Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior , Jesus Christ.
In a sense , our Lord in our text for today fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament reading ( Isaiah 29.17-21 ) : "In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness . "
The healing of the blind and the deaf would signal the coming of the Holy One of Israel , according to Isaiah . The Holy One of Israel means the Messiah, the Savior of the world . So , when Jesus healed a deaf mute , "they greatly marveled , saying, He hath done all, He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak . "
Diseases are the result of the pollution of the world through sin. Not all cases of blindness or deafness are punishments for specific sins of the person. All diseases and even death itself are consequences of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. The will of God is for every human being to enjoy the sunshine, the beauty of the flowers, the taste of the food , all the blessings of God with each of the five senses. Therefore, the messianic prophecy always speaks of the healing of diseases because the Messiah , the Redeemer , would establish an everlasting kingdom , where there would be no weakness , pain , poverty, or injustice . This would not be an earthly kingdom , but healing of physical illness would be a sign of the kingdom to come , the new life to come .
Our Lord did not heal some people only for the fulfillment of the prophecies , also because He is merciful and always hears our prayers. Well, why does not the Lord simply heal all diseases ? Why does He not answer all our prayers " yes"? We do not know this, but we know that He allows suffering and difficulties in our lives for a purpose and the purpose is for our well-being.
And we know something else. What is most important is not the relief of our physical illnesses , but the relief of our spiritual state . Blindness , deafness and other disabilities are symptoms of the presence of sin in our world. It does not matter if we have all five senses and appearance of overall health , because of our sins , (not only actual sins , also original sin, the inheritance of Adam and Eve from the separation of us and God ) we are all going to die . And God's will is for all to live forever. The remedy for our sinful state was for Jesus to suffer and die on the cross in our place and pay the price for our sins in the eyes of God .
That is why Jesus Christ came into this world and accomplished His mission. That is good news! But , in this sense , we are all blind and deaf for because of our sinful nature, we cannot hear the words of the book or see the light in the darkness . What book ? Of course , the Holy Bible , which testifies to the promises of God and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. However, He wants to open the ears and eyes of everyone in this way.
How did He the deaf-mute in our text for today? " And He took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears , and he spit , and touched his tongue ; And looking up to heaven , he sighed, and said Ephphatha that is , Be opened . And then his ears were opened , and was the impediment of his tongue , and he spoke well . "
Why this rite ? Does the Lord not have the power to heal with just a word ? For the Lord would give grace to this man in a personal way that he could understand. Through the fingers of the Lord , the man knew the Lord and His will. And with the knowledge of the Lord came the restoration of his ears and tongue. First, the deaf had to have faith in Him that touched him.
The Lord deals with each of us in the same way. He communicates His grace in a way that we can understand even with our five senses. First, with the preaching of the Word , that is, the Bible , translated into our language. Preaching is like a radio or television broadcast , it is a proclamation of the gospel , or good news of Jesus Christ to all nations, believers or not .
For those who believe in Christ , the Holy Spirit treats in a special way. First, in holy baptism . Who of you remember , what is a sacrament ? A sacrament is a sacred act ordained by God , in which God Himself has joined His Word of promise to a visible element . Through the sacraments , God gives , gives and seals the forgiveness of sins that Christ accomplished . As the man in our text could trust the touch of the fingers of Christ , God has given us means of grace with visible elements that we can understand our five senses.
In baptism we receive the Word with water. Through ministers of the gospel , God touches us in baptism and calls each of us by name. In our baptism we are members of the family of God and the body of Christ.
Also in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper , God offers us the true Body and Precious Blood of Christ in , with and under the bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins. The visible elements in the sacrament are bread, made of flour , and the wine , the fruit of the vine . The bread and wine remain in the sacrament and the body and blood of Christ do not replace them. Therefore, the sacrament is material and spiritual food .
Through the Word and Sacraments , the Lord open our ears to hear the message of salvation and our eyes to see the light in the darkness .
May they bring the peace that passes all understanding for each of you . Amen .
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