SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry
“14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.”
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
“16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Memory Verse Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)
“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS ON ME BECAUSE HE HAS ANOINTED ME TO PREACH GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM FREEDOM TO THE PRISONERS AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT FOR THE BLIND, TO RELEASE THE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOR.”
In a previous edition of Spiritual Nourishment for Today, we talked about the need for Christians to see ourselves as people who have been freed from the prison of sin, Satan and death through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This should lead us to develop love and compassion for all those who are still in bondage and lead them to the one who has saved us. In this edition, we want to look at what Jesus said concerning the recovery of sight to the blind.
Jesus told the people gathered at the synagogue on that Sabbath day that he had been anointed not only to preach the good news to the poor and proclaim freedom to the prisoners but to also bring recovery of sight to the blind. This was seen in Jesus’ ministry where he helped many blind people to regain their sight. One very popular example of Jesus’ recovery of sight to the blind is found in Mark 10:46-52 where Jesus healed the blind Bartimaeus. This was a man who had been blind for several years but received his sight when he encountered Jesus. Jesus did not just say he had been tasked to help people recover their sight, he actually performed to show that he had been given the power to do so. This power to heal has also been given to the church.
The early apostles demonstrated this power and healed many people from various sicknesses including blindness. The church of today can also exercise the same power to help the physically blind to recover their sight if and only if we will trust and obey God in all things. The same Jesus who gave sight to the blind is still alive and active in his church, and his healing power is still active. If we believe in what Jesus can do through us, we can also be used to bring recovery of sight to the many blind people who draw closer to Jesus.
It is however important to remind ourselves that the eye is the light of the body. Anyone who is blind cannot see what is going on around him easily. Even when danger is around, the blind who have no one to help them may endanger their lives. The blind can therefore be added to the vulnerable group in any society. They need our love and attention as well as our support in cash or in kind. But they also need our prayer support. Christians should not neglect the poor, the imprisoned as well as the blind in our societies.
Even though the physically blind need all our love and support, those who are spiritually blind are the most unfortunate ones among us. Some physically blind persons are more fortunate than some people with both eyes functioning correctly because they have seen Jesus and have been saved. They are not as hopeless as those who have two eyes but are blind to the great light God has shed on this world through his son Jesus Christ.
As the light of the world, Jesus is the one through whom we can be with the Father. Those who do not know Jesus, and have not been saved by him are worse than the physically blind. They are among those who see but cannot perceive (Matthew 13:14). They have lost their spiritual sight and need help to recover their sight. That is why we have to send the WORD (Logos) who is Jesus Christ to them. Those who encounter Jesus can see and perceive (understand) at the same time. They shall not perish for their inability to perceive.
This is very true when one thinks of the fact that many people living in this world do not understand what it means to be saved or the need to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They are blind to what is going on around them. They need recovery of sight. So let us pray for them, approach them and share Jesus with them. By so doing we can help them recover their sight. I also want to point out that ignorance and illiteracy are other forms of blindness we can help eliminate in our societies and churches. May we position ourselves well for the LORD’s use in bringing recovery of sight to the blind!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.