Based on Biblical Text John 9:1
And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth.
Jesus saw a man who was blind from his birth. This is every one of us! We are blind at birth, until we have an encounter with Jesus.
It is significant that the writer chooses this particular blind man. There are other occasions in the Bible where Jesus had healed blind people; however, there is no record of one born blind. There are more miracles recorded where sight is restored, but no one else was noted as having been born blind. This was one of the miracles reserved for God alone through Jesus.
Jesus sees this condition that no one else can solve. The man’s condition was not the result of a tragic accident, or debilitating disease. This man was born blind! The man had a congenital condition for which there was no known medical cure.
This is the plight of every human being born into this world. We are born blind. We cannot see things as they really are. We are not able to help ourselves, or to really provide for ourselves. We are blind. Perhaps not physically, but spiritually and we find ourselves unable to comprehend the kingdom of God.
Interestingly, the disciples saw the blind man too. They, however, were moved to theological investigation. They were concerned more with “Who sinned?” Their religious perspective reminded them that disease and affliction was the result of sin in the life of the individual or some one in his family tree. Someone had to do something for which he was now paying the price. However, no matter the question, the answer could not bring this man sight.
In our church today, there is always that group who seems to be moved to theological discourse rather than Christian activity. For them there is a need to explain away the problem. There is a need to arrive at some kind of rational answer to the situation to satisfy their curiosity or their fears. The problem is that this blind man didn’t need a theological verdict; he needed a cure!
We find ourselves, years later, still engaged in the same senseless inquisition. We still need to know why. Why did this happen? Why is that happening? Who sinned? However the truth is that, while the answers may bring some sense of accomplishment, they do nothing to remedy our blindness. We spend far too much of our time asking the inappropriate questions!
Jesus let His disciples know, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned.” Note that Jesus did not say no one sinned, He said that this man’s predicament is not the result of sin. It is a fact that our sinful predicament is the result of the fall of Adam, and we can be certain that this man and his parents had sinned somewhere along the line. However what Jesus wants us to know is that is not the cause of his blind condition. The fact is he was born blind. In the same manner we must understand that the conditions we find ourselves in are not necessarily the result of something we did wrong. We are sinners at birth! The Bible reminds us that we are conceived in sin and shaped in iniquity. The question then becomes not “Why am I a sinner,” or “why am I blind?” but rather, what can be done about it!
In our text, we learn something about the work of God. The first thing we lean is that this is not a general treatment, but rather it is a specific application. Jesus healed many people in many different ways. However this story suggests that not everyone is going to receive healing from God in the same manner, even if they have the same problem. We cannot reduce the saving, delivering work of God to one formula or mere denominational prejudice. Secondly we see that God will sometimes use methods that we think are strange.
God has always compelled us toward the unorthodox. We are taught, “If you want to be forgiven you must forgive. We are constantly challenged that if we want to be delivered, we must praise God in our present situation. If we want to get out of debt, we are commanded to give unselfishly. Certainly His ways are not our ways! His ways defy human understanding. We must conclude that the method is not the main thing, the miracle is.
In our text we find that God defying human logic employs a method that appears unsanitary and would seem to only make matters worse. To cure this man’s blindness, Jesus takes mud and puts it in his eyes right on the spot where the problem is. Jesus tells him “Go wash!”
One more thing we can learn from this text is that God seems to have used irritation to move the man to obedience. The mud would irritate the eye, causing discomfort and pain. The dirt and grit under the eyelid would cause the man to rub his eyes and seek relief from the pain. Could that be the answer! Could it be that this man given such a strange prescription, may not have gone to wash, had his eyes not been irritated? Irritation forced him to the pool.
Many times we stay in our pitiful situation waiting for a miracle that does not require the exercise of our own faith. God irritates our condition, to force us to the “pool.” God will touch us and points us to the healing waters, but He won’t make us go. We have to go ourselves, by faith!
Can’t you see the blind man running and stumbling on his way to the pool? Surely he must be thinking, “If I can just get to the pool.” “Life has been rough, but if I can just get to the pool!” The Bible says that he went to the pool, washed and he came home seeing. Situations that once looked hopeless now had hope. Things that were dark before now had the light of the Word. He once was blind but now he could see.
The man was healed as a result of his faith in Jesus, but his faith was made manifest when he washed. It doesn’t matter what the condition is, just get to the pool! It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in your condition, just get to the pool! “Oh happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away; He taught me how to fight and pray and live rejoicing every day.”
As we approach the Sabbath
Sunday, January 12, 2014, is the Third Sunday after the Ephiphany.
Join our Worship Experience at 8:00 am and 11:00 am.
Church School begins at 9:45 am.
Scripture Lesson for this Sunday
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
There is a Word from the Lord!
Sermon Texts Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Sermon Title Thank God for Second Chances!