Faithlife
Faithlife

20080302_sermon

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his is a powerful story without any interpretation. In the world there is a desire to have simple, easy, uncomplicated reasons for things. So you have disciples asking, "Whose sin caused this guy to be blind?" And like any good story there is no cut and dried answer. Instead, as the story unfolds you have this one miracle touch various people in very different ways.

A 2004 movie[1], The Gospel of John, does a good job showing the various groups who are confronted with this miracle. You have a sense of wonder in the man who was born blind. He starts off with a voice, some mud and a command and then suddenly he is reborn into a new world. The movie does a great job of showing the sense of joy and wonder on the man's face as he experiences the sighted world for the first time.

His neighbors are amazed. The discussion is whether or not this is the beggar. And he removes the doubt by admitting it to those who doubt. Perhaps these neighbors had heard of this miracle worker, Jesus, but now something unheard of had happened to someone they knew.

The Pharisees are offended. Unlike the movie, there is no reason to think that he was brought before a Jewish court like the Sanhedrin. Most likely, his neighbors brought him to the priests because they needed to see the miracle for themselves. Yet instead of wonder or amazement they can't get past the calendar, for you see it this happened on a Saturday, the Sabbath.

They are offended that such a thing could happen. There are a couple of ways to deal with it. Deny it, explain it away, or attack the one who caused it. All three failed. The man stood there seeing. And when brought before them, his parents admitted it was their son. And when they attack Jesus, the man simply tells them his own story; "One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"

Then there is the fear felt by his parents. It can't be easy getting our minds around what it meant to be tossed out of the synagogue. It meant being cut off from everything and everyone who you had contact with daily. Your social life was destroyed. You were no longer seen as acceptable to God. You weren't accepted in polite company. Your customers were gone. Your friends were gone. Your family was gone. Remember the scene in Fiddler on the Roof when Tevye's daughter leaves and marries a Russian gentile. To Tevye and everyone else in the community she is dead.

One miracle! One healing! One touch of Jesus' hands and the world of all those around are tossed head over heels. Wonder, anger, fear, outrage, questions, amazement, praise, faith are all part of this saga.

Do you remember what Jesus told his disciples when they asked why this man was born blind? "This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work 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."

This "work of God" is not just healing a blind man. The "work of God" is revealing to those who would see the "light of the world". A natural part of this revelation is to bring judge those who will not see God's revealed salvation. The man sees, doesn't know where Jesus is, declares he is a prophet and from God and finally confesses Him as the Son of Man and Lord.

Not so with the Pharisees, for them Jesus is not from God, he's a sinner, there is no miracle, he has no legitimate or recognized source for his teaching and because they ejected the man from the synagogue they reject Jesus and thus remain blind and in their sin.

When we hear this story do we bow in worship to Jesus and confess Him as Lord? Are we unbelieving and questioning whether such a change could happen at all? Maybe human rules have blinded us to the life changing touch of Jesus or perhaps we're too afraid that if Jesus touches us we might have to do something crazy like leave everything and follow Him?

Come to this table and leave your fear, objections, excuses and doubts behind because Jesus invites us to come, bow and know Him as Lord.


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[1]The videos can be viewed on YouTube. Links for the two segments are below. Please notice John 9 starts at the very end of the first video and then continues on the next. http://youtube.com/watch?v=6CiEEmIaAWw&feature=related at 9:38 of the movie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIrPq8pG6Sk&NR=1

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