First Sunday of Epep | Sending of the Seventy Apostles

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Sunday Contemplations

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“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others.” (Luke 10:1)

Before these appointments, the Lord was calling on a lot of different persons to spread His word. Through these calls He revealed the obstacles which would hinder them and hold the soul from being released into missionary.

  1. One told Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” (Luke 9:57). The Lord toldhim, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Luke 9:58). Those are the ones that want to follow Jesus to capitalize either from a position, fame, monetary or temporary profits. Those fail the call, they are not blessed and they have no share in the kingdom.
  2. He told another, “Follow Me.” (Luke 9:59). But that person answered, “Lord, suffer me first go and bury my father.” (Luke 9:59). So Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60). These are the ones who worry about the dead body, and prevent it from seeking the salvation of the Spirit. They stop it from service and paralyze it from moving towards the kingdom.
  3. Also, another said, “Lord, I will follow you, but let me first go and bid them farewell, who are at my house.” (Luke 9:61). So Jesus told him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62). Those are the ones that want to follow the Lord and serve, but their hearts and feelings could not let go of the past. These also are not fit for the kingdom’s work. For they would be without fire or the spiritual activity… All these kinds first asked for something else other than the kingdom. They prefer what is for the people more than what’s for God.
  4.  He told them, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9:37, 38). Even if the Lord would have appointed seventy in one day, this will still stand true “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few”. (Matt. 9:37), and will stand, so that they would always remember that the work is greater than them, greater than their efforts, and to always keep their hands towards the Lord asking for help… Such that they would not think, that they alone are fit for the work. He told them, “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9:38).

“Go your ways: behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry neither money bag, knapsack…” (Luke 10:3,4). The

These were the words which Jesus told the seventy apostles to preach. The Lord told the Jewish teachers, “For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those that are entering to go in.” (Matt. 23:13). Their lives have been impoverished with their teaching, placing heavy and cumbersome burden on the people who could not withstand them. But for Jesus’ Apostles, their lives open the gates of heaven before mankind. Their behavior declares that they are the sons of the Kingdom… Their hardship preaches the wealth and generosity of the Kingdom… missionary for Jesus must follow the facts of life. When preaching about Jesus the savior of the World and the rescuer of the oppressed, then they are preaching about He who saves the lambs from among the wolves. When they talk about Jesus, they talk about He who gives the blessing and the provider of life to the world. For He is their purse and scrip, their peace and the force that defends them… For them Jesus is every thing… He is self sufficient… This is how they preached, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” (2 Cor. 3:5). “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 10:7)

Their death from the world carries only one meaning, that there is a better life from the ordinary one. Their path is a clear witness for the Kingdom of God. It attracts every soul. It relishes the desire to enter God’s Kingdom.

“But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.” (Luke 10:5).

Jesus gave His disciples a special peace, saying, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27). His peace dwelled in them. Therefore, they kept on providing peace wherever their legs took them… For Jesus’ peace means His presence in person, because He is our peace. Therefore, when the disciples give peace, they are actually presenting Jesus, who is present within them and in them. This is what the Lord told them, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejrcts Me rejects Him who sent Me.” (Luke 10:16). The acceptance of Jesus’ word is accepting Him personally. When accepting the word of peace and the reconciliation, it directly brings us into the peaceful status with God in our Lord Jesus Christ. The seventy disciples returned with joy saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us to us in Your name.” (Luke 10:17).

The preaching about Jesus destroys Satan’s kingdom and shakes his thrown and liberates those in bondage like lightning. No work under heaven is greater than these colossal projects. All great charitable works are nothing when compared to the salvation of one from Satan’s kingdom… “Then shall the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Matt. 13:43). Satan doesn’t worry about charities, he is not defeated by the power of mankind, but his kingdom is only shaken by the preaching in the name of Jesus and the entrance into a partnership, with the power of the Holy Spirit and its work in the church. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20).

The disciples rejoiced saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us to us in Your name.” (Luke 10:17). So Jesus told them, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20). No doubt that casting demons, performing signs and the fruits of service… etc., makes the soul rejoice and gives hope to those walking on the road of death. But the true and continuous source of joy, is that our names are written in heaven. Our baptism, our second birth and unity in Christ are the reason for the endless joy. We should not forget this truth, even in our service. Nothing should occupy us away from the endless divine joy. All earthly joys, even the miracles will end. But the joy of those names written in heaven will never end.

Practical Applications

How far are you from being one of His apostles?
Dear beloved one, don’t you know that we are wanderers, and ambassadors, sent by Jesus, to be preaching His word to all people? Always be a representative of Jesus who is in you. Be a reason of peace in every house you enter, as a son of Jesus. Carry His peace in yourself and transmit His peace spiritually wherever you are.

  •  Let Jesus be your treasure. Don’t have a purse, scrip or anything to rely on, except Him.
  •  Finally…. Is there any earthly thing that concerns you or makes you rejoice? Let the reason of your rejoice be that your name is written in Heaven… This means, always remember your baptism, your second birth, and this will powerfully lead you to behave like the sons of God in the midst of this world.

Third Sunday of Paone | Curing of the Blind and Dumb

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Sunday Contemplations

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They brought to Him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb, and He healed him. Hence the blind and dumb, talked and saw, and those present were amazed… The Pharisees said that He healed the man with the leader of Satan. But Jesus knew their thoughts and said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand, and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you… Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit willl not be forgiven men.” (Matt. 12:25-31).

By the Spirit of God I cast out Satan

As darkness dissipates and disintegrates before the Light, then Satan, the defile spirit disintegrates before God’s Holy Spirit. The defile spirit, which resides in man, will corrupt and destroy him… It was said about the man who was possessed with a multitude of evil ones that he used to scream and cut himself with stones. He was tied with chains and bondage. But he used to break the chains and live among the graves. When the evil spirit resides in man it works on ruining and destroying him… Since the beginning of time, Satan was a killer. He always complained about our race and he is our enemy. When it resided in this man, he left him mad, blind and dumb… That means that the evil spirit was in control of his thoughts, his sight and his tongue.

Mad

When Satan controls the thoughts, he ruins it from being in God’s straight path, and from the wisdom and knowledge coming down from above… Man becomes mad… Satan might invade him with the thoughts of pride, so man becomes mad… Man could think of himself as something great, and forgets that he is but dust and ashes. He forgets that he is miserable and poor. He is nothing but dispersed dust and a non-existing entity.

  •  Satan struck Nebuchadnezaar… The Satan of self glorification, he said in his craziness of his self glorification, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the royal dwelling of my mighty power.” (Dan. 4:30). He forgot that God has power over all the rulers of the earth. So he immediately heard a voice from heaven saying, “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken; The kingdom has departed from you.
    And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. That very hour the words were fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar: he was driven from men, and ate grass like oxen, his body was wet with the dew of heaven.” (Dan. 4:31-33)
  •  Herod the king was also struck by the madness of self glorificationj. He arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration to them. And the people gave a shout, cry, “’The voice of a god and not of a man’. Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms, and died.” (Acts 12:21-23)… A lot of us are struck with the madness of self glorification of pride, selfishness and the false talk. Those who are blinded by it think that they are wise. In truth, whoever wants to be wise must first be ignorant.
  •  Others get struck with the craziness of desires and the love of the world.
  •  Others get struck with the craziness of the world, its philosophy and the so called infallible apostates.
  •  Others are in the craziness of denying the only master who is the only One who doesn’t die.

Blind

  •  This man is totally different than the other who was born blind… Births with, natural illness and defects are set into place, with purpose by God. Man has nothing to do with it. It shall all fade away for the glory of God, as the Lord said, “Neither has this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” (John 9:3).
  •  But this human being is blind because the spirit of pride is dwelling within him. That is why when Jesus caste out Satan from him, by the power of the Holy Spirit, his eyes once more gained its sight, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5).
  •  Our eyes which were lit with the sight from baptism, which was given to us by the Son of God, is our most precious property. So brethren let us be conscious, so that the dark spirit would not enter into us and dim our sight.
  •  The Lord told the Pharisees, “If you were blind, you would have no sin, but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” (John 9:41)
  •  He who sees the truth in front of him and closes his eyes, isn’t that a kind of spiritual blindness?
  •  He who sees the path of life with God, and closes his eyes from it, isn’t that a big danger?
  •  He, who sees the need of his brother and shunts against him, isn’t he blind and poor?
  •  He who doesn’t see the danger and defile of the sin, and doesn’t run away from it, as if it is a poisonous deadly serpent, isn’t he blind and poor?

He who doesn’t see his sins and the defile of his heart, make peace with his conscious, by being like the Pharisee, looking at the sins of others and judging them, isn’t he blind, short sighted who forgot the cleansing of sins? We are not addressing what we can see, but unseen ones. These that are seen are temporary, but the unseen are eternal.

This is the sight, which the Holy Spirit must daily review in us with repentance, in the church and in the sacraments, so that we can be aware of the gifts given to us by God according to His blessing and power.

Dumb

  •  The Holy Spirit renews our features and moves our tongue… It lets us utter new words and new praises. The Holy Spirit descended on the disciples as tongues of fire, declaring the witness of Jesus Christ and without hindrance. It talks with love to all the people. These tongues of fire resided on the church through all its generations.
  •  The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter the apostle, words that consists of salvation and witness for Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
  •   The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter and John the apostles, who were ordinary illiterate men, with words full of grace; the leaders of the Rabies were not able to quite them.
  •  The Holy Spirit spoke through the mouth of Estaphnous, with wisdom, all opposing him and those steadfast were not able to resist or contradict him.
  •  The Holy Spirit gave Saint Paul the apostle the missionary word. When he opened his mouth, he spoke with the sacraments of the Spirit, church and Christ.

Without the Holy Spirit, men will remain dumb, and with incapable tongue, even if it utters a million words.

Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit

The group of Pharisees willingly refused the Word of God. They refused the work of God’s Holy Spirit and refused Him. This was blaspheme and ended with their destruction. Today the Holy Spirit wants to work in us. It needs to liberate our thoughts, lights our sights and releases our tongues. Do we abide by its advice? Do we submit ourselves obediently to its will so that it works in us with rejoice?!

  •  Everyday the Holy Spirit, wants to cast away from us the darkness and every thought of deficiency of belief. It reacts to utilize our thoughts, tongues and eyes. It wants us as vessels, blessing vessels… It is enough that we have been left like dumb, blind and mad without power, capability or effectiveness with respect to the faith and the life with God.
  •  Today is our chance to surrender ourselves to present our lives with prayers and pleading at the Lord Jesus’ feet. So that He can cast away from us, with the power of the Holy Spirit, every resisting spirit of the enemy and utilize our weakness for His Glory.

Second Sunday of Paone | Curing the Paralytic

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Sunday Contemplations

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They came to Him presenting a paralytic. Four were carrying him. When they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through they let down the bed on which the paralytic was laying. When Jesus saw their faith, He told the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:5). Today’s Bible is serving the paralytic and presenting them to Jesus… It is the Bible of the compassionate hearts which don’t rest without giving and serving. They took action as they don’t just stop under the banners of verses and powers, which glorify the name of Jesus.

The Paralytic

The paralytic is a person paralyzed and incapable of movement… Laying in the bed of death and shadow of darkness… Aren’t there, among us today, a lot of paralytic, the sin has paralyzed their movement towards God. Neither hands lifted up towards God in prayer, nor legs seeking His message or kneeling in humility. No eyes looking with hope, or a heart aloft in simplicity… The whole body is torn by sin and the shadow of death.

Four Men

Is there among us today, a friend with a compassionate heart to have pity on his brethren… Where is his zeal to protect us, his prayers, his fasting and humility before his Lord, on behalf of his brethren, and his father’s house. Where are Jeremiah’s tears? Where are the intercessions of Moses and David and the prayers of Ezekiel…Is there here today, anyone who strengthen his grip and carry the pains of his brethren… we should carry each others pain, as this is how you will fulfill Jesus’ law.

When Jesus saw Their Faith

What part did these four men do in this miracle? It is a very important and outstanding part to fulfill God’s intentions…

Denying Oneself

This is a major factor to cure the paralytic souls. The four men are representing the true service in the church, the bishop, the priest, the deacon and the congregation. If they unite in true love, work in self-denial and don’t race who is first among them, then they will be serving the paralytic souls. As long as they live in self-denial and not seeking glory or fame… As long as they practice in the Spirit of Jesus, resenting oneself, just to serve others for the sake of Jesus, then the miracles must occur. Jesus, Glory is to Him, will be definitely looking at their faith. He will have pity on them and will provide them the forgiveness of sin.

The Faith

Those whom completed their faith are the saints, who had complete trust in Jesus Himself. Those in faith they did virtue and achieved promises and were strengthened after weakness… These four, today in the church, are our fathers the saints, who carry the paralytic souls… With their prayers presenting them to the Savior, with faith and the Savior cures them. Today the church is living in this faith, when we ask for the intercession, we ask the saints to intercede for the weak and for those who didn’t repent. We plead that they would be carried through their prayers to where the Lord Jesus is.

The Sin is the Cause of Sickness

The Lord told the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:5), before telling him, “Arise, take your bed and walk.” Mark (2:9). Because Jesus first takes care of the remission of sin and to cast out what is within before working on what is on the outside. Numerously we would expect God’s men to talk about social correction, materialistic issues and social problems. But we see the church concentrates on talking about repentance and forgiveness… The truth is that the church is responsible of finding a solution for the people’s problems. But we have to discover that the secret of their pains, their sufferings and the illness they live in, is existing within the sin, which is the cause behind it all. Because of sin, death entered the world and went through all humanity. Every time we neglect the Spirit and stray away from God, we veer away from exposing the sin, which resides within our inner depth and it would be worthless to attempt to achieve the forgiveness of sin.

Forgiveness of Sin

In this dialog, Jesus reveals the power of the forgiveness of sin. He tried to show us, how man immediately gets strength from weakness, and gains life from death… goes from darkness to light when he acquires forgiveness of his sins. The Lord wants, through the healing of the human body, to reveal for us the secret of the forgiveness of sins within the human soul. Here the body stands witness, hidden in the soul of that sick person, when the Lord carried the burden of his sins and released him from the death of its grip. So the paralytic immediately gets up moving, with this new power, and carries his bed walking among the crowd… This view was a wonder for the human mind and an amazement of a colossal dimension. Then how will the soul look from the inside when it breaks the ties of sin, and enjoys the power of the Lord, and the forgiveness of sins!!

But how the Forgiveness of sins is accomplished

The Lord told the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:5). The subject is not a word just said by the Lord to the paralytic, but in essence the Lord Jesus has accepted to interact with the sick in an amazing exchange… To take the sins and to give him His virtue, to carry his pains and set free his soul from bondage, then the Lord would endure Himself that bondage… He who doesn’t know sin, became sin on our behalf, for us to become virtuous of God in Jesus Christ.
This is what the Lord was planning to do, to work with all humanity through the cross… The forgiveness of sin is that Jesus, the Lamb of God, will carry this sin for us so that we are forgiven from its horrifying burden. It is His sacrifice and a ransom for many…

Get up Carry Your Bed

The sign of health for this sick person is to carry the cross… By this everyone is witness that he acquired strength and a new life… This is the intent of the Lord to give us a sign and a down payment for salvation, when He told us to carry our cross and follow Him… Our carrying of the cross is a sign of our new life. It is our power after tasting the death of the cross and the shame of sin. We became cross bearers as a sign for the cure of our souls and the creation of our new life.

Seventh Sunday of Great Lent | Palm Sunday

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Feasts, Sunday Contemplations

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“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech 9:9)

This is how the Lord invites us to rejoice and be extremely glad, through the words of Zechariah the prophet, on the day Jesus Christ enters Jerusalem. Hence we hope to take our share and enjoy that spiritual happiness on this day. Jesus has entered unto us this day to reign over us. Then rise O beloved ones with praises and rejoice and spread your clothes, take off the old, raise the banner of victory in your life and hold the palm branches in your hands. Say to the Lord: Amen, come O our Lord Jesus, reign over us, reign over our heart, like the temple in Jerusalem. Drive out those who hinder our worship…for our hearts have become the den of thieves. The world has entered it in negligence and has ruined its beauty, though it was once the house of prayers. O Lord drive out those who sold doves, overturn the tables of the money exchangers. Purify our hearts so that they can return to you. Once more fill our heart with the incense of prayers and the offerings of praises.

Hosanna

This is our praise for today. This is our asking of the Lord, ‘Save us…save us.’ Today is the day of salvation. On the dawn of this day the Lord entered the house of Zacchaeus and said, “Today salvation has come to this house.” (Luke 19:9). Today Timaeus the blind cried out saying, “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:48). So the Lord opened his eyes. Do not stop repeating the name of salvation that is for our Lord Jesus Christ…experience the power of His salvation and the strength of His arms.

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord

The Lord has preceded that by saying, “I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luke 13:35). This phrase benefits our hearts to accept the kingdom of Jesus. Then we can welcome Him to reign in our hearts. We hope to always say it to the Lord so that we can see His face….we always say this phrase before the reading of the Gospel, in every liturgy, to welcome the words of the Gospel in a prepared heart. For he who accepts the Word accepts Christ the King, because He is the incarnate Word of God.

The characteristics of the Kingdom of Christ as it has been declared unto us today:

The King of Peace:

The first thing that was declared in the Kingdom of Christ was the great rejoice and the peaceful heart. Since the first moments of His birth, the multitude of angels rejoiced with the everlasting praises, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace…” (Luke 2:14). Hence, today the multitudes glorify the Lord saying, “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” (Luke 19:38). Peace is just one of the signs that Christ is among us, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.” (John 14:27). Therefore, if we miss this peaceful heart and the spiritual joy, then we are not ready for Jesus to live within us.

The King of victory:

Christ has come to destroy the deeds of Satan. Our faith in Jesus is a victory over the world, over death, over bodily desires and over the love of the world. Jesus has raised Lazarus from the dead, so we were victorious over the fear that threatened our lives. That is why the multitudes rejoiced on this day and went out to meet Him, for they heard that he carried out those miracles, “The justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26) He who accepts Jesus as King on this day will never be enslaved, for Jesus has reigned over us and gave us freedom to become the sons of God.

The King of Tears:

He who was victorious over death, cried over Lazarus who died. He who sanctified the temple has cried over Jerusalem. This day Jesus is in our midst. He is the King who is crying for those who are laying around us in the desire of the world and sins, the ones who have ignored the time for their salvation. This day Jesus is in our midst crying for those slain by sin. Those are the ones who have rejected to shelter under the spread of the cross and the shadows of the wings of His love. On this day, we hope to recognize the extent of His tears, enter into the partnership of His love and sacrifice for mankind.

The King of meekness:

Jesus neither reign with the sword, nor with the power of mankind. The kingdom of Jesus is not spread by wars, or by a materialistic power….Jesus is a meek King, gentle and lowly at heart. He gently reigns, not with vehemence. He who accepts the kingdom of Christ learns to be like his teacher. He does not shout, does not feud and no one on the streets hear his voice. Every time we lose our meekness and humility, then we have lost the characteristics of Jesus and we are no longer in His likeness.

The law of Christ is, “It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master.” (Matt. 10:25)

Christ is the King over the children

One of the major characteristics of the Kingdom of Christ is the likeness of children. That is why the Lord has previously said, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3)
John the evangelic witnessed in the Revelation one hundred forty four thousand children in heaven…a large band with amazing secrets. Also Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes.” (Luke 10:21) This day the children are like the angels praising without ceasing. Today, we need to return to our childhood, the warmth of love, which is pure without question and without glamor or pride. The closer we approach our first childhood we recognize the kingdom of Christ.

Jesus Reigned with Love

Today, Jesus entered Jerusalem to be crucified. This is the objective. He set his sight toward Jerusalem. For Jesus, the cross was His secret throne, on which the Lord has reigned with love. He has stretched His arms to encompass all mankind, and has sacrificed Himself for the whole world.
The cross is the sign of the kingdom of Christ. It is the sign of the Son of Man and at the same time it is the sign of the overwhelming love. It is the sign of sacrifice…through the cross there is no room for selfishness, self esteem or a place for hatred, detest or resentment. When we enter the kingdom of Jesus on this day it means our acceptance to become deep in love, every day, not only for our kin or close ones but for everyone. Here, love does not know any distinction or peculiarity.

If only, on this day, we persistently ask, ‘Your Kingdom come…blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord…save us.’

Sixth Sunday of Great Lent | The Man Bord Blind

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Fasts and Holy Pascha, Spirituality, Sunday Contemplations

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Who was at fault, him or his parents, for him to be born blind?

This is how the disciples asked the Lord Jesus. It is the nature of man to judge others and to reason all matters, though man is almost always wrong in his judgement… For who can get closer or predict God’s judgements, examination and means to conclude things… Our thoughts are so far from God’s thoughts, as heaven is from earth.

To reveal the Glory of God in him

This is how the Lord answered the inquiry of His disciples. God is capable of being glorified in those who are weak, in disasters, in those born deformed and in the incurable illnesses. God might have reasons beyond us in these matters… If we looked through the eyes of our Lord Jesus, we would have found that everything around us, no matter how difficult, they will lead to the glory of God…. When the Lord heard about the illness of Lazarus, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.” (John 11:4). We hope that all matters would guide us to reach for the glory of God in our lives, and observe how God is glorified at the conclusions of all matters.

As long as I am in the world, then I am the light of the world

Jesus declares Himself for us… He came to declare to us Himself and for us to have unity with God. For the Lord revealed to us Jesus through His miracles, giving us the awareness and enjoyment of out rights. So Jesus in this miracle, He presents Himself to us, not as a cure for new eyes for a blind person, but presents Himself, even before doing the miracle… He is the light of the world… The blind, not by nature, but by the spirit, are those who sitting in darkness and the shadows of death. To know Jesus is to know the true Light, which lights for every person coming into the world. Whoever follows Jesus, will never walk in darkness, but with the light of Jesus, only then he will enjoy the Light… God who said let there be light from darkness, He is the one who lit into our hearts, to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in Jesus Christ.

After the Lord has pasted the eyes of the born blind with mud, He told him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.” (John 9:7). Here we are before a new creation, and the end of an old birth, according to the earthly body, the end of blindness, the wash with the spiritual water, and light that is rising for the first time. All of these matters indicate to us the idea of our experiences with baptism in our lives. One of the settings and teachings of the church is reading this same chapter of the Bible, when new souls are accepting the blessing of baptism, and acknowledging the secrets of God’s kingdom.

The baptism is seeing the Light

“And we know that the Son of God has come and have given us understanding, that we may know Him who is true.” (1 John 5:20). This is how the beloved St. John teaches us in his first letter. He makes the connection between the birth from God, the light and the love of the brethren. This is the eternal life, in which the church lives as a whole, and was also as recorded by the early fathers, who dwelt in the light.

The new sight, which God offered us with the new creation, is being cleansed in the holy water of baptism. We could say that we don’t look to the temporary things, but to the eternal ones.
The spiritual sight could accept the work of God in secret without argument or debate. For it would be as if the scales have fallen from our eyes as with Saul, and the darkness departed from it. The darkness of ignorance, without faith, when Ananias placed his hands on Saul. God sent Ananias for this, for immediately his sight was restored, Saul got up and was baptized.

The spiritual sight can see the illuminant angelic army, fighting on our behalf, while the world’s forces of evil surround us. We become full of confidence, and shout out saying, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16). As Elisha the prophet said to his disciple, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” (2 Kings 6:17).

The spiritual sight sees with faith in fulfilling God’s commandments, His obedience and love, until the offering of the only begotten Son, like our great father Abraham. It sees beyond the natural senses and crosses all barriers. It can even see God’s ability to raise the dead.
It becomes stronger in faith, to the extent of seeing God. Even Abraham called that place “The-Lord-Will-Provide.” (Gen. 22:14). That is Abraham saw the Lord, he examined His cross, His sacrifice and his resurrection through the sacrifice of love, when he presented Isaac on the altar.

The spiritual sight that we received in baptism; through it we can clearly see the Lord … So we can say with good faith to others about the Lord Jesus, that we saw Him and observed Him with our own eyes. Then we can understand what was written to the Galatians, “Before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified.” (Gal. 3:1).

If we ignore the spiritual sight which we received in baptism then we will fall in the world with its desires, and defile, then this will make our sight weaker, and fatigue will cover our eyes. Therefore we could not be sure of seeing God any more. As the Lord told to the angel of the church of Laodiceans, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked -.” (Rev. 3:17). Here is the weakness of sight, so one couldn’t identify himself and the truth of his condition. And the Lord said, “Anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” (Rev. 3:18). This is the repentance through scolding and divine correctives, the tears of regret and the return to God. The tears of repentance are our repetitive baptism, through which we regain our sight to know God, to know ourselves as well as our activities.

“After you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations.” (Heb. 10:32, 33). Paul the apostle told this to the Hebrews. Because after they accepted the faith and entered into the inheritance of the saints in the Light, they were enlightened in the Holy Spirit, and were subjected to reproaches and tribulations. This is clear when we observe the story of the born blind. For after the Lord opened his eyes, the Pharisees as well as the Jewish leaders subjected him to harsh resistance, and prosecution. Wasn’t that the state of the people in the past, after they went through the sea of baptism, they had to fight Amalek. Therefore, Satan watches our movements as an enemy, since the first instant the Lord opened our eyes through baptism, or by cleansing through tears of repentance… From this instance, Satan stood stirring up storms around us, and stirring up the people against us as if we are strangers in the community.

Do you believe in the Son of God? Lord, I believe! And he worshiped Him

It was not difficult for the human to utter the faith, like Peter, when the Lord opened his sight and he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt.16:16). For Jesus, through His word purifies the heart and cleanse the interior. “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3). The purity of the heart enables us to see God, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8).

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