Friday, October 23, 2009

"The blind and the lame"

Wow, I learned another great link between this coming Sunday's Gospel and the Old Testament by listening to Dr. Michael P. Barber's "Reasons for Faith" on EWTN Radio.  Jesus cures Bartimaeus, a blind man, and he follows Jesus to Jerusalem.

In the Old Testament, when David went to conquer Jerusalem, then occupied by the Jebusites, they (the Jebusites) mocked him, saying "You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off." (2 Sam. 5:6)  In response to that mockery, King David spoke very rash words:  "Whoever would smite the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack the lame and the blind, who are hated by David's soul." (2 Sam. 5:8)  Because of that event, after the Temple was built, there was a saying "The blind and the lame shall not come into the house" (2 Sam. 5:8), the "house" being the Temple.

But then Jeremiah prophesied against this unjust exclusion of the blind and the lame:  "Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who is in travail, together; a great company, they shall return here." (Jer. 31:8)  God was saying He would bring the exiles back to Jerusalem, even the blind and the lame!

In the gospel of Matthew, we read that Jesus, after entering the Temple area and driving out the money-changers, tended to "the blind and the lame [who] came to him in the temple, and he healed them." (Matt. 21:14)  Jesus abrogated the cruel curse placed on the blind and the lame which claimed authority because of the attitude of King David in war.


Anonymous said...

How very interesting to get the history behind the "blind and the lame" Thanks for providing that

David Roseberry said...

There is a little bit more to the story too. Jesus did 35+ miracles in his three years...only two of them were in the city of Jerusalem. He only healed the blind man (John 9) and healed the lame man (John 5).

Amazing cohesions in God's Word