Reflections: June 1, 2021
By Jeffrey Horn
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Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind." (John 9:39)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In John 9 we see a man with tremendous courage. He had been born blind, and Jesus had given him sight. It was such an amazing miracle that everyone was praising Jesus, which caused the Jewish leaders to bring the healed man before the synagogue. The man proclaimed boldly that Jesus had to be from God. For this confession of faith, he was kicked out of the synagogue and was made an outcast.
The leaders of the synagogue wanted to condemn Christ by threatening those who believed in Him. This man knew that once he was blind but now could see. He would rather stay with the One who gave him sight than sit with the ones who preferred blindness.
Today the Church remembers Justin Martyr (100 – 165). Justin lived most of his life in spiritual blindness until he heard the Gospel and was drawn to faith in Christ. He was well-educated and used his gifts to defend the Christian faith and to teach others the truth. During a time of Roman persecution, he and six of his students were put on trial. They were told that if they sacrificed to the Roman gods, they could go free. Justin and his students refused because they would not worship another God. They trusted in Jesus alone, so all of them were beheaded.
Justin's witness of Christ has encouraged believers ever since. The Holy Spirit drew Justin to faith. When he was on trial, the Holy Spirit strengthened him and give him the words to say. What Jesus said in Mark 13:11 proved true: "And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit."
Jesus saved the blind man and He saved Justin. The Holy Spirit gave courage to them both when they needed it. Jesus saved you and He promises to give you courage in need. We thank God that He was there for both of these men. We also thank Him that He is there for us, building us up in faith through His Word. He will give you the strength you need for each day. No matter what comes, God is faithful. You can trust Him. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, You found Your martyr Justin wandering from teacher to teacher, searching for the true God. Grant that all who seek for a deeper knowledge of the sublime wisdom of Your eternal Word may be found by You, who sent Your Son to seek and to save the Lost; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
-Rev. Jeffrey Horn is the pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA.
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