Summary: God’s grace cures all spiritual blindness.
The other week was interesting to say the least. Our whole family was infected with “pink eye.” Joseph had it the worst. His eyes were irritated and red; watery, itchy, and oozy. Pink eye made it hard for him to see. The doctor examined him and put him on an antibiotic drop.
God examines our vision. He doesn’t deal with pink eye, stigmatisms, or myopias. God addresses our spiritual vision. The diagnosis: CHRISTIANS ARE BRIGHT-EYED. God has addressed our spiritual vision problems, so that we are able 1) to see clearly. The reason God wants us to have a keen spiritual vision is 2) to expose sin’s darkness.
1) To See Clearly
Jesus, again, proved himself as the ultimate physician. In the Gospel reading for today we find Jesus healing a man who was born blind. There was more to this miracle, however. Jesus didn’t heal this man so he could “one up” optical surgeons or Lens Crafters. By healing this man’s blindness, Jesus proved that he had the ability to heal an even greater sight problem – spiritual blindness. God long promised this. Isaiah foretold it. He admonished unfaithful Israel for their self-imposed spiritual blindness. He urged them to stop worshipping idols and to turn to God. He compared this spiritual ignorance to blindness. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were inflicted with such blindness. They refused to see Jesus as the promised Savior. They trusted in themselves for salvation, and they blinded themselves.
We also suffer from this ailment. The fact is we’re born “in the dark” when it comes to faith in Jesus. All of us are born without any understanding of Jesus. We were just like the Ephesians to whom the apostle Paul had written: “For you were once darkness,” he said. They were directed by the darkening power of sin. They were totally ignorant of divine truth. Their spiritual ignorance led them to live ungodly lives, which were full of heartache and misery.
We’re no different. Spiritual darkness and ignorance leads us to grope around through life. This condition leads us to ignore right from wrong or good from bad. When you enter your home late at night, you grope around in search of a light switch. You don’t want to run into an unseen coffee table or trip over a hidden step. Spiritual ignorance is like that. Sin keeps us from seeing how God wants us to live our lives.
Sin keeps us in the dark, so we fumble through life. God wants us to honor his Word. Sin blinds us to see God’s commandments as foolish, outdated rules. Sin blinds us to God’s will. God wants us to love and honor one another. Sin forces us to blindly lash out at one another, to be jealous and suspicious.
To make matters worse, we accuse ourselves of sin and cause cataracts of guilt to film over our consciences. Guilt leads us to see ourselves in less than a good light. When we sin, we hate ourselves. We can’t believe that we did it again – “How could I fall into that same sin over and over?” We wish to simply hide in the darkness of guilt. Guilt is a powerful tool of Satan. He uses guilt to further add to our sad condition. He comes along with the spotlight of God’s Law and blasts its full wattage in our eyes. Satan wants to accuse and stun us, so we react like a deer in a car’s headlights. We freeze. We’re shocked. These accusations do stun us. The devil wants us to ultimately despair in God’s ability to help us, so he flicks on the flood light of the Law and lets us have it: “Who are you?” he asks, “why you’re nothing but a filthy sinner! You’ve spit in God’s face. You’ve walked all over his commands. You misused his name. You haven’t trusted God with all your heart. You were covetous, dissatisfied, when you were supposed to be content. You refused to listen to others. I was there. I tempted you. You call yourself a Christian?”
We stand stunned and embarrassed. Satan wants us to hate God and ourselves. But our Lord combats Satan and the Law and he shines Gospel shines upon us with a gentle glow. The good news of Jesus leads us to see that it’s not a matter of what Satan wants us to feel or see. He wants us to see ourselves as complete failures that God is incapable to save. Whether we look like we’re forgiven, or whether we feel forgiven, isn’t the point. It’s a matter of what God sees and what he has done for us.
So the gospel shines upon us, “You are light in the Lord.” Those three little words mean so much. You feel like a miserable sinner? You feel overwhelmed, helpless and blind? Remember whom you are plugged into. Remember who your spiritual outlet is – its your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You are bright-eyed. You are able to see clearly. You’re plugged into Christ. That means you are plugged into his forgiveness. Jesus’ love shines in us because we are plugged into his grace.