Quinquagesima Sunday

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1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 – Luke 18: 31-43

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished

The gospel of this Quinquagesima Sunday describes two thoughts of faith and love.  Jesus told his disciples that he must go up to Jerusalem and suffer crucifixion. It must take faith to understand and accept that the Master would die. Luke wrote his gospel to teach us that faith is not a void concept, but must be demonstrated through specific actions. When you have faith you cannot be sitting in one place. The bible said that Jesus was going from village to village, from town to town, to proclaim the Good News. Here in our gospel, he got on the road to go up to Jerusalem. He had faith in the salvation of the world. He knew what will happen to him in Jerusalem, but he also believed in what God the Father would do.

The question of faith

Faith is the central element of our Christianity and it requires the ability to always be on a journey. Faith is a dynamic expression of our belief. It is not static. A faithful, a man full of faith will never be at rest but always going up in order to grow up.

In Deuteronomy1: 6 we learn that God said to the children of Israel: “You have dwelt long enough in this mountain; turn you, and take your journey, and go to the hill-country of the Amorites”. Faith is that journey to the unknown. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. But you must jump into that emptiness. Apostle Paul teaches us that Jesus made the same journey (Philippians 2: 3-11). He emptied Himself and came down from heaven. From earth He went to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from that grave to heaven. By empting Himself, Jesus took a giant step of faith. He trusted Man and believed in his salvation. That salvation will become reality in your life only when you accept Him as your personal savior and believe in His active presence in your life. The gospel of Luke is about elevation. The first nine chapters describe the childhood and the ministry of Jesus in Galilee. The last fifteen chapters relate the story of Jesus going up to Jerusalem to suffer death and to rise again. That’s why the gospel of Luke is called the gospel of elevation.

This gospel is also about love, which Jesus expressed by serving and helping the blind man. This is to tell us that the kingdom that Jesus was about to establish cannot accept any infirmity, any afflictions, or pain. In that kingdom everything must be whole and pure. Jesus was caring and tender. From Galilee to Jerusalem he must pass through our human conditions and show love to the poor, the lowly, the outcast, the sinner and the afflicted, and to all those who recognize their dependence on God.

The case of the Blind Man

The second part of today’s Gospel is about the situation and the condition of the blind man. Here we see the love of Christ to the blind man and his faith in Christ. On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus demonstrates the most important virtue among all other virtues: love. But here, let us consider the faith of the blind man. This man had never seen or met Jesus. He may have heard of the miracles and that Jesus was the son of God. But we saw what he did when Jesus called him: he threw aside his Garment and ran to Jesus. What does this mean symbolically? This means that he throws off his burdens. He is a beggar and his garment is too old.  He needs to get rid of it because it hinders his movement. He then runs to Jesus, ignoring all obstacles in the way. He firmly believes and doubts not. Therefore he receives Christ as Savior and recovers his sight. This can apply to all who hold firmly only to the Word of God, close their eyes and ears against the devil, the world and themselves, and believe in the transforming power of Jesus.

Jesus stands still. The cry for the Son of David stops Him in His tracks. He goes no farther until He helps the one making that racket about the Son of David. Jesus came to the blind man and healed him. If Jesus restores sight to the blind, what sickness of yours might He not heal?

The blind man represents the spiritually blind, the condition of every man born of Adam, who neither sees nor knows the kingdom of God. It is only by pure grace he feels and acknowledges his blindness and would be saved from it.

You have heard of Jesus, now you know that he is here with us. He is near you wherever you go. He would like to take you up to Jerusalem. He would like to stop and minister to you in the midst of your problems and life issues. He is making his way to Jerusalem, but he can still stop and heal you and reach out to you. The road of Jericho is within each one of us. Cry out to him for help. I know that some earthly things are holding you back. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you deal with them. You need to get rid of your old habits and loose the things that are going to hinder you from being a child of God and heir to the throne. Turn to God and ignore what the world says or does, ignore the obstacles and distractions along the way.

Just as in the Old Testament, Moses would draw near to the Presence of the Lord in the cloud and God would speak from the cloud, today we draw near to His Presence revealed in His Son. In that nearness God begins to speak, our faith begins to come alive, and miracles are the result. Like the blind man, we should never be satisfied with the current “light” that we have but should draw near to the Lord. As we draw near, we break into the brightness of the Sun of Righteousness who has risen with healing in His wings. Then the moment will come and we will hear His incredible voice saying, “Be it done to you as you have believed.”

People give up on everything in life and embrace bad habits and even commit suicide, because they don’t have faith. They don’t believe in God’s love. They don’t believe that God cares so much that he will not allow our feet to be moved. In closing, I would like you to meditate on Ps. 25:3 “No one whose HOPE is in you will NEVER be put to shame. So what I am hoping for is SURE and that is faith. It does not fail”.