Third Sunday in Lent
Faith Gives Us Spiritual Sight
These are the readings for the Third Sunday in Lent.
(This Worship Help aligns with the lectionary readings from Christian Worship 1993 and Christian Worship: Supplement.)
God’s Word for This Week
The difference between walking in faith and walking in unbelief is like the difference between light and darkness. We were born in spiritual darkness, in our blindness, unable to guide ourselves on the way to heaven. But Christ has shined his light into our lives, and our faith makes us sighted spiritually. Now we can clearly see the path we are to follow, and we can be agents to guide others to the true light that gives life to every man.
First Lesson – Isaiah 42:14-21
Who is the servant of the Lord? (See 42:19.)
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” (42:16). 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 9:1-7,11-17,27-39
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 (9:11) to a prophet (9:17) to one worthy of being followed (9:27) to one who was “from God” (9:33) to worship (9:38). So our understanding of Jesus also grows as we learn more of what he has said and done through the study of his Word. Our faith is strengthened; our spiritual sight is made more acute.