Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior , Jesus Christ.
I want to speak first of the second part of our text for today. What happened in this story?
And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
What was the blind man's request? I want to see . And Jesus' response ? First He said, your faith has saved you . Rather strange , no? The blind man who asked to receive his sight was begging beside the road to Jericho . He called to Jesus, Son of David , have mercy on me. Son of David was a title of the Messiah, the Promised One of Israel. When the blind man heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he called Him the Son of David . He wasas the Promised Messiah , the Savior of Israel. But , not only of Israel, was also the Saviour of the world, of all nations, from their sins.
The blind man recognized Him and cried out to the Son of David . What was the blind man's main problem from his perspective ? He could not see . Is it good to see ? Sure, it's a gift from God . Because God created us with the five senses . Eyes , ears , tongue , nose , fingers to touch . Who of you wants to lose one of your five senses? Want to lose your eyes? No. Your ears? No. Does your tongue? No. Your nose? No. Your fingers? Of course not .
So clearly for this man, the lack of vision was the biggest problem in his life. But, in truth , he had a more serious problem , lack of the mercy and love of God and the hope that results from those things. The lack of vision was only a symptom of sin , of the existence of evil in this world.
Jesus had the power to open the eyes of the blind man physically, but first He opened his eyes spiritually. He opened his eyes to his sin, his need for a Savior. When He said , "Thy faith hath saved thee , ] " He said, you have had faith in me as the Savior, the Messiah, so you have the promise of eternal life .
But it is important to clarify the nature of this faith . Many people in this world think that faith is an aspect of character, very wonderful , very good, Everyone admires someone who has faith in something beyond himself. This person is very spiritual , has strong faith and faith is something meritorious in itself. But this is not the faith that the Bible speaks . Faith does not come from within us , it is a gift of God , through the Holy Spirit. Faith has no value, has no power apart from the object of faith , Who is Jesus Christ. He is not only the Son of David, but the Son of God , Who died for us.
So we have the first part of the text . What did Jesus say to his disciples ? We are going to Jerusalem. Why? So that “all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
The Son of man had to be be abused and tortured in our places, and had to be killed and resurrected. The disciples did not understand that, because it made no sense for them. They did not fully understand the depth of their sin, their need for salvation , which could only accomplished by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
All this was done for us, and because no one can change that fact ow what Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross , we have the assurance of salvation , the promise of eternal life . Salvation does not depends in any feeling or thought inside of us , it was something done outside of us. A historical fact that no one can change .
So we have faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross as a faith that no one can change , a strong and secure faith in the promise of redemption. Therefore, in our text , the Lord spoke first of her death and then said the blind , Thy faith hath saved thee .
Christ, the Son of God came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and died on the cross for us. So , we are therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God. Because of Christ we are healed of our real disease , which is sin , which is the judgment of God. We are not saints by our own works , we are saints by the righteousness of Jesus Christ .
We have faith , hope and charity , as St. Paul says in our epistle ( 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ) , these three are the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we receive by the Holy Spirit in the Word and the water of holy baptism. The sacrament of baptism is the seal of our adoption as children of God and the Word in baptism does not depend on our feelings and thoughts.
More importantly , says St. Paul, is charity , love for one another. Faith does not exist without love, nor hope without the love of God shown in our lives. The spiritual person is not someone who is above other men , who lives on a mountain, always praying and nothing more . Love for others is the first fruit of faith . Love does not last without faith or hope. All are the gifts that the Spirit pours over all in baptism. For the love of God we have faith , hope and peace that passes all understanding. Thank God for that. Amen .
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