Today's passage tells a parable of the Lord abandoning his people in judgment--typical of what we've been reading in the prophets. The covenant with God is symbolically and visibly broken by the breaking of the shepherd's staff and the people left to fend for themselves. Toward the end, God pronounces his sentence, "I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are perishing, and he will not seek the lost or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy, but he will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hooves" (Zech 11.16 CSB). Sadly, this pictures much of what we see in the contemporary church, where those appointed as shepherds are fixated on numbers--which they attempt to increase via entertainment and mimicking worldly amusement--instead of the true business of the church--caring for the perishing, seeking the lost, healing the broken, sustaining the healthy. We have bowed down to the idol of relevance with its vapid promise of increased numbers instead of bowing down to worship God in spirit and truth. We have traded spiritual power for what we believe is worldly influence, and look what it has gotten us. We have become transformed by the world, just as Israel was transformed by the pagan nations surrounding her. Lord, have mercy.
Regarding Jesus healing the blind man and the implications of it, there is no better commentary than that of St. Cyril of Alexandria. In his commentary, he points out the supremacy of Christ over the Old Testament prophets, and by his words and deeds we recognize that this man is truly God and truly worthy of worship. "With supreme authority, he said, 'Receive your sight.' The expression is wonderful, worthy of God and transcending the bounds of human nature! Which of the holy prophets ever spoke like this or used words of so great authority? Observe that he did not ask of another the power to restore vision to him who was deprived of sight. He did not perform the divine miracle as the effect of prayer to God but rather attributed it to his own power. By his almighty will, Christ did whatever he would. 'Receive,' he said, 'your sight.' The word was light to him that was blind, because it was the word of him who is the true Light" (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke).