THE WEEK OF TRINITY XIII – SUNDAY

LESSON: LUKE 10:23‒37

Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Luke 10:23‒24

This seeing and hearing must be understood quite simply as external seeing and hearing, namely, that they saw Christ in His own person and in the office He fulfilled, heard His preaching, and witnessed the miracles which He performed among the Jews. They were all in a position to confess with Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).

Many prophets and kings also saw Christ, but only in spirit. The Lord Himself said to the Jews, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see My day; he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). On that occasion the Jews thought that Jesus was speaking about a physical seeing; but Jesus was referring to the spiritual seeing whereby all pious Christian hearts saw Jesus before He was born and still see Him today. If Abraham saw Him in this way, there is no doubt that many prophets, in whom the Holy Spirit resided, also saw Him thus. This spiritual seeing brought salvation to the holy fathers and prophets, but they also experienced a heartfelt desire and longing to see the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is indicated here and there in the prophets.

The Lord here says to His disciples, who both heard and saw Him in the flesh, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see!” He means to say, “This is a blessed time, an acceptable year, a time of grace. What is now present before you is so precious that the eyes which see it are quite rightly called blessed. Never before has the Gospel been proclaimed to every man with such publicity and clarity.”

SL 11:1536 (2‒4)

PRAYER: Jesus, Lord and Savior, You pronounced Your disciples blessed for being able to see and hear Your works of grace and Your Gospel of salvation. Help us to a similar experience of blessedness in connection with Your Gospel of salvation, for Your name’s sake. Amen.

Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 5:17-35.