Keller, so brave and inspiring to us in her deafness and blindness, once wrote a magazine article entitled: "Three days to see." In that article she outlined what things she would like to see if she were granted just three days of sight. It was a powerful, thought provoking article. On the first day she said she wanted to see friends. Day two she would spend seeing nature. The third day she would spend in her home city of New York watching the busy city and the workday of the present. She concluded it with these words: "I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: Use your eyes as if tomorrow you were stricken blind."
As bad as blindness is in the 20th century, however, it was so much worse in Jesus' day. Today a blind person at least has the hope of living a useful life with proper training. Some of the most skilled and creative people in our society are blind. But in first century Palestine blindness meant that you would be subjected to abject poverty. You would be reduced to begging for a living. You lived at the mercy and the generosity of others. Unless your particular kind of blindness was self-correcting, there was no hope whatsoever for a cure. The skills that were necessary were still centuries beyond the medical knowledge of the day.
Little wonder then that one of the signs of the coming of the Messiah was that the blind should receive their sight. When Jesus he announced his messiahship, he said: "The spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has sent me to recover sight to the blind."
The story this morning of the healing of blind Bartimaeus would suggest to us that there are three kinds of blindness.
1. The first kind of blindness is the blindness of Bartimaeus.
2. The second kind of blindness is the blindness of the Disciples.
3. The third kind of blindness is Our blindness.
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