Blog Archives

The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord

I have been basking in the glow of the Ascension of Christ and meditating on the mystery of this God-Man who has received all authority in heaven and in earth from God the Father.  He now sits at the right hand of power, and reigns and rules over all creation and heaven as the only begotten Son of the Father.  The right hand is not located in time and space, but transcends it.  It is a mystery how this right hand of power can be at the same time in heaven, yet everywhere.  For Christ cannot be truly God and man if He is limited in time and space.  He would not then be part of the economy of the Trinity, being less than the Father and the Spirit.  No, he IS truly God and truly Man, fully human.  John describes this God Man, the risen and ascended Christ in his vision in the book of Revelation.  Christ lives and rules and reigns in through and among us.  To Him be all glory and honor and and power forever and ever!  Amen!

Vision of the Son of Man

9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

 

Jesus Heals a Blind Man, Sunday School Lesson April 10, 2011

The Son of Man

Image by Mike Rawlins via Flickr

Listen to Deaconess Pam Nielsen of Concordia Publishing House discuss this week’s Sunday School Lesson with Todd Wilken on Issues Etc.

In John 9, Jesus heals a man blind from birth.  As they pass near this man, Jesus’ disciples pose the question — “Who sinned?  This man or his parents?”  The disciples recognized that man is sinful, but linked the physical disability to a specific sin of the parent or the child.  And while there is a kernel of truth here, namely that our sin has consequences that are felt in this world both physically and spiritually, Jesus, acknowledging that kernel of truth, tells His disciples they miss the bigger point:  This man is blind, so that God’s glory may be revealed in Him. And Jesus, pulls the man aside, spits in the dirt, creates mud, puts the mud on the man’s eyes, and tells the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam.  When he returns, the man can see.

The Pharisees are shocked and dismayed by this act.  They argue that a sinner like this man Jesus, a carpenter’s son whom they know, cannot heal the blind.  Only God can do miracles such as these.  But it is in the creative work of Christ, coming to the blind man, making a healing salve out of spit and mud, speaking to the man the Word of God, and the washing of water which gives the blind man faith to believe.  It is a pure gift of God in Christ and through the Holy Spirit which leads this man to confess that Jesus must be a great prophet.  And when the pharisees finish their questioning, Jesus again seeks out the man, and being the Christ, he confronts the man, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  His reply, “Tell me who He is Sir, that I may believe.”  The Spirit has not only opened this man’s eyes to see the world, but his heart has been opened to draw on the well of spiritual knowledge from which he has been fed throughout his life.  And so when Christ, the Cross itself, comes to him and confronts him, the blind man has a sense of hope welling within him.  Having been made ready to receive salvation by the law, Christ reveals Himself to the man.  This was done in the presence of some Pharisees, and Jesus takes the opportunity to reiterate His purpose in coming into this world — for judgment — that those who see or think they see may be made blind, and that those who are blind may be given sight.

Just as Jesus comes to the blind man to heal him, He comes to us, creates in us the faith to believe and receive Him.  Christ openly confronts each one of us with the reality of the Cross and our sinfulness — He  makes us ready to receive salvation, giving us the faith to receive Him.  Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet believe!  Keep us humble dear Christ, that in faith, we may receive you and carry you to others.

Listen to Deaconess Pam Nielsen of Concordia Publishing House discuss this week’s Sunday School Lesson with Todd Wilken on Issues Etc.