Matthew 21:14 – “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.”
The context of this passage is Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and the inauguration of Holy Week. Just prior to this Jesus has entered into the city on the back of the donkey, and he had just cleansed the temple. Now he begins healing the blind and the lame.
Now imagine what an impact this must have had. We are talking about the most public place in the city – the temple. This is no longer undercover. Jesus was often telling those who he healed to tell no one, and why was that?
Because he said “my hour has not yet come!” If he prematurely got attention they would have tried to make him the king that he will be in his second coming. And Jesus says I first will declare my kingship in saving men, not slaying them. I must die this first time, or there will be no salvation for any of you, only judgment. I am on a mission to the cross.
Now this healing was not generic questionable healing. We are talking about blind people, and people who can’t walk – lame, paralyzed people. Not people with headaches and sore throats. And he touches these people and they see, and they walk. This would have caused a major disturbance in Jerusalem. This was a public demonstration of something. What was Jesus doing in these demonstrations?
We’ve already been told at least once. Matthew is very intentional in his gospel that you do not miss that this Jesus is both King and Messiah. Earlier Matthew records how when John the Baptist was in jail he sent and asked Jesus, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”
In other words, are you the coming king of Israel, the Messiah? And Jesus sent this word back to John in Matthew 11:4-5, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk.” In other words, “Yes John, I am the coming king.”
Jesus is far more than king over nations, or people, or politics. He is a king over cells, and molecules, and atoms. And if you have an ailment in this life. Because of King Jesus if you have placed your faith in Him one day you will see, and you will run, and there will be no more pain, no more ailments, and no more suffering because of King Jesus.
But Why? Why does the healing of the blind and the lame in the temple illustrate that Jesus is the coming king?
Because in Isaiah 35 the prophet describes the coming kingship of the Messiah like this: ” Take courage, fear not. . . . The recompense of God will come, But He will save you. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened. And . . . Then the lame will leap like a deer” (35:4-6).
Jesus comes on a donkey, lowly and gentle and patient; he comes cleansing his Father’s house to make it a house of prayer for all the nations; he comes healing the blind and the lame – all to show what his kingship is now in part, and will be fully in the age to come.
It is not just a kingship over other kings, but over disease and all nature. We will not just be safe and sick when he comes again. We will be safe and whole – absolutely whole. Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation. Trust in King Jesus. Receive his amnesty. Become his subject.