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Faithlife

Hard to Believe

Messiah not just Miracle Worker  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

It’s Going to Work Out

Marriage

Being part of a good marriage will cost you something.
I no longer get to do just what I want to do.
Play golf all I want.
Spend money on what I want
Go out w/ whomever, whenever I want
I need to be considerate of Sara.
The Bible says I need to think of her first.
It tells her to think of me first.
This selfless attitude is what makes a marriage work
And, when the marriage works better together, everything works out better for us individually.
Make the necessary sacrifices for a good marriage and my life is better in general.

Parenting

Parenting is the same. Good parenting will cost you, dearly.
The money we spent on ourselves BC: before kids.
Uniforms, braces, french horns, guitars, saxophones, marimbas, piano lessons, baseball gloves, nights at the ballparks, concerts, band competitions, and on and on.
But, the sacrifices we made for our kids made us a stronger family and we actually enjoy each other’s company today as adults.
When the family works better as a unit, it works better for each individual.

Church

Church is the same. A good church requires sacrifices by all.
The time put in by the choir and Lee, children’s leaders, men’s and women’s ministry leaders, elders, BS leaders and students.
This is a very generous church, financially, speaking.
The sacrifices made by all make this a better church. And, as the church functions better, individuals are blessed.

Our Walk with God

And, each of us and our individual walk w/ God is also the same.
God is going to do whatever most glorifies Himself no matter what it costs us.
There was a cost to Him, too.
It cost Jesus time in heaven and His life on earth.
But, whatever most glorifies God will end up working out for us.
How do we know? Miracle #27
.
John 9:1–41 NIV
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said. They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided. Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
There was a man who was blind on earth but will see forever.
And, it begins with the question we all ask when life is a struggle.

Why?

John 9:1–7 NIV
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

Why him?

Blind since birth.
Question of ‘fairness’. Who sinned?
The implication is God wouldn’t do this to a good person.
Someone is to blame. There has t/b a reason.
Job’s friends.
We do it to ourselves, too.
Expect to be treated better if we act better and if we struggle we assume we did something to cause it.
No one sinned to cause this.
That’s not fair! True.
This was no accident. God wanted it to happen, planned it, timed it so that Jesus could deal w/ it this day.
At this moment God will be able to demonstrate His power and glory for us.
There will be a “Wow” factor.
Here’s how He did it.
Here’s to mud in your eye!

Why mud?

Spits in the dirt, makes mud, smears it on his eyes, then tells him to go wash it off in the Pool of Siloam.
Siloam = Sent. Sent him to the “Pool of the Sent”
Immediate obedience results in immediate healing.
And, it gave Jesus the chance to get away before the crowd realized what had happened.
There is so much about this that is simply hard to believe.

Hard to Believe

Same guy? Must be a twin!

John 9:8–9 NIV
His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
John 9:13–18 NIV
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided. Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents.
Hard to believe it’s the same guy. It looks like him.
Can both be true? The man who used t/b blind and now he sees?!
All their lives they knew this guy, pitied him, helped him, talked about him behind his back, assuming someone sinned.
NO! It’s me! It’s really me.
He’s having a hard time convincing them.
Who did this? And, how?
He goes thru the whole process. And in that process never even got Jesus’ name.
Hard to believe he didn’t even catch Jesus’ name. Then, didn’t believe IN Him to save him.
He didn’t know who He is, where He went, nothing.
The man had no faith IN Jesus. Yet, Jesus healed him.
This is Messianic fulfillment stuff. .
Take him to the Pharisees so they can deal w/ him.
Notice Jesus did this on the Sabbath. So you know what they were more concerned w/.
Jesus never broke God’s law.
Their tradition, however...
What Jesus did, did not break the law.
This guy comes to them, had been blind since birth, now he sees, and rather than celebrate w/ him and acknowledge Jesus is the Messiah, they quiz him regarding Jesus breaking the Sabbath tradition.
Such a dilemma. Conflicted in their minds.
A man of God wouldn’t break the law. Jesus didn’t!
A man not of God couldn’t do this. Jesus did.
Well??!! But they didn’t want to believe in Jesus.
If they did they would indict themselves for their behavior.
Solution: It must be his twin!
Call in his parents!

Pressure on his parents

John 9:19–23 NIV
“Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
J
Questions:
Is this your son?
Was he really blind?
How do you explain this?
Answers:
Yes. Yes. Ask him! Not going there! Dodge the question!
Just like the pennant race. The Pharisees whom Jesus called a “Brood of vipers”; snakes. Diamondbacks.
And the parents, Dodgers
Who’s going to win this. It looks like the Dodgers win this one.
The Pharisees totally missed this one.
Hard to believe they missed it so bad. Fulfillment of and they’re more concerned about their traditions.
A “sinner” couldn’t do this.
The parents, like everyone else had been warned that if they bel’d Jesus t/b the Messiah they’d be kicked out of the synagogue.
No worship, no atonement for sin, no fellowship, cast out.
So, the parents weren’t going to get backed into that corner.
They get nowhere w/ the parents so they turn back to the man to deal with their contradictions and conflicts.

Contradictions and conflicts

John 9:24–34 NIV
A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
John 9:
No more lies! Tell the truth!
Then they ask him a question he can’t answer.
The obvious simple answers are the best at ending an argument.
Is He a sinner? IDK.
What I do know is “I was blind but now I see.”
And, why so many questions? Do you want to be his disciples too?
This is the high point of the passage. It all turns here.
Arrogance makes you look ignorant and immature.
Playground argument now.
Oh yeah? No, you do. No, you. No you....
We don’t even know where He’s from!
Really?! The blind guy who’s uneducated is about to school the “experts” in the law.
They did know where he was from; Nazareth. Not necessarily from God.
You’re experts in this.
If He’s not from God then He couldn’t do this.
But He did...
If He is from God and you deny it, you’re in trouble!
No one had ever been blind since birth and healed.
All the others whom Jesus had healed had lost their sight sometime during their lifetime.
Only God could do this. So, if Jesus did it, what’s the obvious conclusion?
Hard to believe they missed this.
This man showed no faith before, some time during this exchange w/ the Pharisees he came to believe what should have been obvious to everyone.
Jesus is the Messiah. And the man accepted Him as his Messiah.

Now he believes

John 9:35–41 NIV
Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
He had never seen Jesus before. Last time he left w/ the mud on his eyes.
So, when Jesus came up to him he wouldn’t have recognized him.
Maybe the voice.
The point Jesus makes to the man is. for those who think they see the truth, they are really blind.
They don’t know what they don’t know.
But, for those who admit their blindness and ask Jesus to help them see, He will.
They know they don’t know. But, we know the One Who does.
Not only did Jesus give this man the ability to see both literally and spiritually. He also gave him the ability to speak truth.
When he was in his discussion with the Pharisees God gave him the words.
This is just like the blind and mute men Jesus had healed before.
Sit here this morning thinking you know everything? Then you don’t know how blind you really are.
Those who realize their blind ignorance, Jesus will open your eyes at the appropriate time to see what you need to see.
We have t/b humble enough to admit there is much about God and how He works we don’t know.
Be open to God surprising you.
About the time we think we have God figured out He does something unexpected that He had planned a long time ago.
God is going to do whatever most glorifies Himself no matter what it costs us.
But, He would never ask more of us than He has given to us.
Hang on! It’s going to work out.

Applications

Life’s not fair

And we should be thrilled!
One of the lessons we taught our kids is life isn’t fair.
Bad things happen to good people, good things to bad.
Events can seem arbitrary, random.
That said, God is sovereign and in control of everything including our salvation.
Be thrilled we don’t get what we deserve. God is far better to us than we could ever earn.
That’s not fair!

Stay humble

Arrogance makes you look ignorant and immature.
Accept that there is a lot you don’t know about God and how He works.
Be glad no one is smart enough to understand all of God.
Know that you don’t know everything there is to know.
We don’t know everything but we know who does.
Stay humble and expect to be surprised by God.

How? or Who?

Too often we struggle to understand how things work when we should struggle to understand Who is at work.
God is doing things we will never be able to figure our nor completely understand.
And, even God is too big to understand. But, we have what we need to know more about the character and person of God.
Be less concerned w/ how things happen and more concerned about Who is making it happen.
You will discover the character of God in what He does in your life.
Your situation may be hard but if God is glorifying Himself in it, It’s
God is going to do whatever most glorifies Himself no matter what it costs us.
There was a cost to Him, too.
It cost Jesus time in heaven and His life on earth.
God will never ask more of us than He has already given Himself.
And, when He glorifies Himself in our circumstances, in the long run it’s going to work out great for us.
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