March 2, 2019

Blessed Are the Eyes that See What You See

March 2, 2019


Psalm 99
Deuteronomy 9:15-24
Luke 10:21-24
This weekend’s reading: Luke 9:28-36

Reading Moses’ continuing condemnation of the sins of God’s people (Deut 9:15-24) reminded me of Harry Emerson Fosdick’s great hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory” (UMH 577) with the line, “Lo! the hosts of evil round us.” We think of Moses’ time as primitive, and yet the evils he describes beset our own time as well: pride, warring madness, wanton greed, “rich in things and poor in soul.” The hymn reminds us that God still has power, or as Psalm 99 says, “The Lord reigns; let the nations tremble.” We pray to be saved from fear and “weak resignation” when all around us seems chaotic and deplorable. God is still in charge. The psalm shows that God raises up just and right leaders, who call on God’s name and keep God’s statues. May we be given wisdom and courage to encourage such leaders to guide us.
Luke 10:21-24 is a picture of hope. Jesus is joyful! Jesus rejoices because of what God has revealed to his disciples, not because they are learned or particularly insightful, but because they have accepted Jesus without reservation as a child would. They know and follow Jesus for who he is and what he does and where he comes from. By seeing Jesus with eyes that God has opened, they are seeing God as no one before them has seen God. The joy of seeing—and seeing here is believing—comes to the disciples and to Jesus through the Holy Spirit. What is it that they see that others don’t? The coming of God’s kingdom, a taste of what it is like to live where Jesus reigns. As Jesus tells John’s disciples: “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.” (Lk 7:22-23)


  • Look at Isaiah 61:1-2; 65:17-24 and Luke 4:16-19, passages that are similar to the verses above from Luke 7 in describing God’s reign. Talk about how we can begin to bring God’s reign to reality now.
  • Find Isaac Watts’s hymn “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun,” #157 in the UM Hymnal or online, and let this hymn guide you in prayer.


  • John Middleton, a retired Methodist elder from the Memphis Conference, wrote a hymn to honor Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Rev. Middleton uses the words of Jesus to describe the living of the dream.
  • His hymn, “Come, Let Us Dream,” can be found here. Read or sing the hymn together and talk about the dream and the reality of Jesus’ kingdom.

God who reigns over all, we give you thanks for your strong arm that protects us and your tender care that comforts us. Give us courage to work for your reign of peace. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” For Jesus’ sake. Amen.