Why Don't the Disciples Want Jesus to Help the Blind Man?

They're control freaks – just like us.

Luke 18:35-43 (ESV)

As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

When the blind man finds out that all the commotion is because Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, he cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” He knows who Jesus is.

But curiously, those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. Why would they do something rude like that? Surely they have seen Jesus do many healings. In fact, many in the crowd are people Jesus had healed, and the blind man would soon join their ranks. So, why are they shushing him?

As wrong as this behavior is, it’s typical. The disciples did something similar back in verse 18:15 when they rebuked people who were bringing their babies to Jesus.

They’re being control freaks! They’re in the presence of the Messiah Himself and they’re trying to “help” by managing the situation for Him. Specifically, they think they’re keeping out disruptions.

Of course, they forget that they were once nothing more than a disruption.

We’re not any different. It’s good to make plans, but when the Lord overrules those plans we need to flex. We should recognize what’s going on and not be too arrogant to let our plans change.

This happens all the time. People move away, and we adjust. Ministries are born, schedules get disrupted, plans change, but life goes on. It always feels like a crisis, then things turn out fine.

Yet every time, we feel like resisting. And sometimes we do more than feel like resisting; we actually resist.

Curiously, these low points in our walk with the Lord – when we are actively opposing His plans – often turn out (in retrospect) to be high points. We are at our worst, but we are learning and growing at top speed.

It’s fair to call these moments “growing pains,” because we often get a boatload of pain and embarrassment dumped on us when the lightbulb come on and we realize how stupid we’ve been.

No pain no gain, eh?

We love the Lord, but never quite get used to His lordship.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:


Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

Today's ReVision

Know the Lord

Confidence as a witness for Christ begins here.

Join the Ailbe Community

The Fellowship of Ailbe Newsletters