re going to follow Jesus you better keep up! Yet, by divine providence, these blind-men are able to keep up with Jesus.

*Do you believe Jesus is able to heal? If you claim he is God do you trust him completely or only partially? Belief does not guarantee healing, but healing doesn’t come without belief. These men have no doubt but only confidence that the Son of David is able to give sight to the blind.

{*POSTSCRIPT: It was noted mid-sermon that these men never actually asked to be healed of their blindness. Rather they asked for mercy. Jesus’ response was in regards to his authority to give mercy. Our default is thought is that they were asking for sight, but they were asking for so much more, they were asking for mercy. More study on my part needs to be done here.}


Again Jesus is found physically touching those who are in need of healing. Again, healing is done in connection with belief in the power and authority of Jesus.  Do you believe Jesus is able to heal the blind? Not just metaphorically, but physically? Do you believe that Jesus has the power and authority over broken eyes?

Healing the blind: “divine activity” “messianic significance” exclusive to Jesus, and his most common miracle. [1] {Exodus 4:11; Psalm 146:8; Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:7}


What is Jesus’ problem? First, he doesn’t immediately respond to these men but instead hides his healing. But then he tells these men to ensure that no one knows about this healing. Once again, how are these bind-men supposed to hide their healings? And why in the world would Jesus not want everyone to know what he can do? Isn’t that why he came? But here Jesus emphatically commands these blind-men to keep their knowledge about Jesus secret.

In short, we should see this as Jesus temporarily hiding his identity of the Messiah. Not for the sake of secrecy, but for the sake of accuracy. Too many people had too many misconceptions about a political ruler and so Jesus didn’t need the bad publicity. In other words, he didn’t need crowds coming to make him king when he came to die.

Unfortunately, too many Christians believe this command of silence applies to them. But let me take a moment to clarify, any command to keep your mouth shut about Jesus is the exception and not the norm. Every command for the church is to declare and not to hide. Jesus’ command to remain silent was to allow him to spend his few precious years instructing his disciples. Because if he is busy healing people then he is inhibited from teaching and instructing his disciples. Last time I checked, none of us are so overburdened with healing that we need to stop telling people about Jesus. We should also note that in the very next chapter Jesus is going to send out his disciples. So the command to be quiet is only meant for a designated time.

NO matter the reason for Jesus’ off/odd command we are at this point left asking ourselves, are we willing to obey every command of Christ? Even if it is counter to every logical reason that we can consider, are we willing to abandon ourselves to perfect obedience, or will we continue to follow our own reasoning? To be quite bold, Jesus isn’t interested in your version of obedience. He wants perfect obedience. Jesus will never congratulation us on our ingenious interpretations of his commands. He will only congratulate those who faithfully obey his commands (Matthew 25:23).


[See verse 26. The same odd relative pronoun use.]

Here again, the news of Jesus spread, just like in verse 26. People notice the life-altering works of Jesus. They are not easily hidden.

“the men whose faith brought them to Christ for healing did not stay with him to learn obedience.”[2] [Carson]

Contra Matthew 20:29-34 where the blind men followed Jesus.

Just because you believe Jesus is who he says he is, that doesn’t mean you are an obedient follower of him. How many people claim to know Jesus and even give evidence that he has changed them in some extraordinary way yet they still neglect to do the most important thing; obey him? What good is your faith if you do not obey? According to James faith without works (obedience) is dead.

Faith without works/obedience is dead (James 2:14-26)[3]. Faith without obedience is a dead faith. Obedience without faith is no works at all—they are only dead works proving your condemnation (Roman 2).

“They did not supplement their deep conviction that Jesus could give them sight with an equally deep resolve to do his will.”[4] [Morris]


Believe that Jesus is who he claims to be

Obey the commands of Jesus, even the odd ones.

Do you obey the one that gives sight to the blind?



[1] P.232-233. Leon Morris Pillar Commentary

[2] D.A. Carson – Expositor’s Bible Commentary

[3] I believe that it may be appropriate to translate ‘works’ as ‘obedience’. When translated with obedience it would appear that the thought flows much more appropriately and consistently with the rest of Scripture. These works are not a work of self-volition but of response. Meaning, the work follows a command and therefore makes this type of work an act of obedience. A work without a command is never obedience. And therefore work without a command is never pleasing to God, but is, in fact, a work of disobedience. {A similar word contrast discussion can be made with ‘test’ and ‘tempt’. Where the same Greek word can be translated either way based on the intention. Even within the same book,]

[4] P.235 – Leon Morris – Pillar Bible Commentary