Monday, October 21, 2013

Joy of the Redeemed

Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor." Matthew 11:4-5

This morning I read about what it meant to be "blind" in the time of the old testament. Back then, being blind was fairly common. The sun and desert sand and wind inflamed the eyes and the blind were some of the most helpless and weak members of society. Helping the blind and lame was the sign of a righteous Israelite.

When I was little, "helping a blind man or old lady across the street," was considered a very good deed!

In later old testament times, blindness was a sign that you were cursed by God and were considered sinful or disobedient. This was the culture when Jesus lived on earth. Giving sight to the blind was a messianic sign, so when Jesus went around healing people's eyes, it was a statement. He was saying:

"I am here!"

This awes me. God has put us on this planet "post-Jesus" and this is an excellent thing! We can all praise God and shout for joy that this is the time in which we live. Because, although this world is still filled with violence, wickedness and sin, we have been bought back.

           We're the redeemed.

Listen to what the prophet says in Isaiah 35:1-6...

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
  the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
  it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
  the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord, 
  the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
  steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
  "Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
  he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
  he will come to save you."

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
  and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
  and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
  and streams in the desert.

Wow. This is for us! We who believe in Jesus, should be filled with joy, but it's easy to let the troubles of this world blind us. I've been guilty of this myself, but today my eyes were opened, so thank you, Father!
                                                                                 He is faithful and wonderful!

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