Sermon – The Third Sunday of Luke 2023
The Third Sunday of Luke
By V. Rev. Timothy Baclig
October 8, 2023
Today’s Gospel lesson teaches us that the resurrection power of Jesus was already at work in His earthly ministry. This passage tells us about Jesus’ first resurrection miracle. Two other accounts of resurrection miracles by Jesus are given in Luke 8:40-56 (also Matthew 9:18-26 and Mark 5:21-43) and John 11:1-44. They include: 1) the account of the Jarius’s daughter who purposely sought the Lord’s help for his daughter “who lay dying,” and 2) at the beginning of Great and Holy Week we hear of the resurrection of Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, the friend of the Lord. With each case, death was the inevitable end as each person faced the ultimate end of their earthly life.
Christ spoke of His own miracles as signs—not proofs. When Jesus was asked for incontrovertible proof of His origins and mission, He absolutely refused because any proof would destroy the free response of Christian faith and morality. Faith may be helped by miracles, but it is never dependent upon them. Many people witnessed Jesus’ miracles but did not firmly believe in Him and some even accused Him of doing miracles by the power of Satan (Mark 3:20-30). Thus a miracle cannot replace faith, nor can we prove Christ’s divine Sonship by His miracles because He Himself is the greatest miracle; the Divine Son of God who we are called to accept through faith, as He taught.
Finally, miracles and healings witness to the redeeming presence and compassionate love of God. Their purpose is not to show how great a Christian, or a Christian group, or even a Christian Church is, but instead: Miracles and healings are the evidence of how great God is! God is God! And as God, He cannot be denied the freedom to act in the context of humble, living faith.
O Christ, our God, who has trampled down death, made powerless the devil and given life to the world, through the intercessions of the young man of the widow, Jarius’ daughter, and your friend, Lazarus who you raised from the dead, grant us your peace and consolation in times of sorrow and sadness. Grant us the vision of your heavenly Kingdom and the spirits of the righteous. May we together with them be made perfect by your love and strengthened by your power. For Thou art the Resurrection and the Life and the repose of our beloved who are now with Thee, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory: to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. A-men.