Pentecost 21 – Saturday Devotion

Readings:  Deuteronomy 32:28-52 and Matthew 20:17-34

Additional Reading:  Deuteronomy 33:1-29  

Deuteronomy 32:36:  “For the LORD will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free.” 

Matthew 20: 29-34;  And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed [Jesus].  And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”  The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”  And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  They said to Him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.”  And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed Him.

 

“Jesus Has Compassion on the Blind”

October 31, 1517 marks the day when Martin Luther posted 95 statements which he wanted to discuss with the leaders of the Church.  In his study of Scripture, he could see that the Church had become blind to the truth of what God taught. He also saw that the power of the Gospel had left the Church on earth.  Luther sought to restore that vision by returning to the truths of God’s Word.  Since that day, the world has seen this as the beginning of the Reformation.

But Luther didn’t start the Reformation.  God has been in the business of reforming man ever since the fall into sin.  Man’s power had gone out from him when he took the forbidden fruit and ate.  While Adam and Eve’s eyesight could only see nakedness, they became blind to the truth of God’s Word.  They were no different than those two blind men who sat there along the roadside.

We join those two men.  There is nothing we could do to restore our eyesight.  Our power and strength had gone from us.  We were born spiritually blind, even dead, and even worse, enemies of God.  We would deserve the crowd rebuking us for even desiring to have a better life.

But the Lord of all creation has compassion on all He has made (Psalm 145:8-9).  He sees us as poor, miserable sinners, afflicted by the thorns, thistles, and pain, and even the Coronavirus; the judgment and plight of man since he fell into sin.  He sees us in our affliction, and He comes in the Person of Jesus to rescue and restore His fallen creatures.

The crowd rejected those two blind men but Jesus did not reject them.  He heard their cry for mercy.  Three times they invoked the name of the Lord.  They would call upon God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to restore their sight.  Jesus comes and personally touches them and restores their sight.  

And note what those two men did immediately after being healed:  They followed Jesus.  In John 8:31-32 Jesus says, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  This Gospel text is the appointed reading for Reformation Day.  It’s abiding in that Word that makes all the difference between simply hearing Jesus and being a disciple of Jesus.  

Those two blind-but-now-healed men believed.  They trusted that this Jesus was their Lord.  That’s all that mattered, for Jesus would come and ask them what they wanted Him to do for them.  In loving response, these two men would now give testimony to what they could see—the Son of God who came to restore them.

Jesus comes to restore you also!  Each time you open the pages of His holy Word, you hear the voice of our Lord speak to you:  “What will you want Me to do for you?”  Jesus already went to the cross to forgive our sins and open up heaven!  Do we trust in Jesus and call on His name and ask Him to help us abide in His Word?  Do we trust that He will also remove our spiritual blindness?  Likewise, do we trust that He will enable us to be His true disciples?

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith! (Hebrews 12:2)

 

Let us pray:  Almighty and gracious Lord, pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, heal us of our blindness, restore us by Your compassion, and grant to Your Church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Our Father…

The Lord bless us, defend us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen