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God\'s love opens our eyes

Lucas 18:31-43

Pastor David Ernst

Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Feb 11, 2018 

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

In our text for today, we have the comparison of physical blindness and spiritual blindness. First, our Lord announced His death for the third time. This was the last time before Holy Week. Three times, the Lord said something like this:

"Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be fulfilled, for he will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon. they will kill him, but on the third day he will rise again. "

This was the plan of salvation. However, the disciples did not understand it. Their physical eyes were open, but their minds were closed. On the other hand, the blind man on the road to Jericho, "listening to the passing crowd, asked what it was. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. Then he cried out, saying: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! And those who went ahead scolded him to be quiet; but he shouted much more: Son of David, have mercy on me! "

"Son of David" is one of the titles of the Messiah, the promised Savior. The Messiah had to be a descendant of King David. "Have mercy on me" is, in the original language, the same phrase we use in the Kyrie every Sunday. It is a greeting to the king, to say, "Oh king! Pay attention to me and my needs, because only you have the power to help me."

In our catechism class, we talk about the three offices of Christ: Prophet, priest and king. Prophet because He proclaimed the Word of God; priest because He offered His body and blood in sacrifice; and king because He rules the people of God and the whole earth forever. He who fulfills all these offices is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. So, Jesus said, "All things that were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be fulfilled." All the books of the Old Testament pointed to Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the blind man on the road did not have a deep understanding, but relied on the promises of the Scriptures. Then, Jesus opened his physical eyes, and he also said, "Your faith has saved you."

What is true understanding? This question is the other subject of our text and the other readings. St. Paul says in the epistle (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13), "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I judged as a child; but when I was a man made, I gave up what I was as a child. Now we see by mirror, in darkness; but then we will see face to face: now I know in part; but then I will know how I am known. And now faith, hope, and love remain, these three: but the greatest of these is love. "

Out of love the Father sent his Son to die in our places. We do not deserve God's love, but God loves us. Saving grace comes from love; Therefore, love is primary. It is the source of faith and hope. If we do not understand that God in His love does not want the condemnation of anyone, but the salvation of everyone, we do not perfectly understand the Word of God. On the other hand, the fruit of living faith is the desire to share this message of salvation with others and help them in their afflictions. The fulfillment of God's law, His holy will for our lives is love God first, and our neighbors as ourselves. We can not fulfill this law by our own strength, but with the help of the Holy Spirit who creates the new life in us at baptism, we can.

When we receive the Holy Spirit in baptism, love fills our hearts and fills our lives. Because of this love, we speak of God's love to others, and in this way we show the love of God to others and in acts of mercy as well. In this way multiply the love of God in this world. For this purpose, Jesus was born and went to Jerusalem to suffer and die.

The perfection of faith and love in us is the work of the Holy Spirit. On that day of Jesus and Saint Paul, as today, many people thought that the work of the Holy Spirit consisted of signs and wonders, such as unknown tongues, miracles of healing and prophecies. But Paul says these things do not remain forever, nor are they evidence of the presence of the Spirit. The true evidence is the love of God and our neighbor inspired by the Holy Spirit. Love is the fruit of saving faith, as the hope of eternal life and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.

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