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The Eighth Sunday After Epiphany – February 27, 2022

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The Eighth Sunday After Epiphany – February 27, 2022

Hear this proverb, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” The website “Good Reads” informs me that the source of this proverb is Desiderius Erasmus, the scholar who opposed Martin Luther in the sixteenth century on the issue of the human will. H.G. Wells popularized the saying in his nineteenth century short story, “Country of the Blind.” Generally, the proverb means that even one with a little sight will be the ruler over those with no sight.

While experiences in the world demonstrate both the truth and the danger of this proverb, Jesus’ words reveal its falsity. According to Jesus, there is no such thing as partially blind. The kingdom of God has no “one-eyed” men. We have the word of Jesus that every eye possesses a “log” that not only impairs its sight but establishes its supposed sight as hypocrisy (vs. 42). While we live in the flesh of this world, all are blind. Without the clarity of sight provided by the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the inbreaking of the New Creation, blind lead the blind. All fall into the pit.

Jesus continues this sharp categorical distinction into his words on trees and hearts. The absolute dichotomy between blind and not blind, carries through in his comments on the good vs. the bad tree and the good treasure vs. the evil treasure. While the kingdom of this world works with subtleties and shades of gray, the kingdom of God knows the sharp categorical distinctions of black vs. white, righteous vs. unrighteous, sinner vs. New Creature in Christ, the blind vs. those with Christ’s clarity of vision. Those shades of gray appear as we consider our conduct in this world. While the flesh still adheres, our behavior falls on a moral continuum whose ends are vice and virtue. We are encouraged to become better behaved, progressing from acting out of vice to acting out of virtue. The kingdom of God, though, does not concern itself with that moral continuum. Rather, it holds people who have been graced by the work of God and now live by faith and faith alone. Better behavior as measured by the moral continuum is no foundation at all.  But, oh, the grace of God is as solid of a rock as you could ever build upon.

Table Talk: Discuss this world’s shades of gray vs the sharp distinctions of God’s kingdom.
Pray: Heavenly Father grace me with the truth of this world that I might have eyes to see the totality of my sin. Amen

Luke 6:39-49 ESV

39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 46 Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

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