How blind are you? Blindness means you can’t see what is right in front of you. Blindness is a big problem in our world, and people seem to only add more blindness into their lives every day.
The two blind men in the story ignore those telling them to be quiet – they can “see” Jesus, their changed lives, and their salvation. Jesus stops, on His way into Jerusalem where He will die, and heals them out of compassion. And they follow Him – into the city where He will be condemned.
James and John want to sit at the places of honor in the Kingdom – and yet they don’t understand those places are reserved, and full of suffering. To live for God in a world of sin will mean guaranteed suffering – because the world does not want to be broken and remade. Jesus tells them they will suffer – James is beheaded by Herod (in Acts) – John lives until old age, but is exiled on Patmos, a remote island. The other disciples are mad – because they have the same desire for prestige.
Jesus teaches them – and us – that the way of the Kingdom is to serve. Jesus Himself, God Incarnate, the King Himself – came to serve. We can NEVER be above God, so we have to change our thinking – the HIGHEST role I can ever have – is the servant.
That is a totally different way of leading, and thinking. And it means in the community of those who obey Jesus we have to honor those who lead with a servant heart, whose devotion is stronger than their personality, whose love for the least is stronger than their desire for the spotlight. Serve Jesus, even to the point of death.