Faith Gives Us Spiritual Sight
These are the readings for the Third Sunday of Lent.
God’s Word for This Week
The light of the world brings sight to the blind and judgment to the blinded. Faith means seeing Jesus as Savior: like the bronze serpent, we look on him and live (Verse of the Day). We were born in the blindness of sin, and without the light of Christ we could not find a way to safety. Christ comes to shine his light into our darkened eyes that we might see him and live. Yet for those who refuse to see their Savior in Christ, the blindness of unbelief remains. He gives gracious sight to the blind who trust in him; he gives blinding judgment on those who reject him; finally, he displays the work of God in the lives of those who now walk in the light of Christ.
First Lesson – Isaiah 42:14-21
Who is the servant of the Lord? (verse 19)
The people of Israel.
In what ways was this “servant” blind?
Israel’s history shows a distinct ignorance of the obvious. Consider how often Israel complained while wandering in the wilderness, many times just shortly after God’s amazing display of providence and protection. Most sadly, many of God’s chosen people disregarded his promise of a spiritual Savior and would miss seeing Jesus, the fulfillment of that promise.
What promises does God give regarding these blind servants?
He says, “I will lead the blind…turn the darkness into light…I will not forsake them.” (v 16) What patience! What grace!
Second Lesson – Ephesians 5:8-14
How has our life changed now that we are found in the light?
No longer is our life filled with the “fruitless deeds of darkness,” (compare Galatians 5:19-21); rather we are now concerned with doing that “which pleases the Lord.” (compare Galatians 5:22-23)
What is our role to be regarding those still in darkness?
We are to be the law-bearers and expose those fruitless deeds of darkness in those around us, not dwelling on those evils. We must also be gospel-bearers, offering full and free forgiveness to those who hear our message!
Gospel – John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39
Restoring this man’s physical sight is a metaphor for what other change that occurred?
This man had more importantly received spiritual sight, that is, faith in Christ.
How is our reception of spiritual sight seen in this man’s experience?
This man’s understanding of Jesus progressed from seeing him as a man (verse 11) to a prophet (verse 17) to one worthy of being followed (verse 27) to one who was “from God” (verse 33) to worship (verse 38). So our understanding of Jesus also grows as we learn more of what he has said and done through study of his Word. Our faith is strengthened; our spiritual sight is made more acute.