Easter 3, 2010
“Blinded by Sin”
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saul was a Jew’s Jew or as the NIV translation puts it… “a Hebrew of Hebrews.” (Philippians 3:5) Saul was circumcised on the 8th day just like the law prescribed. He was of the tribe of Benjamin; the tribe that King Saul was born into and the land where
“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in
Up until now Saul had nothing but hatred and contempt for Jesus and His followers. Sin and unbelief had blinded Saul as to whom Jesus was; the Son of God; the Messiah; the Savior of the world. Now Jesus appears to Saul in all His glory and shone like the sun. Jesus proclaimed to Saul: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:5-6)
One could hardly imagine what Saul was going through. Not only did the person, Jesus, turn out to be God…but Saul had hated and despised him….persecuted him and his church…and now Saul could only rely on Jesus for his needs; to heal him from his blindness. In order to heal Saul’s spiritual blindness our Lord used physical blindness.
We know from Paul’s own words how spiritually blind he was. He confesses to vigorously persecuting the Church. Paul may have never killed a believer…but certainly many whom he arrested were killed for their faith. Now Paul had to rely solely on Jesus’ promise…and be led to the house of a man he was on the way to arrest; Ananias.
How often God uses ailments, disasters, struggles, and hardship to bring us out of our own blindness of sin and unbelief to His glory through faith. We, like Paul, have been spiritually blind…maybe not as adults…but certainly blind at our birth. We too rejected Christ. We too wallowed in our own sinfulness. Sadly enough we still revert to our sinful ways…sins that cause others to doubt and stray…sins that cause us to doubt in Christ ourselves…sins that blind us from God’s love.
As Christians we are also like Ananias. Ananias knew who Saul was…knew that he was coming to
But through all the sinfulness of this world; the sin of unbelievers and the sin of believers…God works for the good of His people. “But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of
Through Baptism, the very Water and the Word, Saul received faith in Christ as his Lord and Savior. Through Baptism we too have been given sight through faith. It is after eating and drinking our Lord’s body and blood that we regain strength for each day as we are forgiven our sins. Like Saul we are sinners that God has chosen to be His children…and His tools.
Saul, the Pharisee that once rejected Jesus and persecuted His church became
It was by faith that Paul became the strong Christian he was that proclaimed Christ Jesus to the world. It is by faith that you are a strong Christian…and it is by faith that you may share the love of Jesus to all around you. As the scales of blindness have been removed by the waters of Baptism…as you now see the wonders of Christ in your life…as you receive strength for each day through Jesus body and blood…remember whose you are. You are God’s beloved Child. All of your sins have been forgiven. All of them have been forgiven! Share the love of Jesus…share the promise of heaven itself…that all may share in heaven with you. Amen.
Now may the peace of God which passes all human understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. Amen.