Christ Healing the Blind of Jericho,
After a painting by Nicolas Poussin (1750–1820),
Print by Guillaume Chasteau (1635-1683),
Print issued 1672–74,
Etching on paper
© Wellcome Library, London

Christ Healing the Blind of Jericho,
After a painting by Nicolas Poussin (1750–1820),
Print by Guillaume Chasteau (1635-1683),
Print issued 1672–74,
Etching on paper
© Wellcome Library, London

Gospel of 2 December 2022

Two blind men followed Jesus shouting

Matthew 9:27-31

As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, ‘Take pity on us, Son of David.’ And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up with him and he said to them, ‘Do you believe I can do this?’ They said, ‘Sir, we do.’ Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’ And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, ‘Take care that no one learns about this.’ But when they had gone, they talked about him all over the countryside.

Reflection on the etching

Aren’t we all like the two men shouting in today’s Gospel reading? We sometimes feel we are asking for the same thing in our prayers, over and over again. We feel we get no answer. The two men kept shouting ‘Take pity on us, Son of David’ and followed Jesus until he reached the house where he was traveling to. Then Jesus finally turned to them and asks ‘Do you believe I can do this?. They simply replied ‘Sir, we do.’ Their persistence in asking and believing that they could be cured from blindness and their statement of faith, made them see again.

The example of the two blind men encourages us to keep turning to the Lord in prayer and keep following him wherever he walks, even when he appears not to be listening to us. Our prayer of faith will ultimately never go unanswered…

In our late 17th century print after a painting by Nicolas Poussin which he executed in 1650, we see two blind men crouching before Christ. He reaches out his hand to touch the eyes and forehead of one of the men with his right hand. Christ’s whole hand is covering the head of the blind man, conveying the strength and wholeness of Jesus’ healing powers. The whole group of figures is standing outside the edge of a city. Everyone wears flowing robes. The landscape is indirectly telling us what would happen after this episode: that the now healed blind men would talk about Jesus all over the countryside, well beyond the city walls.

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Rich Titone
Rich Titone(@richt)
1 month ago

why did Jesus tell them not to tell anyone? I’ve always wondered about this

Andy Bocanegra
Andy Bocanegra(@bogie29)
2 months ago

Do I believe that He can do this? I have to ask myself this question often. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

Patricia O'Brien
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
2 months ago

Maybe Jesus is actually asking us “Do you believe I can do this?” 🤔
We pray, but often without much in the way of expectation…

marleen de vlieghere
marleen de vlieghere(@marleen)
2 months ago

We can also thank before receiving, perhaps the best way?

Charles Marriott
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
2 months ago

Poussin – a great French artist to whom some do not warm. His work is cool and intellectual rather than the normal baroque exuberance that his contemporaries went in for. But wonderfully composed with great riches as you look for longer and longer.
I don’t suppose anyone will be cured from blindness just like that today but figuratively we can be.

2 months ago

I agree this work seems remote and merely illustrative to me, but I see it with modern and untrained eyes. If we take time we can see a great deal, both in the human figures and the architecture.
I think many people are cured from blindness, having had eye surgery it does seem like a miracle to me, that gifted and dedicated people can do such things. God works through us I feel. Though spiritual blindness is far more difficult to cure!

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