Let Me See Again
Sunday, March 21, 2021

Pastor Mark Aune

Luke 18:31—19:10

His name is Robert Aaron Long, and I am wondering, what did he see that caused him to walk into those spas and massage parlors in the Atlanta area and begin shooting people.

Did he see a solution to an alleged addiction?

Did he see people of Asian descent as a reason for his killing spree?

Did he see women as the cause of his problem?

He obviously was not able to see the unimaginable grief and pain his actions would cause nor the additional layer of community pain this creates. It is sad beyond words and I continue to struggle to see how these things happen.

Blindness takes many forms, and it manifests itself in many ways.

I am painfully aware of the many times, too many to count, that I have been unable to see how my actions, or my words have harmed other people. It is a form of blindness and we all have it.

This inability to see manifest itself in many ways. One could even label it. We have cultural blindness, relational blindness, economic blindness, and spiritual blindness.

The struggle we have seeing God at work in our lives and in our world is a common thing.

The biblical witness is filled with examples and it may or may not surprise you but the ones who struggle the most with seeing are the ones who appear to be close to God.

The disciples are a prime example, and we hear again today the mighty struggle they have in seeing Jesus and truly understanding him and his mission in the world.

Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. 33 After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.”

34 But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

They could not see God’s plan. They did not understand and when we are blind, we do not understand. Keep in mind these disciples have been following Jesus for about 3 years. They have seen his actions, his words, what he has done and how he has transformed and changed lives by his love and his power.

Right on the heels of this episode of blindness, Jesus and his disciples approach the city of Jericho and there is a blind man, sitting beside the road, right where you would expect him to be, in a high traffic area so he could beg.

When the blind beggar heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth[d] is passing by.” Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

This man is blind. What does he see that the others do not see?

How is it possible for him know that Jesus is the son of David, that he is the Messiah of God. He is blind after all.

The crowd tries to shut him up, but he cries out all the louder, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. Two times he says this. Notice, he does not ask for healing. He does not ask for money. He does not ask for food. He asks for mercy. What does he see that no one else sees?

Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

I think this might be the most important question ever asked by Jesus.

What do you want me to do for you?

It is a question that stops you in your tracks.

How would you answer the question? Right now, today?

Can you answer the question? Are you able to see what it is you need from Jesus?

I wonder if we struggle to answer the question because we doubt that Jesus can do something about a deep need we have, a form of blindness that affects our lives.

So, when he asks the question, we do not know what to say.

The blind beggar knew how to answer the question.

He said, “Lord, let me see again.”

Let me see – again. In a new way. A different way.

Let me see with the eyes of Jesus.

I want to be able to look at people differently.

  • People who make me uncomfortable
  • who I dislike
  • who I disagree with
  • who act strangely
  • who have different politics than me
  • who say the wrong things and do the wrong things
  • who look different than me

I want to be able to see them, and I want to be able to see them as Jesus would see them.

To see with mercy. To see with understanding. To see with love.

Is that what you want to see? Is this how you would answer the question?

And Jesus follows through on his promise; “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.”

Let me see – again. And we are given – again, the kind of sight that is worthy of praise and glory to God.

The richness of today’s reading ends with the familiar story of Zacchaeus. This is also a story about seeing.

Zacchaeus is different than the blind beggar. Yet he is the same.

A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.

Let me see – again.

We cry out from the side of the road or we climb a sycamore tree.

We can be a blind beggar or a rich tax collector.

Both men were outcasts, but they both wanted to see. They wanted to see Jesus.

And the beauty of both stories, the amazing grace of God is that before either one of them has their eyes opened, Jesus sees them first.

He sees them as children of Abraham.

He sees them as beloved by God.

He sees them because his mission, which the disciples could not see, is to seek out and save the lost.

Lord, let me see again. This is all we need to say. This is the answer to His question.

And because He came to seek out and save the lost, that means He came for you and for me.

To give us our sight back.

To cure of us our blindness to human need and prejudice.

To restore us to health.

And to know that today, today salvation comes as our sight is restored.

Thanks be to God. Amen

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