Seventh Sunday after Pentecost – 2020

My dear friends in our Lord: Glory to Jesus Christ!

In today’s Gospel we hear once again of the Lord’s healing power.

At that time: as Jesus was passing by, there followed Him two blind men crying out and saying, Have mercy on us, O Son of David.

The blind men had learned of the miracles of deliverance and healing which the Lord had performed, which we ourselves have heard about in the Gospels in recent weeks. And now they, too, these blind men, seeking deliverance and healing follow after the Lord.

And when He was come to the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus saith to them, Do you believe, that I can do this unto you?

The Lord asks the blind men a single question, yet in it we may see more than one thing being asked.

“Do you believe, that I can do this unto you?” Firstly our Lord means to ask whether they believe it to be within His power to be able to “have mercy,” that is, to heal them. Of course, their belief is already shown in the fact that they followed after Him and entreated Him, calling out to Him, which they would not have done if they did not believe. But our Lord asks the question, in order that their faith might be made manifest before all. Do you believe, that I can do this unto you?

This manifest faith is also brought forward in the question seen from another angle: “Do you believe, that I can do this unto you?” “Do you believe, so that I can do this unto you?” or “Do you have the faith which is necessary for Me to do that which you ask?” Remember from last week’s healing of the paralytic man how our Lord first looks into the heart of those who come before Him, and how it is on account of that faith which pleases God that our Lord is able to work miracles. For faith opens the heart unto God, and a heart which is open allows the all-powerful Lord to do wondrous work within the body and the soul. Do you believe, that I can do this unto you?

[And the blind men] say to Him, Yea, Lord.

Notice that here the blind men no longer call Him “Son of David,” but “Lord.” As their faith was made manifest in the questioning of Christ, so their faith was increased and made whole, and the Lordship of Christ was revealed to them within their hearts.

Then He touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith, be it done unto you. And their eyes were opened…

“According to your faith be it done unto you.” See here the necessity of faith for their healing!

And Jesus strictly charged them, saying, See that no man know this. But they going out, spread His fame abroad in all that country.

In His humility our Lord commanded the blind men to tell their story to no one. Nevertheless, even though He Himself did not wish them to do so, they made their story known, and this not out of disobedience, but out of an overflow of gratitude, wishing to give thanks to the Divine Physician, Christ.

Here, our Lord gives example not to seek human praise in the workings of grace, so that those who do good works would flee from vainglory on their account. It is fitting that one who does good should enjoin silence concerning it, out of humility, but likewise it is also fitting that the beneficiaries of goodness should acclaim their benefactor, out of appreciation, and not conceal the gifts received.

Our Lord certainly knew that the blind men would not remain silent concerning their healing, but that they would openly proclaim it. And yet the Lord accomplished His purpose. For the Lord did not simply open the blind men’s eyes, but He opened the inner faculties of their souls. For this reason they proclaimed and glorified His great wonders everywhere.

Indeed, so great was the fame which these men spread concerning the work of the Lord that here we are, speaking of it even this day. But it is not simply the fame of the work of the Lord which continues to live and dwell with us, but that work continues to manifest itself even today in this world. Even today, the Lord accomplishes wondrous things.

As it was then, so it is now. Those of us who are blind in body or in soul, those of us who follow after Him, crying out to Him for His mercy, He leads us to the safe haven of His own house. He looks within us, and asks us to look within ourselves as well, and He asks us: Do you believe, that I can do this unto you?

When we do have faith, He bestows His healing. He restores both material and spiritual sight, He Who in the very beginning of the world’s existence separated the darkness from the light.

As for us, who believe in the Maker and Creator and Lord, Who freed us from darkness and deception, and Who enlightened our souls and bodies, Who came Himself a light into the world—let us do the works of light and not the works of darkness. Let us strive in every way by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the living faith which enlivens our souls to do good deeds, works of grace, works of healing, seeking not that our own fame be broadcast, but rather that the will of the Eternal Father may be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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