If you are a pastor or lay person who wants to use this to preach in church – that is why I posted it. I don’t care about credit, I only care that God’s word is preached and Christ is glorified. I pray He uses this sermon in a mighty way through you. You have my permission to alter it and use it however God leads you. God bless you in your ministry. You can listen to the actual sermon by clicking here or download it as an mp3 by right clicking and clicking “save as” here. You can also bookmark this to check out the other free written sermons on my blog.
6 Healing of the man born blind -
This is Signs in John, week 6, The healing of the man born blind. If I could give it a subtitle, which I guess I can, I would call it, Based on what I know (and see) right now.
This is similar to the story of the healing of the paralytic – Jesus comes to him, the man doesn’t know who He is. Jesus gets caught again healing on the Sabbath, but this time he goes even further as Jewish teaching at the time said you shall not heal with saliva or dirt.
James McDonald asked What’s worse -
A. someone throwing dirt in your eyes
B. spitting in your eyes?
C. – All the above.
If someone spits in dirt and rubs it in your eyes, you’d be motivated to wash it off – he washes it off and Waa Laa – He can see. Another Miracle and more scrutiny from the religious leaders. We use the term Pharisees, and that’s what they were, but remember that they were the religious leaders at that time. It would be the equivalent of me, Jason Simpkins, Ron Branch, and Brian May.
People see that he’s no longer blind, bring him before the religious leaders.
This is a the original Dragnet. Just the facts, ma’am.
How did you receive your sight? “He put clay on my eyes, I washed it off, and I could see.”
Some discussion ensues, some say the person who did this couldn’t be from God because He wouldn’t have done it on the Sabbath. Others disagreed and said if He wasn’t from God, how could he heal a blind man?
I know, maybe he wasn’t really blind! It’s like a snake oil salesman.
Where are his parents? They bring them in and ask, Is this your son, was he born blind, and if so how does he now see?
The parents are afraid – They don’t want to get kicked out of the synagogue. It wasn’t like they could go to the synagogue down the street. This was THE synagogue. If you’re out, you’re out.
The parents say we can tell you this much, it is our son, he was blind, and now he sees. Don’t ask us how, ask him.
So they call him back in, and tell him to give God the glory. And admit Jesus is a sinner.
Even though the blind man doesn’t know who healed him, the Pharisees know who it was.
By this time, they’re all too familiar with Jesus. What the Pharisees don’t see is that the man who used to be blind IS giving God the glory!
I don’t know if He’s a sinner. I know I was blind and now I see.
So the Pharisees again ask, what did He do to you, how do you see?
If he had a lawyer, they’d object. They’re badgering the witness, your honor.
The guy doesn’t need a lawyer, I told you already. Why are you asking me again? Do you want to be his disciple?
They know who they follow, they followed the teachings of Moses.
And the guy makes his closing argument.
The guy says, I for one, think it’s pretty awesome that He opened my eyes. We know God doesn’t hear sinners, and He definitely heard this man, so this man can’t be a sinner. Nobody’s ever restored sight to the blind. He must be from God.
The Pharisees cast him out, excommunicating the guy. You’re no longer welcome in the synagogue.
Jesus hears this, meets up with the guy, and introduces Himself. I’m the Son of God, and you are??
And the guy believes and worships Jesus.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the subtitle of this message is,
Based on what I know (and see) right now.
Our judgment is always influenced by what we already know.
For example, We know not to drink water out of the toilet. Dogs don’t know this. If you didn’t know, or if you were a little kid who’d never been taught, you’d better figure out if you’re better off putting the seat up so you don’t get your head stuck in the seat, or leave the seat down so it doesn’t slam down on your neck.
I remember seeing a guy named Steve who brought an Auca Indian named Mincaye to the United States. Mincaye went in to take a shower. Steve said he heard the most awful noise coming from the bathroom. He went in and there was Mincaye rolling as best he could under the faucet in the tub. Mincaye didn’t know to put the plug in the tub or better yet, pull up the knob to take a shower. He was washing based on what he knew.
We base just about everything on what we know. The disciples were doing this in the beginning of the scripture.
This alone would make a great sermon: The disciples are asking whose fault it is the man was blind. Exodus 20:5 says the sins of the father will be punished to the 3rd and 4th generation. So the disciples want to know if it was the man’s fault or the parents.
You see, the disciples already know what the Old Testament says. Based on what they know, it’s probably the parent’s fault.
Which one does Jesus say it is? It’s neither. The man has been blind from birth for this moment so that Jesus can heal him and God can be glorified. Sometimes bad things happen and it’s not our fault and it’s not a punishment. At the very least, things happen so God can be glorified. You may not think it’s right for this guy to be blind his whole life for God to be glorified in this moment. Do you know what the bible says about that kind of thought process? Tough. When Job asks God what He’s doing, God turns it around and asks Job “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” It doesn’t matter if we agree. Jesus makes it clear: When bad things happen, it’s not necessarily a punishment.
I heard Lynn Kitchen say once- “You do the best you can do at the time.” -
That’s what I see in this sermon.
You may see things differently later – and maybe you would have done it different if you knew what you know now, but you can’t beat yourself us over the way things went down based on what you knew then.
The disciples were learning. They only knew what they’d been taught. It’s not the disciples’ fault that they asked whose fault it was, Jesus doesn’t rebuke them.
Jesus says this is not what you’re used to. There’s a different reason. The disciples were only basing their question on what they knew.
The man who used to be blind is doing the best he can do based on what he knew then as well.
When he’s given vision, even before he knew who Jesus was, he was out witnessing for Him and defending Him. He doesn’t know who Jesus is, yet he’s giving testimony about Jesus before the Pharisees even though this guy was a poor, blind beggar.
Then when Jesus reveals Himself to the guy, things change again. For the man who was once blind, things are different now. He no longer sees things how he used to see them. He can no longer act as if he’s still blind. The same old excuses are no longer going to get it. If he was married, he can no longer avoid the dreaded question,
“Honey does this dress make my butt look big?”
Honey, you know I’m blind and I can’t see to answer your question.
I remember when our pastor Brian Seders was leaving Sistersville. Everyone said he wasn’t the same pastor when he left as he was when he came.
I’m not the same pastor or person who came to Mason.
Most of you, but not all of you know that I’ve only been pastoring a church since I got here in July of 2007. This church is my first go round as a pastor. Certainly I’ve made all kinds of mistakes, too numerous to mention (and this is the one time I don’t need an Amen.) But I’ve done the best I could with what limited gifts and knowledge and understanding that God has given me. Any mistakes haven’t been for a lack of effort. And I know God is still working on me. God doesn’t expect perfection from me, or from you this day.
What He does expect is for our relationship with Him to be different all the time. It’s not that God changes, but we change.
Here’s the thing, when you know better and don’t do better, that’s where the problem lies. That was the problem with the Pharisees. That’s what Jesus calls having sight but being blind.
Some people just don’t know. This is where I think of the person in a third world country who has never heard the Gospel. Skeptics like to ask, “Does the person who dies without Jesus go to hell if nobody told them about Jesus?” God’s a just God and He’ll take care of that. Maybe we were supposed to be the ones to go tell them or help support a missionary to go. Who’s in bigger trouble?
I say, a bigger concern is those of you who are sitting here right now, who either don’t have Salvation through Jesus, or who do and you’re still living your life, controlling your finances, and half-heartedly coming to church like you did before you were saved.
Jesus implies we’re better off to be blind and know it than to think we have sight and really be blind. He’ll give sight to those who know they need it, but those who don’t think they need it are in trouble.
When the man who was formerly blind was given sight, he was testifying of the One he knew as he knew Him. He obviously thought a lot of Him. The man thought a lot of Jesus, whom he didn’t yet know was Jesus. As Jesus revealed more of Himself to the man, he began to worship Him. This is the turning point. This is the point we all need to get to. This the point the man who was formerly blind sees with his heart, not just his eyes. Before he really knew Jesus, he did the best he could on his own standing before the religious leaders and testifying about what Jesus did. Once he really knew Jesus, once he saw Jesus with his heart, he began to worship Jesus for whom He was, not just what He could do. What if I told you today that the reason you need to become a Christian is not because of what Jesus can do, but simply for who Jesus is?
He’s the Son of God and He is God. We can’t see this with our eyes, we can’t see this with our head, we can only see this with our heart.
Based on what you know right now, are you doing the best you can?