Recently I posted a vblog about what kind of life we should be living within the kingdom of God. It is a life that looks to serve others. Not waiting for opportunities to serve to arise, but going after them like Jesus did. Jesus didn’t serve those that desired to be served — Jesus death was the ultimate example of service; a substitutionary atonement (“ransom for many”): “For even Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
As the disciples continued to argue about who is the greatest in the kingdom (Mark 9:33ff.) and their desire to participate in His earthly reign (10:35ff.), Jesus provides two examples of faith as the entry point into the kingdom of God. The first concerns the childlike faith needed to enter the kingdom: “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (10:14).
Later in the narrative, we find the second; a man that was blind and sought to be healed from his long years of struggle. Jesus asks Bartimaeus “what do you want me to do for you?” He states “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” The word “recover” in Greek is anablepo which means “to see again.” The blind man was asking Jesus that he’d like to receive his sight again. Jesus responds to the blind man: “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” Following his healing, Bartimaeus follows Jesus, as He makes His triumphal entry echoed in Isaiah 35. “And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.”
What some could miss is the irony in the narrative. The children try to come to Jesus, but they are rebuked by the disciples. The blind man tries to come to Jesus, but he is rebuked by the disciples. Jesus explains that the kingdom of God belongs to those with child-like faith. Then, Jesus heals the blind man from his physical blindness and spiritual blindness. The faith of the blind man gives him eyes to see and those that can see are spiritually blind to the kingdom’s promise of eternal life by that same faith.
Those that believe by true faith, therefore, are grafted into the kingdom of God and receive all His benefits — as revealed in Jesus Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). The true faith we gain comes to us from His Word — as revealed in Jesus Christ — but it’s also a trust that can only come from the Holy Spirit’s working the Gospel in us — as revealed in Jesus Christ. As a result of Jesus Christ being revealed to us, we express our faith in the person, work, life, and death of Jesus Christ and receive the forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness, and salvation from sin and death.
What kind of faith heals our blindness? It’s a faith that trusts what has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ that heals our blindness!