In the first stanza of the hymn “Amazing Grace” we confess, “I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see!” (LSB 744). When we say we were lost, we may think of the parable of the prodigal son. We mean that apart from God, like the rest of the world, we do not truly know our real spiritual need. Likewise, the blindness we confess is our condition apart from the enlightenment of God’s word and deliverance. Blind Bartimaeus in today’s Gospel, by the enlightenment of God’s Word, believed that Jesus as the “son of David” is the divine agent, the Son of God come to save. He had heard through Isaiah the prophet that one of the first things the Messiah will do would be to open blind eyes (Isaiah 35:5). With this blind man, we come today with the heartfelt prayer “have mercy on me” and discover more. Our eyes are enlightened to see God’s mercy as we join this man and Jesus’ disciples following Him in the way, on the road to Jerusalem. There we discover the mercy and gracious reign and rule of God in the mighty suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord of life.
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