The Meaning of Matthew 20:34 Explained

Matthew 20:34

KJV: So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

YLT: and having been moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes, and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

Darby: And Jesus, moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes had sight restored to them, and they followed him.

ASV: And Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and straightway they received their sight, and followed him.

What does Matthew 20:34 Mean?

Context Summary

Matthew 20:29-34 - The Great Healer And The Lowly King
The Lord is always saying: What will ye that I shall do? Let us not ask small things. We honor Him by making great demands. Our greatest requests come far short of His generosity and resources. It seems as though we are always giving Him pain by the meagerness of our expectation. Whatever people say, cry out so much the more! But remember it is not the outcry, but your need and your faith which will arrest His steps.
Our Lord entered the city in fulfillment of prophetic vision, but in great lowliness, along the road carpeted by the loving enthusiasm of the crowds. It was largely a Galilean and popular outburst. The upper classes kept aloof. Remember that ancient prediction quoted here, Isaiah 62:11, and especially Zechariah 9:9. The King comes having salvation. That is the divine order! We shall never know the full power of Christ's salvation until we have welcomed Him to our hearts as King. [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 20

1  Jesus, by the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, shows that God is debtor unto no man;
17  foretells his passion;
20  by answering the mother of Zebedee's children, teaches his disciples to be humble;
29  and gives two blind men their sight

Greek Commentary for Matthew 20:34

Touched their eyes [ηπσατο των ομματων]
A synonym for οπταλμων — ophthalmōn in Mark 8:23 and here alone in the N.T. In the lxx and a common poetic word (Euripides) and occurs in the papyri. In modern Greek ματια μου — matia mou (abbreviation) means “light of my eye,” “my darling.” The verb απτομαι — haptomai is very common in the Synoptic Gospels. The touch of Christ‘s hand would sooth the eyes as they were healed. [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 20:34 mean?

Having been moved with compassion then - Jesus touched the eyes of them and immediately they received sight they followed Him
Σπλαγχνισθεὶς δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἥψατο τῶν ὀμμάτων αὐτῶν καὶ εὐθέως ἀνέβλεψαν ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ

Σπλαγχνισθεὶς  Having  been  moved  with  compassion 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Passive, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: σπλαγχνίζομαι  
Sense: to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Ἰησοῦς  Jesus 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰησοῦς  
Sense: Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor.
ἥψατο  touched 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἅπτω  
Sense: to fasten one’s self to, adhere to, cling to.
ὀμμάτων  eyes 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: ὄμμα  
Sense: an eye.
αὐτῶν  of  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
εὐθέως  immediately 
Parse: Adverb
Root: εὐθέως  
Sense: straightway, immediately, forthwith.
ἀνέβλεψαν  they  received  sight 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἀναβλέπω  
Sense: to look up.
ἠκολούθησαν  they  followed 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἀκολουθέω  
Sense: to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him.