December 3 – Twenty-eighth Sunday after Pentecost (11th of Luke), Tone 1 Luke 18:35-43
The Creator of Faith: Luke 18:35-43, especially vs. 42: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight: your faith
has made you well.’” Reflecting on the Lord Jesus’ healing of the blind man at Jericho, Saint Ephrem the Syrian
observes, “Light came into the world to give sight to the blind and faith to those who lacked it” (Commentary on
Tatian’s Diatessaron, p. 241). Today’s passage from Saint Luke’s gospel reveals that the Lord constantly is
creating faith and saving men and women thereby. It confirms the Apostle Paul’s declaration that the Lord Jesus
is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2).
The Evangelist Luke reveals how Christ authors faith in human hearts. First, He creates a climate
conducive to faith, encouraging us to trust in Him. Then He calls on us – and on all who are in need – to trust
Him. The passage also shows us how the Lord completes trust in Himself by giving those who come to Him
tangible opportunities to express that trust directly. Christ’s grace always is active, working in advance of our
trust. The Lord Jesus’ grace creates faith within us, so that we may respond to Him and thus be saved.
The encounter between the Lord and the blind beggar at Jericho thus holds up dual truths: that “by grace
you have been saved” and that salvation comes through faith – that is, “when faith is exercised” (see Eph 2:8).
This portion of Luke’s gospel demonstrates that salvation is synergistic, depending on cooperation between man
Let us review the sequence of events. A blind man hears a multitude passing and asks, “what it meant”
(Lk 19:36). He learns “that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by” (vs. 37). He reacts instantaneously by crying out
to the Lord (vs. 38).
Strange? Not really. The Lord’s fame and notoriety as a healer are already well known by this time. The
Lord Jesus has been preaching to the poor and healing various diseases (vs. 4:40), including the restoration of
sight to many blind persons (vs. 7:21). His care and compassion attract huge crowds (vs. 8:19). The beggar
doubtless knows about Jesus. Perhaps he has heard about Jesus feeding a crowd of 5,000 (vs. 9:12-17) or giving
life to the dead (vs. 7:11-18).
Christ continues to perform healings today. As we hear the Gospels read to us, one account after another,
we find grounds for trusting Him. Despite the doubt permeating society around us, the wonders of God continue
to shine in and through His Church. Truly, Christ our God not only responds to faith in Him but continues to
create trust in our own day.
When the blind man cries out irrepressibly, the Lord calls him to Himself (vs. 18:40). The Lord Jesus
energizes our faith by calling us to Him when we wish to have Him act in our lives. The Parable of the Importunate
Widow describes a woman who drives a judge to distraction until he gives her vengeance. By such illustrations
the Lord encourages us to appeal to God (vss. 2-7).
Let us pay close attention to the behavior of the blind beggar, for we too are blind beggars. If we cry out
to the Lord from the darkness of our hesitant faith, He will call us to Himself. Let us ignore the voices around us
that ask, “What is the use? If God exists, will He reverse or change these conditions?” Or the voice inside that
insists, “You are not important enough!” The Creator is not abandoning us to duress and dark doubt. Cry out to
When the blind man stands up and comes before Jesus, the Lord gives him a chance to exercise faith. He
asks him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (vs. 41). Do we suppose that the Lord does not already know
what the blind man wants? Of course not – yet the Creator of faith allows us to venture in faith to learn how it
influences Him. We must take a faltering step and try believing, even if only a little.