Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
What is blindness? The lack of vision Sometimes a person cannot see because there is no light available, another time, he can not see in full daylight because of damaged eyes. In the case of spiritual blindness, we live in true darkness, but we also can not see the true light unless the Holy Spirit illumines our hearts.
To have spiritual vision is not to be deceived by appearances, but to see the character of the person. In our reading of the Old Testament (1 Samuel 16: 1-13), Jehovah said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, having discarded him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and come; I will send you to Jesse, of Bethlehem; because of his children I have provided myself a king." Notice, to pour oil on the head indicated who was chosen by God to be king.
So, in the house of Jesse was a beauty contest for men. Jesse had seven tall, strapping sons, and Samuel thought that one of them should be the next king of Israel. But, the Lord told him, "Do not look at his appearance, nor at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; because Jehovah does not see what man sees; for man looks at what is in front of his eyes, but Jehovah looks at the heart. " Guided by the Holy Spirit, Samuel rejected one son after another, until the seventh son had passed before him.
"Then Samuel said to Jesse: Are all your sons here? And he answered: There is still the youngest, who feeds the sheep. And Samuel said to Jesse: Send for him, because we will not sit at the table until he comes here. He sent, therefore, for him, and he brought him in; which was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and was handsome. Then Jehovah said, Arise and anoint him, for this is he. And Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him from among his brothers; and from that day forward the Spirit of the Lord came upon David. "
Then, God promised King David of his lineage would come He who would be king over Israel and over all the nations forever. This would be the Messiah, a word that means "the anointed one". Well, to be anointed with oil was the mark of the king in the Old Testament, also of a priest and a prophet. But, one of his titles would be "Son of David", for his royal lineage.
In our text for today, the blind beggar cried out, saying: "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" According to His genealogy, Jesus was a descendant of David. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit in the Jordan River to be king, priest and prophet. By the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the beggar recognized him as the promised Son of David, because Christ is the Greek word equivalent to Messiah, "The Anointed One." Therefore, Jesus said to him, "Receive sight, your faith has saved you." Because of his faith, the beggar received what he asked of Jesus, and also the promise of eternal life.
And the disciples, including those three who saw the glory of the Lord on the mount of the Transfiguration? "And taking the twelve, he said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be fulfilled. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked, and reviled, and spit upon. And after they will whip him, they will kill him; but on the third day he will be resurrected. But they understood nothing of these things, and this word was concealed from them, and they did not understand what was being said. "
"Son of Man" was another title of the Messiah, which meant the right man. It also meant that Jesus was true man as well as the true God. True God to perfectly fulfill the will of God Almighty Father; true man to be tempted in all the way of us because the will of God was for his Anointed to suffer and die in the place of us sinners.
Now, in this world appearances deceive us, according to the devil's purpose. Even with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can not see all things clearly, especially that which is in the hearts of men. Only God can see the depths of the human heart. As St. Paul says in our epistle (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13), "And now we see through the mirror, darkly; but then we will see face to face; now I know in part; but then I will know how I am known. "
But, many times we are spiritually blind because we do not want to see the truth. By nature, our preference is for glory, power and victory, not for suffering, lack of success or the possibility of physical death in this world. Therefore, the disciples did not understand what was being said. Neither do we; however, the true power of God is in His Word that can penetrate the darkness of our hearts. Because God see what is in the depths of our hearts. Through the Spirit active in the Word, God revealed His plan of salvation to the prophets of the Old Testament. Also with the death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord, the Spirit illuminated their minds and hearts as well.
Today, we have a more complete revelation that the prophets had. We know the mysteries of God, hidden in past centuries, in the Word and the sacraments. Like the blind beggar, we have received the vision and promise of eternal life. In this, we have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
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