Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lent 4, Lutheran Schools Week

Today's readings were Isaiah 42:14-21, Ephesians 5:8-14, Psalm 36, and John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39; the Gospel was the sermon text.
This is an interesting story; it begins with a profound truth, the sinner's false view of sin (demonstrated by the disciples--"Who sinned, this man or his parents?"). We often do this too--living according to the law. After all, we are dead in our sin. But it often amounts to a works-forgiveness philosophy. There is no pound of flesh enough to satisfy God's demanded payment for sin; neither does suffering in hell pay for sin.

Jesus' answer: this is an opportunity for God to show His glory by healing. Christ's sinless flesh was (and still is!) enough to have paid for the entire world's sins. His power is infinite--He is "the light of the world." Miraculously, He used mud to make the man see clearly.

The Pharisees, living by the law, were blind to God's grace. Christ fulfilled--not abrogated--the law; it pointed to His ultimate sacrifice. He is our Sabbath rest--the fulfillment of the law the Pharisees hypocritically misused.

Believe in what has been written. Jesus uses it to draw us to Himself. Rejoice in God's choice; tell others. Live in the Gospel. Stand in this confidence. Live in the Light.

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