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Having faith enough to believe Isaiah

Having faith enough to believe Isaiah

From time to time, my smaller children like to recite their repertoire of nonsense rhymes.  I’m sure you know the kind of thing:

‘Yesterday upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there…’
‘I went to the pictures next Tuesday, and took a front seat at the back…’

These rhymes came to mind this morning as I listened to the prophet Isaiah.  Of course we read the prophets with the 20-20 vision of hindsight, but to their original audience, it must at times have seemed as though they were proclaiming their own ‘nonsense verse’:

The deaf, that day,
will hear the words of a book
and, after shadow and darkness,
the eyes of the blind will see. (Is 29:18)

Who would believe such incongruous words from a prophet?  Who could countenance the possibility of the deaf hearing and the blind seeing?

The blind men in today’s Gospel, that’s who!  They knew that Isaiah’s words were no ‘nonsense verse’, and they trusted that the prophet’s words would find their fulfillment in Jesus:

As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, ‘Take pity on us, Son of David.’ And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up with him and he said to them, ‘Do you believe I can do this?’ They said, ‘Sir, we do.’ Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’ And their sight returned. (Mt 9:27-30)

Jesus asks his question not only of the blind men, but of you and me too:  ‘Do you believe I can do this?’   God has not stopped making promises; nor has he stopped fulfilling them.  If we let him in to our lives, having faith that he can work in ways more wonderful than our wildest imaginings, then we will see the hand of the Lord at work in our day too.


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