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The eyes of faith

Luke 18:31-43

Pastor David Ernst

Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Feb 26, 2017 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Our text for today is a comparison between the disciples of Jesus and a blind man who Jesus healed on the way to the city of Jericho. The question is: Who were the most blind? The answer is the disciples by their spiritual blindness than the man with the physical blindness.

Jesus said to them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all the things which the prophets have written concerning the Son of Man will be fulfilled. For he shall be given to the Gentiles, and he shall be mocked, and reproached, and spat upon. And after they have beaten him, they shall kill him: but on the third day he shall rise again. But they understood none of these things, and this word was concealed from them, and they did not understand what was said.

All things written by the prophets concerning the Son of man refer to the books of the Old Testament, written before the birth of Jesus Christ, but which point to His coming. The entire Old Testament is the story of the promise of a Savior, which God made the first time, according to Genesis 3:15, immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve. God repeated this promise to Abraham, Moses, and King David.

But what does Isaiah 53: 3-5 say about this Savior? He was scorned and rejected among men, a man of sorrows, who suffered in brokenness: and as we hid his face from him, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and suffered our sorrows; And we had him scourged, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace upon him; And by his stripes we were healed.

However, most people did not want to believe in this type of Savior, nor did the disciples. A punished and afflicted Savior is not a hero. Nowadays, many movies tell stories of superheroes, men with courage, also special powers to defeat evildoers. At that time, the land of Palestine was occupied by the Romans. The Jews wanted a hero. That he might overcome the foreignerss and restore the land of Israel to its glory as in the days of kings David and Solomon. This is the Messiah they would want. It was written that the Messiah must suffer and die, and he would rise on the third day. But, the disciples would want to avoid suffering and death and proceed directly to glory and victory.

It is a blessing from God to live in peace and security in this world, but it was not Jesus' mission to be a political messiah, to raise an army against the Romans and to reform the government. Also, He had the power to save the sick and in His mercy He did. But, He did not remove all disease as He did not remove the poverty and the war of this world. Like poverty and war, sickness is the result of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Also physical death. To heal diseases, to fix government and solve other problems that arise from the sinful nature is only for a while, it is not the final victory. Without the spiritual transformation of the human series, these problems persist. Christ by his own physical death overcame death, both physical and spiritual, forever. This was the only way to achieve this goal.

Nothing remains in this world, but the three things we have in Christ, according to our epistle (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13). St. Paul says: Love never ceases to be, but prophecies will be fulfilled, and tongues will cease, and science will cease ... And now faith, hope, and love remain, these three: but the greatest of these is love.

At that time, the disciples had not seen the Lord's suffering, death, and resurrection, so they were not prepared to believe the promise. They were spiritually blind. On the contrary, the man who had no use of his eyes shouted, "Son of David, have mercy on me." Son of David was a title of the Messiah. The blind believed in Jesus to help and save him.

Now we have more than the disciples. We have the testimony of the same apostles in the books of the New Testament. With their physical eyes, they saw the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have the testimony of both wills of the Bible, and the testimony of the church. We do not see with our eyes Jesus in a visible form, but we have His Word, the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith in baptism, and the body and blood of Christ are present at the sacrament. That is why we have the faith, the hope and the love that remain forever. Amen.

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