Podcast Reflections

Reflection on Matthew 9.27-31

Listen to a reflection on Matthew 9.27-31, the gospel reading set for Advent 1: Friday, 3 December 2021

Matthew 9.27-31

As Jesus went on, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, ‘See that no one knows of this.’ But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.


As we journey towards Christmas, as we journey through the season of Advent, we journey like the two blind men in today’s reading. We know that a great thing is about to happen; we know that something wonderful is going to happen; we know that Jesus’ Incarnation in the humblest of circumstances is going to change the course of human history for ever. Like the two blind men, we may also find ourselves crying out: Have mercy on us, Son of David! But, as Jesus comes among us offering so much, we need to ask ourselves the question: ‘How strong is our faith?’

If you look up the word ‘faith’ in the dictionary you will find eleven possible definitions. Seven of those definitions have nothing to do with religion, and of the other four, two offer a bland quasi-religious option. The two that specifically relate to religious faith, rather than faith in other human beings, say this: Belief in the truth of revealed religion and Confidence and trust in God. Rather than ‘honesty’, ‘fidelity to promises’, ‘word or honour pledged’, or any of the other definitions offered, I would suggest that we need to focus solely on the belief, truth, confidence and trust in God when we reflect upon Jesus’ response to the two blind men: According to your faith let it be done to you.

The fact that the recipients of Jesus’ healing are blind should be seen as significant. They had heard the Good News but, unlike others we have heard of this week, they could not have seen it with their own eyes. In their physical blindness they had been told unbelievable stories of the man who could heal the incurable. Many would have shrugged such stories aside. Many would have been very cautious about falling prey to some sort of cruel joke. However, the two blind men in today’s reading believed. They demonstrated an abundance of faith in that which they could not see. Then, when Jesus had rewarded their faith and restored their sight, they could not contain their joy: they went away and spread the news about him throughout the district.

We are like those two blind men in that we are not able to see Jesus walking amongst us, working his deeds of power. However, we are called to believe, to have faith in the truth of that very fact. Jesus is amongst us, and Jesus is still rewarding those with an abundance of faith.

Let us pray that our faith may be abundant and that we may come to know Jesus’ healing touch in our lives. Let us pray that we might have confidence and faith in the truth of God. Let us pray that we might never fail to share the Good News of Jesus’ presence and power with all we meet in our daily lives.