THE WEEK OF TRINITY XVI – TUESDAY
LESSON: PSALM 86:8-15
If many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for many. Romans 5:15
At times God suffers a man to experience fear and distress, pain and sorrow. He suddenly finds himself in a world which seems to have no God. A man loses his sight; he becomes lame; he develops dropsy. God even lets him die like the widow’s son in this Gospel. All men are God’s creatures, and He can do with them as He pleases.
Why does God create or suffer such situations? He is resorting here to extreme measures to keep us ever mindful of His goodness. John reports that on one occasion Jesus and His disciples came upon a man who was “blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him’” (John 9:1-3).
He means to say, “God wants to be praised in this blind man. God sees that the treasures of the whole world do not move us. Hence, He must take some drastic action. Out of pure grace, He sets a blind man before our eyes so that we come to realize what a precious gift we possess in the gift of sight. And since we do not recognize His goodness and grace in something advantageous, we are compelled to note it and recognize it from something disadvantageous.”
This man was born blind so that men might come to their senses and declare, “Merciful God, what a precious gift and what a blessing it is to have a healthy body and a fresh countenance!” But no one takes it to heart in this way.
SL 11:1649 (7)
PRAYER: Grant us grace at all times, heavenly Father, to interpret Your blessings for what they are, acts of Your grace and mercy, so that we may both acknowledge Your mercy and grace and return You due thanks for it, in and through Christ our Savior. 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, 5:127-139.