Once God appeared to Moses-the-Rescuer and told him that he was the one he had chosen to rescue his people, the Israelites, from the oppression of the Egyptians, Moses-the-Rescuer became Moses-the-Questioner. For, as we’ve seen, when the LORD said to Moses, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt,”[1] Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”[2] The LORD’s response? He answered Moses, “I will be with you.”[3]

When Moses then said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”[4] The LORD’s response? He answered Moses, “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you….’[5] Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,”—that is, Yahweh, the personal name for God—“the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’”[6]

This morning we turn to Moses-the-Questioner’s third question for God. As stated in verse 1 of Exodus 4, Moses went on to ask God, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” This time by way of response, instead of answering Moses with words alone, the LORD said to him, starting with verse 2, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. “The Lord said, ‘Throw it on the ground.’” When Moses did so, “it became a snake, and he ran from it.” Having had Moses perform this action, God then said to him, verse 4, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” Moses did so and the snake “turned back into a staff in his hand.” Now our familiarity with this account may keep us from seeing the wonder of what took place. First of all, a staff turned into a snake. A real snake. A snake that was probably about five-feet long, the length of the staff. A snake frightening enough to cause Moses to run away from it. But perhaps more remarkable is the fact that when the LORD told Moses to grab the snake—the very snake from which he was fleeing—by the tail, Moses did so. Despite the danger. Despite his fear. Moses believed God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; he believed the LORD, Yahweh. The one and only God had just demonstrated that he is God over all, over his entire creation, and therefore able to transform an inanimate object into a dangerous snake—and back again.

But God didn’t stop there in addressing Moses’ concern over being disbelieved. He next told Moses, verse 6, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” Moses again obeyed “and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[7]—it had become as white as snow.” God then told him, verse 7, “Now put it back into your cloak.” Moses continued to obey and “when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.” This was now the second sign God gave in response to Moses’ question. By it God demonstrated that he is God over sickness; and he is God who is able to restore, heal, and make whole again. In doing so, the one and only God had again demonstrated that he is God over all, over his entire creation.

God then told—rather than demonstrated to—Moses a third miracle. As stated beginning with verse 8, the LORD said to him, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.” In promising this, the one and only God was again demonstrating that he is God over all, over his entire creation.

Now having seen, experienced, and participated in two of the signs and having been told about the third, we might think that Moses was at last convinced that the people would believe and listen to him and that, consequently, Moses prepared to meet the Israelites—but we would be wrong in thinking so. For despite God’s patience and reassurance in responding to each of his concerns, the once-bold Moses continued to resist this particular calling from God. As stated in verse 10, he said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” In Moses’ defense, he no doubt understood the enormity of what God was asking him to do. Who among us wouldn’t feel hesitant to follow through with such a task? For despite our noting last week the ways in which Moses seemed uniquely suited for this work,[8] Moses was taken up with his fears and inadequacies. He didn’t see his strengths, but only the many ways he fell short of such a task—he’d never been eloquent; his speech was slow, and so was his tongue. But to focus on Moses’ strengths or weaknesses is to miss the point. This wasn’t about who Moses was or how well-suited he might be for the task. No, the point is about who God is and what he had promised, namely, “I will be with you.”[9] To use Paul’s language if God who is God over all, who is God over all creation, is for us, who can be against us[10]? “No one” is the only correct answer.

Indeed, as the LORD, as Yahweh, went on to state, verse 11: “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” God is the one who gave us mouths. He gave us ears. Therefore, he can cause those mouths to be mute or ears to be deaf. God gave us sight. But he can also make those eyes blind—and surely it couldn’t have escaped Moses’ notice that God had provided a visual aid to this teaching in having made his hand leprous and then restoring it to wholeness again! The buck stops with God who is God over all, over the entire creation he has made. God has no equal. But Moses had yet to embrace these truths. He had yet to embrace what Job had understood from the start of his trials: God gives; God takes away. Blessed be the Name of the LORD![11]

Next God told Moses, verse 12, “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” With this, the LORD, Yahweh, was letting Moses know how he would be with him. Moses wouldn’t be alone in his task. He who made mouths would help him speak. He who gave brains would teach him what he had to say. But Moses still balked saying, verse 13, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” God, please send someone else. Anyone else. Moses could handle being a rescuer on a small scale but not large. Having been raised in a Pharaoh’s home, he knew what power the Pharaohs had; he knew what they could do. Moses had seen the suffering the Pharaohs had inflicted upon his fellow Israelites—a servitude Moses himself had been spared—and he didn’t feel confident that he would be able to convince his fellow Israelites that he was the one God had chosen to rescue them.

God was not pleased with Moses’ response. As stated in verse 14, “Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses….” Yet despite his anger, God in his compassion nonetheless condescended to Moses in choosing someone to help him in his task. And God didn’t choose just anyone to assist him. No, God chose to give Moses someone he knew well. God chose to give Moses his older brother Aaron. As stated beginning with the remainder of verse 14, God said to Moses:

What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.

If Moses wasn’t up to the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt by himself, God would provide a helper for him in the form of his big brother Aaron—and it’s worth reminding ourselves that at this point in their lives Moses was eighty years old and Aaron was eighty-three![12] Both men were from the tribe of Levi, Jacob and Leah’s third child.[13] In Moses’ assigned task, God would use both men as his prophets, as those who would deliver the message they received from God to his people. At times Aaron would speak the words given him by Moses; at others, God would help both of them speak and teach. Aaron would, in effect, become Moses’ mouthpiece. But Moses would still be the one to perform signs with his staff in hand. With that staff, Moses like a shepherd would lead God’s people under the guidance, equipping, and counsel of God who is God over all; of God who himself is a loving Shepherd who cares for and watches over his entire creation.[14]

In turning to our New Testament passage, I’ve chosen an account about Jesus that yet again displays the continuity displayed between God—the LORD, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and Jesus the Christ, God’s promised Messiah who himself is God over all, over his entire creation. For as the LORD made known to Moses that he is the one who gave humans mouths—and therefore is able to make humans deaf or mute—or give them sight or make them blind—so did Jesus demonstrate these divine abilities. In fact, earlier in Luke 7, Jesus healed the servant of a centurion without ever seeing him[15] and raised from death the son of a widow by simply touching the bier he had been laid upon and ordering him to get up.[16] Is it any wonder that, consequently, the people were “filled with awe and praised God”[17]?!

For news of these miraculous events couldn’t be contained. As stated in verse 17, “This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.” This news even reached the prison cell where John the Baptist,[18] Jesus’ kinsman,[19] was anticipating his death. (As we know, John the Baptist would die by being beheaded by Herod at Herodias’ request.[20]) As stated beginning with verse 18, “John’s disciples told him about all these things.” Therefore, “Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” John, of course, knew that Jesus was “the one who is to come” for he had testified upon seeing Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”[21] Throughout his life John had known that pointing others to Jesus was the reason for his entire ministry. As we noted last week, he is the one who baptized Jesus and declared, “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”[22] Yet when faced with the reality of death, of his own mortality, John needed to be sure. Therefore he sent word to Jesus—and notice that Luke identifies Jesus as “the Lord,” that is, Yahweh, God’s personal name—to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Before providing Jesus’ response, in verse 21 Luke summarizes Jesus’ ministry: “At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind.” Jesus hadn’t simply healed the centurion’s servant; he hadn’t simply raised the widow’s son from death. No, by his compassion and power he had cured many who suffered from both physical ailments—diseases, sicknesses, blindness—and spiritual ones, “evil spirits.” And knowing that John the Baptist knew Scripture, Jesus answered him with Scripture, telling John’s messengers, verses 22–23, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight,[23] the lame walk,[24] those who have leprosy are cleansed,[25] the deaf hear,[26] the dead are raised,[27] and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.[28] 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Jesus didn’t want John to stumble. He wanted him to have faith in who Jesus is. He wanted him to have confidence in who Jesus is. Therefore he told John who he is by telling him about all he had done and how, in doing so, he had fulfilled Scripture.

Think about Jesus’ response to John the Baptist here. As the LORD, as Yahweh, told Moses about his creating human mouths and therefore having ability to give speech or make mute; to give hearing or make deaf; to give sight or make blind[29]—so, too, did Jesus testify about his ability to give the blind sight—and the lame the ability to walk—and to cleanse the leper (even as God made Moses’ hand turn leprous and then restored it again[30])—and to give hearing to the deaf—and life to the dead—and bring good news to the poor. These are things that only God, who made everything that exists and who is therefore God over all, can do. And these are things that Jesus Christ, who as God made everything that exists[31] and who is therefore God over all, also did.

But, again, Jesus wasn’t just able to do the things that are the prerogatives of God alone. He also came to fulfill the Scriptures God had given. And this, no doubt, was what would bring genuine comfort to his beloved kinsman, John the Baptist. For in his response, Jesus alluded to a prophecy from Isaiah the prophet who declared, “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.’”[32] And notice what Isaiah declared next about the coming of God, of Messiah: “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs.”[33] Make no mistake. Jesus knew that in telling how he was fulfilling these Messianic deeds John would recognize that he, Jesus, was indeed the living—and life-giving—water,[34] God’s promised Messiah, the Christ who had arrived with divine retribution over God’s enemies to save and deliver from Satan and evil all who believe in him. For Jesus was—and is—God over all. Jesus was—and is—God over his entire creation. And as stated in verse 23, those who believe in—rather than stumble on account of him—are those who are blessed.

Dear sisters and brothers, it’s highly unlikely that God will ever ask you or me to take on a task like the one he asked Moses to do. Yet like Moses, you and I are asked to be faithful even in the small things.[35] But despite the differences in the particulars, let us learn from Moses’ account. When faced with the tasks and responsibilities over which God has allowed us to be stewards, let’s not focus on our abilities; when faced with the tasks and responsibilities over which God has allowed us to be stewards, let’s not focus on the ways in which we feel we may fall short. No, in all things,

Let us focus on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;

Let us focus on the God who tells us his personal name, the LORD, Yahweh;

Let us focus on God who not only has revealed his personal name but in Christ, in Messiah, in his eternal Son has appeared to us in the flesh;

Let us focus upon our dear Lord Jesus who came to bring sight to the blind—and hearing to the deaf—and good news to the poor—and to give the lame the ability to walk—and to cleanse the leper—and to give eternal life by his eternal Holy Spirit to all who are dying.

Let us not ask, as Moses did, “Who am I?” No, let us instead focus upon God by asking, “Who are You?”: For he is God over all, over his entire creation; he is God who is with us; he is God who is for us; he is God in Christ who has come to take away our sins and deliver us from both physical and spiritual evil. Let us ever turn to him and praise and glorify his precious name!

Let us pray.

[1] Exodus 3:10.

[2] Exodus 3:11.

[3] Exodus 3:12.

[4] Exodus 3:13.

[5] Exodus 3:14.

[6] Exodus 3:15.

[7] The Hebrew word for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

[8] As noted in the sermon preached on July 25, 2021, God Inexhaustible! on Exodus 3:11–22: “At the same time, in considering Moses’ objection, I couldn’t help but think: “Moses! You’re the perfect person to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt. For one, having been raised in a previous Pharaoh’s household, you know well the Egyptians’ protocol and customs. Too, as an Israelite yourself, you demonstrated your heart for your fellow Hebrews in confronting the Egyptian man beating the Hebrew as well as the fellow Hebrew beating another Hebrew. And, finally, with your finely-developed ‘justice gene’ that is unable to tolerate any kind of inequity or cruelty, you additionally stepped in to rescue seven daughters—one of whom is now your wife—when the shepherds wouldn’t allow them to water their father’s flock. Therefore, you know the importance of rescuing others. How perfect that God who desires to rescue all of his people from evil, sin, and suffering would choose you to rescue his suffering and oppressed people from Pharaoh and the Egyptian slave masters!”

[9] Exodus 3:12.

[10] Romans 8:31.

[11] Job 1:21. NIV translates as, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

[12] As stated in Exodus 7:7: Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

[13] Genesis 29:31–34: 31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” 33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. 34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.

[14] See Psalm 23 (The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want) and John 10 (Jesus states that he is the good shepherd).

[15] Luke 7:1–10: 1 When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

[16] Luke 7:11–16: 11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.”

[17] Luke 7:16: They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.”

[18] That John the Baptist was in prison is noted in verse 2 of Matthew’s account, Matthew 11:1–6: 1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

[19] As the angel Gabriel said to Mary, Jesus’ mother, when he appeared to her concerning Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, Luke 1:36:Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.

[20] Matthew 14:1–12: 1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet. 6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.; Mark 6:14–29: 14 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 15 Others said, “He is Elijah.” And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.” 16 But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!” 17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. 21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23 And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” 24 She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered. 25 At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.; Luke 9:9: But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him.

[21] John 1:29–21.

[22] John 1:32–34. See also Matthew 3:16–17: 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”; Mark 1:9–11:At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”; Luke 3:21–23a: 21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

[23] See Luke 4:18–19: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”; Luke 18:35–43: 35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.

[24] See Luke 5:17–26: 17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

[25] See Luke 5:12–16: 12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

[26] See Isaiah 29:18: In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.; Isaiah 35:5: Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.; Isaiah 42:18: Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see!

[27] As already noted above, Luke 7:11–16, records how he brought back to life the widow’s son. See also Luke 8:49–56: 49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” 50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” 51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.; Acts 9:36–43: 36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

[28] See Luke 4:18–19: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” [quoting Quoting Isaiah 61:1–2 (v. 3 added here): Isaiah 61:1–3: 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.; See also Isaiah 58:6: Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?; Luke 6:20: Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God…;” Luke 14:13–14, 21: 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous…. 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

[29] Exodus 4:11: The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?

[30] Exodus 4:6–7:Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow. “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

[31] John 1:1–3, 10: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made….10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.; 1 Corinthians 8:6:  yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.; Colossians 1:15–17: 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

[32] Isaiah 35:3–4.

[33] Isaiah 35:5–7. See also Isaiah 29:18–21: 18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. 19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the Lord; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down—21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.; Isaiah 61:1–3: 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

[34] As Jesus told the Samaritan woman, John 4:10: “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” See also John 7:37–39: 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

[35] Luke 16:10: Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.