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
Two blind men followed Jesus shouting
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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