The Cry Of The Blind Beggar Is The Cry Of Christ's Church

Text: Luke 18:31-43

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

Blindness can be comfortable.  What is even more comfortable though is being blind and not knowing that you are actually blind.  This ignorance is bliss.  In other words, mankind is most comfortable living in darkness where sin is concealed and where the realities of life are cloaked in blackness.  It is easier that way, or so we think. 

Undeniably, mankind believes that it is a whole lot easier living with blindness and darkness, than living with eyesight and light.  That is to say, when we are blind, we cannot see, and when we cannot see, we are then able to turn a blind eye to things that bother us.  Things such as: global cyber threats, currency wars with Russia and China, ISIS, North Korea nukes, Iranian nukes, worldwide organized crime, and worldwide infectious diseases.  Certainly, it is comfortable to be blind; it is comfortable to be blind to inconvenient things such as the 58 million abortions conducted in the United States of America or to be blind to the breakdown of the family or to be blind to the attacks upon the institution of marriage or to be blind to the United States’ 18 trillion dollar debt.  To tape your eyes shut or to gouge them out is painful, but not as painful as admitting the threats, calamities, and distresses around us.

It is also much more comfortable to turn a blind eye towards ourselves: our selfishness, our stupidity, our self-absorption, and our sinfulness.  Indeed, we do not like looking into the mirror, we do not want to accept the reality of our sinfulness, and we cannot face our shadow; therefore, we believe that blindness is a better alternative and that darkness is our friend.  We make blindness our reality.

“Turn the disturbing nightly news reports of disaster off, shut that Bible that convicts me, silence Christian preachers, and tell me that all is well and that no disaster shall come upon me.  Tell me that I am special, give me a trophy, a hug, and pull the covers over my head!”  That is the cry of a blind person living in darkness; that is the cry of a spiritually blind person who neither sees nor perceives reality and neither sees nor perceives the Kingdom of God.  

We Christians like to think that we are immune to this, that we are not spiritually blind.  We like to think that we have a firm understanding on spiritual matters – on reality.  However, we must not forget that we have a sinful nature – the Old Adam in us – and this sinful nature is as blind as he ever was.  This sinful nature of ours actually tries to convince us that we can see with 20/20 vision, but of course we cannot.  We are by nature, blinder than a bat. 

With that said, because we Christians carry this blind sinful nature with us, until the day we die, we sing the blind man’s cry for mercy.  Every week in the Divine Service, we sing the blind man’s cry for mercy. 

Permit me to clarify. 

Dear friends, we sing – and at times speak – the words cried out by the blind beggarly man to Jesus.  We call it the Kyrie.  As we sing and speak the Kyrie, we sing and speak it as the first prayer of the Divine Service.  You know the words that I speak of, Lord have mercy; Christ have mercy; Lord have mercy – the Kyrie.  These words come directly from the blind beggarly man.  What this means is that the cry of the blind man is the cry of the Christian church.  That is to say, each and every week that we gather here and sing the Kyrie, we are actually crying with the blind man for mercy.

We Christians recognize our spiritual blindness – that we are like the blind beggarly man – and that we desire to be relieved of our blindness.  And unlike the world that walks around in darkness – thinking that they see clearly – we Christians walk in the light of Christ, knowing that we cannot see by our own reason or by our own strength.  And like the blind man who was rebuked by those around him, we too may be scrutinized or ridiculed or mocked, because our desire to see clearly exposes the reality that mankind is inherently blind and walking in darkness. 

The beggarly Christian church cries out loud in the midst of a world gone mad, “Lord have mercy,” and the world yells back, “Shut up you weak blind beggarly fools.”  These rebukes though, of the government and unbelievers, will not be able to silence our cry for mercy, because the church knows that we are poor miserable sinners in thought, word, and deed.  We know that the world is perishing and we know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  We know that we need the Son of David, the Messiah, the one who makes all things right.  The church knows that Jesus hears our cry despite the loud rebukes of the world calling the church to silence.  The church knows that Jesus stands still long enough to hear our cries for mercy and then answers this cry with His good and gracious will.  The church knows that the cry of mercy is not bothersome to Jesus. 

“Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.”

As we cry the blind beggar’s prayer, the Lord indeed answers our cry.  We hear the Lord’s Word for us, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well!  Take and eat; take and drink.  You are baptized.  You are forgiven.” 

Jesus Christ healed the blind man, because He loved him and He grants you and me eyes to see because He loves you and me as well.  Truly, Christ opened our eyes of faith when we were baptized out of darkness and into light.  Furthermore, He opens our eyes of faith again and again and again by His spoken Word.  And with our eyes opened we no longer sit by the side of the road, like the beggar, but are taken to Mt. Calvary with Jesus. 

Yes, today, with eyes opened by the Lord’s grace and sight to see, we go with Jesus into the Season of Lent; we go with Jesus to Mt Calvary.  We are taken with Jesus to see that everything that was written about Him by the prophets will be accomplished.  We are taken with Jesus to see how He will be delivered over to the Gentile and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.  We are taken with Jesus to see the flogging, the crucifixion, and the empty tomb. 

Dear Baptized Saints, we stand at the edge of the Season of Lent.  From this point forward we go to Jerusalem, there is no turning back.  We go to Jerusalem following Jesus like the once blind beggar.   We go to Jerusalem to witness and see what true love is.  We go to see that love is not a superficial erotic fuzzy feeling, but that the love of the Lord acts for mankind – for you and for me.  We go to see that this love keeps no record of wrong; it does what our love cannot do, it reconciles mankind to God making you and me beloved children – forgiven. 

Dear Baptized Saints, this Lent and Easter Season, see again Jesus Christ’s determined to march to the cross – for you. 

See again Jesus Christ bloodied, bruised, flogged, and crucified – for you. 

See again Jesus Christ bearing and forgiving sin – for you. 

See again Jesus Christ defeating the devil – for you. 

See again Jesus Christ descending to hell to proclaim victory over the evil foe – for you. 

See again Jesus Christ risen from the jaws of death – for you. 

See again and again and again what true love is – for you. 

Recover your sight; your faith has made you well!  Behold the Christ, whose love no hatred, no suffering, no mockery, no scorn could ever destroy.  Behold the Christ, the light no darkness could overcome. 

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

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