I remember watching a lot of The Three Stooges when I was a kid. I distinctly remember a skit in which Curly says to Moe, “I can’t see! I can’t see!” Moe replies, “What’s the matter?” Curly confesses, “I’ve got my eyes closed. Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck!”
Even as a kid I don’t remember thinking this was all that funny, and Moe absolutely did not think it was funny. Why do people walk around complaining that they can’t see when they’ve got their eyes closed? Why don’t people just open up their eyes? It’s frustrating. Moe would usually give Curly a good whack in the head when he said something like this. Of course I would never give someone a whack in the head, but I do understand the impulse.
For some reason I always think about The Three Stooges whenever I hear this story of Jesus healing two blind men. I can’t help but wonder if they claim to be blind, but actually they’ve just got their eyes closed. It’s not that I think these two guys were kidding around like Curly. And it’s not I don’t believe that Jesus really healed people. I just wonder if these two in particular were more metaphorically blind that physically blind, in part because they were following Jesus around and crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” Then when Jesus went into a house, they followed him right inside. How did they know Jesus went in the house or which house? It doesn’t say anyone else was with them. Could they see just a little bit? Were they legally bind but still able to see partially? Or was their blindness a lack of understanding?
In the end it doesn’t really matter. The point is that Jesus healed them whatever their impediment was. Mark 9:30-31 says, “And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, ‘See that no one knows of this.’ But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district..”
Jesus sternly warned them. He wasn’t kidding around, but they turned right around and spread the news not just all over town, but over the whole district. If it had happened today they would have both tweeted it on Twitter (OMG, I can see!) and posted it on Facebook (You won’t believe what happened when two blind men begged the Son of David for mercy!).
They told. Jesus said not to tell and they did it anyway. It’s hard to know when not to tell. We learn as children to tell the truth. We watch witnesses in court on television being asked if they swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But apparently, according to Jesus, there are times in life when we need to keep some truth to ourselves.