Dballa's Weblog

Archive for March 2017

To Many Eye(I)s

King of Glory
Elgin Illinois
March 26, 2017

Too Many Eye(I)s

As spring time approaches it is not uncommon for me to be summoned by my teen-age daughter. Not for money or the car keys, but to take care of a spider that happens to have a great appreciation of our house as I do. When I asked her one time what she doesn’t like about the spider, she boldly stated that they are creepy, they have too many eyes. Even after explaining the many benefits of having spiders around the house, the too many eyes factor cannot be overcome. So, my vocation of Dad kicks in. Having too many eyes, is a problem in our household.

Consider a little earlier in Isaiah 14:13–14 (ESV) God is speaking…13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

Notice the many I(s) in those two verses. The person whom God is addressing is saying I can see and do better than God, I will do it my own way. Our sinful nature enjoys these words. But here God isn’t chastising rebellious Israel, instead God was speaking to the Satan, more about that in our Bible study, you will notice the many I(s). These many I(s) put the direction upon our self, not Jesus the Christ. The many I(s) are a problem according to the Bible.

In our readings for today, we have a blindness theme, and one would think that if we had more eyes we may have less issues with blindness, this may be true if Jesus was only address Physical blindness. In our Gospel reading we have Jesus restoring sight to a man born blind. A great gift given, but a better gift is yet to come.

John 9:35–38 (ESV) 35 Jesus … said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

From Blindness to Faith, Christ is giving many gifts. But not everyone sees these gifts from Christ, regardless how many eyes they have or how well the eyes are working.

John 9:39–41 (ESV) 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

Jesus uses the sight in 2 ways: Physical sight, the healing of the Blind man, and Spiritual sight with the Pharisees, where seeing is not the good thing.

Why would Spiritual seeing or if I may add too many eye(s) be a bad thing?

Well let’s pick up from our Old Testament lesson: Isaiah 42:16 (ESV) 16 And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.

The Blind will be lead in a way that they do not know. The good news here is that Christ leads us, Amen. In a way that we don’t not go, yes. Because if we know the way and if we could travel the way we wouldn’t need Christ. John 14:6 (ESV) 6 Jesus said …, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

So we need Jesus, I can’t get to the father without Jesus.

There is a Christian Cliché out there that relates. First you had bumper sticker theology that said, Jesus us my Co-Pilot. Then you have, If Jesus is your Co-Pilot then switch seats. Now I am going to bring in Isaiah 42:16 and say, Let Jesus Pilot, and leave the cabin. I know not as catchy. Why leave the cabin, because as Isaiah 42 notes, we are blind and Jesus is leading us in a way we don’t know.

Have you have had the discussion where the driver wants to turn left and the co-driver i.e. the passenger says to turn right. That is us, the co-driver, but we don’t know the way. So, stop arguing with Jesus and leave the cockpit and return to the cabin area. Keep in mind, Jesus died for the forgiveness of the sins of the world. Jesus has it completely taken care of.

While in the cabin area, we do what? Sit in first class, but being a frugal Lutheran should be in economy, none of the above, but we should be the flight attendants.

Here is why, We know that Through Christ we have the forgiveness of sins. We know Christ has it all taken care of. What we need to do is to assure others that Christ has it all taken care of. One of the many jobs of the Fight crew is to assure the passengers that the pilot is doing their job so that the people don’t panic, but trust the pilot.

Christ is leading the blind in a way they do not know. Luther explains this in the 3rd Article of the Apostle’s Creed.

What does this mean?
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.
In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.
In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers.

On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.
This is most certainly true.

Please notice that God does the work. The problem here is our sinful nature, who likes to say I know which way to turn. But we really don’t.

If you want the correct use of I, “I confess that I am a poor miserable sinner”, because this I notes that I cannot, but Christ does.

Luther contended that the Bible was revealed by God in order to make Jesus Christ known and that without Christ the Bible would largely be an unclear book. Christ gives us this faith, without Christ there is only Spiritual Blindness.
So, we gather here, to receive God’s Word and sacraments, for this is how God calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. This is where we come for reassurance that Christ has forgiven all our sins.

There is where we come, noting that we are spiritually blind, and this is where we come so that we can re-assures others that Christ is the pilot, leading us the blind, while we in turn serve others by reassuring them.

We don’t need more eyes to overcome our blindness, we have Christ, who leads us to eternal life.

Written by dballa

March 26, 2017 at 6:48 am

Posted in Sermons