Source: Be Transfigured
January 21, 2016
In the Gospel we hear of a blind man who knew Jesus even before he ever met him. The story goes, “At that time, as Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." And he cried, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (Luke 18.35-38) According to Saint Cyril of Jerusalem in his Commentary on Luke, the blind man must have know the scriptures about the coming of the Messiah. How else would he have known to call Jesus, the Son of David? How else would he have known that Jesus could heal his blindness? They didn’t have Lasik surgery back then. He knew his scriptures, but so did the Pharisees and they rejected Christ. What is the difference?
It is possible to know the words of the Holy Scriptures without knowing their proper meaning. The devil has the Bible memorized, so obviously memorizing the words (with or without chapter and verse numbers) is not enough to prepare your heart to receive Christ. We must understand the proper full meaning of the Holy Scriptures, and the only way to learn them is from the Church. The reason for the Sunday sermon each week isn't to provide good moral teaching. The Sunday sermon is meant for us to learn the Orthodox Christian understanding of the Holy Scriptures AS HANDED DOWN through the centuries.
How we understand the Scriptures will have an effect in how we understand God and His plan for our salvation. If we have an incorrect understanding as the Pharisees did, then we run the risk of rejecting Him and following our own (or others’) interpretation of what it means to be saved. The blind man knew properly the Holy Scriptures, and worshiped Him. Let’s follow the blind man and be properly prepared to receive Christ.