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John1:1-5 John 1: 6-18 John 1:19-51 John 2 John 3:1-21
John 3:22-36 John 4: 1-42 John 4:43-54 John 5:1-15 John 5:16-47
John 6:1-40 John 6:41-71 John 7: 1-53 John 8:1-30 John 8; 31-53
John 9:1-41
John 10:1-42
John 11: 1-57 John 12: 1-26 John: 27-50
John 13: 1-38 John 14:1-14 John 14: 15-31 John 15: 1-17 John 15: 18-27
John 16: 5-33 John 17:1-26 John 18: 1-16 John 18: 15-27 John 19: 1-16
John 19: 17-30 John 19: 31-42 John 20: 1-23 John 20: 24-31 John 21: 1-25
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John 9:1-41

 

“And as Jesus passed, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which by interpretation, Sent).  He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.  The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?  Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.  Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened?  He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus [Hebrew Yeshua (God saves)] made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received my sight.  Then said they unto him, Where is he?  He said, I know not.  They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.  And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.  Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight.  He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.  Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day.  Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?  And there was a division among them.  They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes?  He said, He is a prophet.  But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.  And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind?  how then doth he now see?  His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.  These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was the Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.  Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.  Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.  He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.  Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?  He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would you hear it again? Will ye also be his disciples?  Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.  We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.  The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened my eyes.  Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man is a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.  Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.  If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.  They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us?  And they cast him out.  Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?  And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.  And he said, Lord, I believe.  And he worshipped him.  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”

 

“Good to be with you this morning.  We are in the book of John, we’re going to pick up in John chapter 9.  If you’re new today, if this is your first time attending here, we’d just like to officially welcome you.  It’s a blessing having you with us.  And some of the chairs, on the back of them, have little information cards.  If you’re new you’re welcome to fill one out, you don’t have to, but if you’d like to leave a little information about yourself, certainly it would be a blessing to us.  Also if you consider this congregation to be your church, and you would like to communicate to us your information too, so you can be on any mailing lists or anything like that, you can fill out one of those cards, or if you don’t have one, write it on your bulletin and drop it in the Agape boxes there by the doors.  So John chapter 9. Again we just ask you, as we get close to the home fellowships, starting them in just a couple weeks, that we’d keep that in prayer.  We’re just starting out now with four home fellowships, but that’s not what we hope to do long-term, we hope to see these home fellowships multiply to other communities, we’ve got a lot of great people who can lead home fellowships in the future.  But we’re going to start out just very simple with four, and then watch the Lord work.  So if you show up to one in a couple weeks and it’s packed out, that’s OK, that’s actually a lot of fun, but it will be a matter of time until they multiply and we’ll even have more.  We’ve just decided to start with just the four.  But I’d like to just one more time mention to you, I know you’ve heard it repeatedly, but I think it’s important for us, is that week of fasting and prayer.  Consider being part of that, one way or another, whatever it means to you.  You know, I have been coming up to the third floor during some of the days that I’m here, we have a prayer-room over here in the corner.  I really like this prayer-room, because as I pray, it just happens to be, and it wasn’t the intention, but you can oversee a bit of the town, and so you can see parts of city-hall, you can see six or seven different churches, you can see the Junior High, you can see all sorts of different things.  And as I pray, I really find, you know, kind of like Daniel, looking out over the city, just interceding for the city, and the peace of the city.  And that’s what we want to do during that week, praying for the ministry here, but also praying and interceding for the city, for the peace of the city and the North County and the different communities.  Let’s start again with a word of prayer, and we’ll get started.  ‘Lord, we thank you that we can come to you and pray, that we can pray for our own personal needs, but we also can intercede for others.  So we thank you for prayer, as your children, as Christians you actually hear our prayers.  So Lord we rejoice in that, and pray as a church that we would grow in prayer, Lord.  But also we just ask now that you’d speak to our hearts, so you’d open our eyes.  Help us to see the truths that you have for us here.  Increase our knowledge of you, but also our knowledge of ourselves, even the knowledge of how you work in our lives.  So Holy Spirit we we’d ask that you’d be upon all of us, even upon myself now as we go through your Word, in Jesus name, Amen.’

 

The Blind That See, Those That See Become Blind

 

I like to start with this story.  In the summer of 1959, on one of the hottest days in August, the power failure in New York City shut off air-conditioners, fans and other electrical equipment in hundreds of apartments and offices.  Particularly hard hit were workers on upper floors of many buildings, who found themselves in the pitch dark without elevators running.  But in one of these buildings the problem was easily solved.  When darkness hit the Guild for the Jewish blind, two hundred blind workers, who knew every inch of the building by touch, led the seventy helpless sighted workers down the steps and onto Broadway.  [laughter]  Now that’s not usually the way it works.  It usually goes the other way.  Right?  That’s why we’re all getting a chuckle out of that one.  You can just picture it.  Right?  But I think it’s a great story to start with, you know, here’s these people that are blind leading the people that physically can see, because of the situation it’s certainly the opposite of what we’d expect.  And I like this story, I like to begin with this story because this is along the truth of what we see here in John chapter 9.  This truth that in the world today, there are those that are perceived of having knowledge, spiritual insight, those that are seen by the world as people you want to follow, they know where they’re going.  But then we study the Bible, and we find the opposite is true, they’re clueless, they don’t know where they’re going.  And then in the world’s eyes, there are those that are maybe blinded or narrow-minded it’s called, that say ‘Hey, don’t follow them, they’re narrow-minded.’  But then you study the Scriptures, and you find really, those are the ones to follow.  They really do know where to go.  They’re the ones who can lead people to safety.  And that’s a truth of the Scripture, contrasting what the Bible says against the minds of the world.  And we’ll see that as we go on here.

 

“That the works of God may be revealed”

 

Verses 1-7 of chapter 9, “Now as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind from birth, and his disciples asked him saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’  Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day.  The night is coming when no one can work.  As long as I’m in the world, I am the light of the world.’  When he had said these things, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.   And he said to him, ‘Go wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which is translated Sent), so he went and washed, and came back seeing.”  Well here in this story, Jesus’ eyes catch sight of this blind man.  It’s possible, if you remember from last week, this might happen right after, we don’t know for sure, but Jesus was right in the midst of this mob that wanted to stone him, as we’re told in chapter 8 at the end, that he slipped through the crowd, and then left.  It is possible, and that does add an interesting picture to the story as we go on, that this occurs directly after that.  Maybe this man was right outside the temple, and Jesus now begins to work in his life, but also deal really more with the heart of the Pharisees.  We don’t know if that’s the case or not, but it’s possible.  Sometimes the Gospel writers will take things, and they seem to be together, but maybe they were spread out by months or weeks or whatever.  So we don’t know for sure.  Well, Jesus looks at him.  The disciples can tell that he’s got his attention now upon this man, so they pose this question.  You know, Jesus is looking at this blind man, you can just imagine, they turn to Jesus, they’ve looked at the blind man, and they say to him, “‘Rabbi, who sinned, did this man sin, or did his parents?’”  So he’s been judged by God, that’s pretty clear, he’s blind, he’s been physically born blind.  So who sinned, he, or his parents?  Well, so with that, we start with the affliction of this man.  This man is blind, this man has suffered since he was born.  His life has some added difficulty because of his blindness.

Faulty understanding of the day:  “All physical hardships are a result of sin”

 

But because of the understanding of the day, the disciples wonder if this man’s predicament is the result of his wrongdoing or is the result of his parents wrongdoing.  The thought is basically like this: ‘Bad things only happen to bad people.’  That’s what they’re basically saying.  ‘And bad things don’t happen to good people, like us, bad things happen to bad people only.’  Well that understanding was fueled by the teaching of the day by the rabbis.  We’ll talk about that in a moment.  But I think that understanding is somewhat true even today [‘Name-it/claim-it, health-wealth groups].  I was listening to the radio earlier in the week, and Al Bracka, we’ve mentioned him before, he died in the World Trade Center incident there, he worked for Canner-Fitzgerald and was a manager, and he died.  His wife is a Christian, and has shared her testimony quite a few times since then.  The Lord has used it to minister to hearts.  But I heard her speaking on the radio station this last week.  And she made the comment, she says, “You know, I never would have guessed, I always thought that those sorts of things, these tragedies, happen to other people, and they would never happen to us, certainly not us.”  Well, she was of course surprised, when such a tragedy came into her life.  And that can be our reasoning, ‘It wouldn’t happen to me, I mean, God wouldn’t let that happen to me.  I mean, he only does that to those people, and in one way or another they probably deserve it,’ you know, that type of reasoning.  That’s what the disciples are saying.  And that reasoning has been prominent throughout the ages.  But the disciples have this thought too, because of what the Pharisees where saying.  In fact, based on the story of Jacob and Esau, in Genesis chapter 25, the rabbis even taught that you could sin in the womb, potentially.  And based on that story, they would kind of extrapolate and infer, ‘It’s possible as a fetus you could sin, and because you did that, then you would be given this birth defect when you were born.’  That’s how they explained birth defects, the rabbis in Jesus’ day.  They also taught that maybe you would be handicapped and have a physical defect as the result of your parent’s sin.  And that was based on Exodus chapter 20, verse 5, you maybe remember this verse, “For I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the 3rd and 4th generations of those who hate me.”  So, based on that, where God said he dealt with the iniquity from one generation to another.  Although the Scriptures make it very clear that God doesn’t judge a child because of the parent’s sin, the other Scriptures make that clear.  But that’s what they taught.  Now, I guess we can take a moment to mention too, it is possible for you or for myself to have a physical affliction because of sin.  That certainly is possible.  Sometimes we have physical ailments because of the sins we’ve committed.  We certainly can think of instances of that, you know.  For instance, if you’re sexually promiscuous, you may actually come up with some sort of disease as a result.  And you got the disease because of your sin, right.  I mean, we can think of instances like that.  And there are even cases where maybe somebody does have a physical handicap because of a parent’s sin.  I think of mom’s that are crack addicts, we call their babies crack-babies, you know, in our culture, that’s what we call them, because they’ve been affected, they’ve been harmed because of the choices of mom, or the choice of a parent [Steff, you were obviously protected.  Hope you come to realize that some day.].  It’s possible for that to happen, indeed.  So, we see that in our world today.  But the disciples, they are mistaken in wrongly assuming that all physical hardships are the result of sin.  That’s not true, and Jesus makes that pretty clear here, that not all physical hardship is the result of sin.  Ultimately it results from the curse, Adam and Eve, but not because of specific sins that we’ve committed.  [There are some sins of a nation, and  of mankind in general, in this industrial world, where pollution and the making of poor crops via hybrids and massive NPK fertilization of major crops, robbing them of their normal protein count that has made mankind sick and prone to various diseases like cancer.  So sickly babies and bodies, shortened life-spans, have occurred as a result of the compounded sins of mankind within the ecosystem.  That mustn’t be overlooked either.]  Now this may not be something we adhere to, you and I may not think that way.  But then again sometimes maybe we think it more than we realize we think it.  And we show that in our experience.  Maybe you’re like this, maybe when something goes wrong in your life, maybe when there’s tribulation and difficulty, maybe your first response is to think, ‘Well, God’s angry at me, God’s upset with me, why is God judging me?’.  And you may not think that you think that every time because there’s ailments.  But then on the other hand, maybe in your heart, without really realizing it, you kind of think that way.  That just because there’s difficulty, you think that God must be mad [angry], and you must have done something wrong, and therefore you’re kind of all heavy and condemning yourself or whatever it might be.  But Jesus makes it clear that hardship can come for various reasons, and it’s not always because of sin.  [Maybe it’s because God wants to test the love of others, giving them an opportunity to reach out and help, in prayer and efforts as well.]  Now the problem too, with the reasoning of this day, of the disciples day, is that it resulted in people having a certain mindset toward people that were suffering, as you can only imagine.  If you saw somebody who was suffering, you would then, you would look at them a certain way.  There would be a lack of compassion.  It would be basically ‘You deserve it’, or it would be, ‘Your parents deserve it.’  So there would be a certain mindset, an attitude towards people who were suffering, and it would certainly lack compassion.  But you know, I tell you what, man, there is a mindset that’s coming into our culture, in the Western culture, that I think is even scarier than that type of mindset.  I mentioned once on Wednesday night recently, somebody had passed me some information, and I went on the web to check it out.  But a little while ago, and it’s happened in recent months in the nation of France, but there’s been instances where children have been handicapped, people have been handicapped for various reasons, born handicapped.  But what has happened is people have gone to court and sued, because that person wasn’t aborted, or the parent wasn’t given the option to abort that child.  So now there’s a handicapped person.  So there’s been lawsuits in the nation of France because of that.  Basically you know a child coming to a courtroom and saying, ‘I’m going to sue my parents, because my parents didn’t abort me.’  Or parents suing the doctor, because the doctor didn’t give the option or maybe didn’t do the test right, to show that this child was going to be handicapped, and now they’re handicapped.  So there’s this lawsuit.  And there’s been instances in the nation of France where people have actually been awarded money, in several instances.  Well, you’re thinking, ‘That’s France’, and I don’t want to say anything about any country, I was born in France, so I guess I could say something more than any others, I was born in France.  Right?  But I read recently that that same mindset is working its way into our culture.  In fact, there’s been a recent case in America, where the same type of thing, people suing because they’re handicapped, or because their child is handicapped, and they weren’t aborted.  That is absolutely scary.  That is scary.  That says, that if you’re handicapped, that reasoning says that if you’re handicapped, you’re less than a normal person.  And it even says in some instances, that you’re better off not to be alive than to be handicapped. That’s twisted.  That’s weird.  And there’s a famine of the Word of God in our nation.  And our nation needs the Word of God, that is for sure, because we are getting so weird and just twisted in our reasoning. [And where does this reasoning lead to?  Are vestiges of Hitler’s Aryan race mindset overtaking France now?  Next they’ll be “mercy-killing” the handicapped, which is what happened in Nazi Germany during World War II.  Hmmm.]  I think that’s scarier than the reasoning that is even here in the disciple’s day.  Well, the Word of God says otherwise, and I think that’s what’s needed in our nation is the Word of God to go forth.  Clearly God says, book of Exodus, God says “I’ve ordained the blind, I’ve ordained the handicapped, I’ve ordained the deaf.”  And he doesn’t do it because he’s a meany, and he wants some people to suffer and others not to, it’s very clear, he does it so that in different ways, he glorifies himself.  Through the weakness, God does it so that he’s glorified in various ways.  So the Word of God, man, we need it in our nation.  And we need to understand that handicapped or not, man, we’re precious in the sight of the Lord.  And in fact, sometimes, those handicaps, in our weakness man, God works so powerfully.  He has glorified so sweetly in those cases.  [The bedridden sister of a major evangelist during the 19th  century prayed day and night for his ministry, from her bed.  His evangelism in India was a huge success.  It wouldn’t have been without her, and that she was handicapped, which kept her bedridden her entire life.  That handicap was a God-purpose handicap.  She made the most of it, and because of her prayers, hundreds of thousand of India’s population came to Christ.]  In fact, there are people that have been handicapped that have understood the words of God and God’s perspective of things that have actually been thankful that they were handicapped.  And I realize that being handicapped can be very difficult in some instances, but when you let God give you his perspective.  Here’s a story, “A well-known English minister preached on Sunday for Dr. Philips Brooks in Boston.  After the service he started to walk up to his hotel.  He needed directions, so he asked a man behind him for the way to go, and he said ‘Why you’re the minister I just heard.  I know your voice, I’m blind, but I can show you the way’, the man responded.  ‘I can take you to the door.’  Well the minister protested, but the blind man insisted saying, ‘You will not refuse me the pleasure of helping you.  I so seldom have the opportunity to render service, everyone is so kind to me.’  Well the two men walked arm and arm for ten minutes.  ‘Here’s your hotel’, said the blind man.  Before parting, the blind man said, ‘I live alone, I can go about the streets without a guide, I’m thankful for my blindness, because I have so much time for quiet meditation.  There’ll be time enough in heaven for me to see everything.’”  Well here’s a man that said, ‘In my weakness, in my struggle, physical affliction, yet I see it enables me in some ways to be a man of prayer, really, a man maybe less distracted.’  Interesting perspective.  And that’s what the Word of God says.  So maybe there are difficulties, there’s physical affliction in your life, but God works it to good.  God wants to be glorified through it.  And our hardships may not be easy, but the truth is, we can be thankful, maybe not so much for the hardship, but we can be thankful that God can be glorified through it, that his power can be seen in it.  That is, if we allow him to.  As one person has noted, “Misery always opens the door for ministry.”  So Jesus could be saying to you this morning, ‘Sin is not necessarily the issue, but the real question is, will you allow me to use your hardship to my glory?’  So that’s the question, will you allow the Lord to use your hardship to his glory?  That really changes things, doesn’t it?  You got this thing you’ve been dragging around or dealing with and having a hard time with, but you can say, ‘Lord, take it, use it to your glory.’  Well, as we see in these verses, Jesus again, he states it, makes it real clear that physical affliction, he states right there that “Neither this man, nor his parents have sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”  He makes it clear that God is going to use this, God is going to minister in and through this situation.  Now the religious leaders and the Jews and the disciples, they had the story of Job.  I mean, it was pretty clear there.  This man didn’t do anything to deserve that.  And yet God used it to his glory.  But for whatever reason, they just didn’t seem to consider that, with their fellow man.  But it can be true of you and I, that suffering, God has brought it into our lives, that affliction, so that he will be glorified. 

 

“The night cometh, when no man can work”

 

Well, Jesus then states in verse 4 and 5, he then responds further to really indicate the urgency of the hour, that he must do the works that he must do while it is day, while there is yet time, for the time is coming, what he calls the night time, or night, when no one can do the works of God.  So he says that, he expresses an urgency to go and to work in a situation.  Verses 4-5, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”    And I guess the question once more is, do you live with that same heart, that same mindset.  Do you realize that today is, I mean, this day, you only get one chance at this day, and it’s gone, and you’ve only got so many days.  And maybe, like Al Bracka’s wife, man, we might have less than we think.  Or like Al Bracka himself.  So Jesus says, that statement is one of urgency.   Now when he says ‘night’, what is he referring to, when he refers to ‘night’ and ‘today’?  Clearly you get the sense nighttime for him is when he’s gone, ‘daytime’, he’s on the planet right now, he’s on the earth, he’s the light of the world, so he’s ministering in that context.  But at the same time, of course the Holy Spirit is here, ministering now, so it’s not night in the sense that, I mean he says the night is coming when no one can work, so that’s not necessarily now for the general sense.  I think the best way to define it, ‘day’, applying it to any individual is the time that they’re on the earth, night, applying it to any individual, is the time after they die, or when they die.  So, for Jesus, night is just months away, when he goes to the cross, and for you and I, night is in this statement of what he’s saying, day is right now, this is the opportunity, time is short, night’s going to come when it comes, and maybe it’s closer then we think.  I’m sure for all of us, it’s closer than we think.  And we probably can tell by the way that we live.  Right?  It’s a whole lot closer than we think, because we think we’ve got all kinds of time.  But we don’t, according to the Scriptures.  And man, the world, man, there isn’t much time. [Comment: A third way of looking at “the night is coming when no man can work”.  In this world now, in these end times, the time is approaching when “no man can work”, a time of spiritual darkness and blackness, when “a famine of the Word” will exist like it never has before.  This darkness is already overshadowing certain countries like Norway, England, Canada, Australia, where certain laws have been put on the books and are enforced, where a pastor can be put in jail for preaching certain passages out of God’s Word, preaching against certain sins mentioned in Leviticus 18 and 20, and Romans 1:21-32.”  The shadows of that darkness are approaching our land in the United States of America when people will sit in our congregations for the express purpose of listening to see if the pastor will freely preach out of God’s Word, without restriction, so he can turn him in to the authorities.  Christian radio and television programming will be censored, and then shut down.  So the time is urgent, the time for us to finish spreading the Gospel around the world is drawing to a close.   Our opportunity to assist getting the Gospel to the world is drawing to a close.  For ideas on how to help, see the Mission Statement at http://www.unityinchrist.com/missionstatement.htm.]  So Jesus expresses an urgency, and I hope it’s true of our lives [that we have this perspective]. 

 

God first loved us

 

Verse 6, “When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.”  Well, we’ve seen the man’s affliction.  Now we consider his appointment with Jesus.  In verse 6, it’s interesting to consider, this man didn’t go seeking after Jesus, this man was just there, and Jesus came to him.  Jesus extended love to him, Jesus extended grace to him, Jesus extended mercy to him.  He opened his eyes, and started the process, and the man had to respond in obedience to the instruction of Jesus.  But it’s interesting to see that.  And the Bible says that is true, God first loved us, he first loved us, he first touched our lives.  He first came to us, and then we had the opportunity to respond.  Well, Jesus as he’s speaking, of course he’s showing the disciples this truth, making it real clear to them, that this man’s affliction is not necessarily the result of a sin.  So as he’s speaking, actually, they don’t expects this, but he spits on the ground, and he makes clay with his saliva, and then he anoints the eyes of this man with the clay.  Now this man who’s blind, you can imagine, he has mud on his face, and to get mud on your eye, it’s not pleasant to have mud on your eye.  Maybe that’s kind of a motivator to this guy, too, to go and do the next part.  Jesus says to him, ‘Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.’  But you got mud on your eye, I mean, you’re not going to just walk around casually, you’re going to be looking for water, ‘I need to get this dirt out’, especially someone else’s spittle, you don’t want that in your eye very long, there’s just something about it, you know.  It’s interesting that he does it this way, that he uses his own spit to anoint the man’s eyes.  And it’s possible he’s making a statement, because in that time there were ancient writers of this time that said that spit actually had a curative power.  There was healing power in spit.  So it’s possible that he’s making a statement, acknowledging that God can use your kidney doctor, your liver doctor, your cholesterol doctor, he can use medicine too, as part of his process of bringing healing.  In my perspective, however the healing comes, God gets the credit, whether it came through the doctor, or whether it came because Jesus just spoke and it happened.  However, I’ll take it either way, and all the credit ultimately goes to God.  Now, sometimes, it is the tendency in some people’s hearts, if I want God to touch my life, I need to get the mud, get the spit, wipe it in my eyes.  We get to thinking, ‘He worked in this way in this particular person’s life, so I want the same results, so he’s going to need to do this same process in my life.’  But that’s not true.  He has worked in this blind man’s life this way.  You know, blindness, that’s one of the most mentioned miracles as far as healing, healing from blindness is one of the most often miracles mentioned in the Gospels. [cf. Isaiah 35:5-6, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.  Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing…”  All of Isaiah 35:1-10 happens at Jesus’ 2nd coming, but these two verses were also fulfilled within the miracles of Jesus Christ at his first coming, and identify him as the Messiah.]  And each time, Jesus heals the blind man differently.  In one case he just spoke to the man, just spoke to him.  In another case, he touched the guy’s eyes with his hands.  Another time he spat on the guy’s eyes, spat directly in his eyes, and then he touched his eyes, and then the guy started to see, and he touched his eyes again.  So he did it differently each time.  So there’s not like a method that we need to come up with here, that of spitting in the eye, or making clay and rubbing it in the eye.  God just does what he does.  And that’s encouraging to me, because sometimes I get caught up in that, I look at a person’s life that I admire, and I see God worked in a certain way, and I’m thinking ‘That’s got to, I’ve got to do that same thing.  I’ve got to dress that way, I’ve got to go to that college, I’ve got to go to that seminary, I’ve got to sit under that person’s teaching’, whatever it is, they’ve had that experience.  And yet I want to be like them, or I want to have that same result.  But God doesn’t always work the same way, in the same manner.  He may achieve the same result in my life, he may bring the victory, he may bring the spiritual life in the end, but he may use a completely different method.  So we just need to be looking at Jesus, and not be so wrapped up in what other people, you know, what happened to them and how it happened to them.  My testimony isn’t the same, just love Jesus, man, look to him, follow him, and that’s all that really matters. 

          Well, this man obeys the words of Jesus, and we see amazingly, this man born blind is now healed.  And it’s very amazing as we go on, it’s so amazing, because his neighbors, the leaders, they have a hard time accepting that this man was really blind from birth and has been physically healed.  But what a picture of what the Lord does in our lives, man.  We were blind, spiritually.  Before I became a Christian, the Bible makes it clear, I was spiritually blind, and God’s love came and he touched me, and he healed my sight, that I could see.  I was a blind man, but now I see by the grace of God, just as we sing that song Amazing Grace.

 

“I’m the guy”

 

Verses 8-12, “Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, ‘is not this he who sat and begged?’  Some said, ‘This is he.’  Others said, ‘He is like him.’---‘No way, can’t be true, this guy can’t be him’, that’s what they’re saying, ‘He’s like him, he’s his twin, the seeing twin’, you know.  “But he says, ‘I’m the guy.’”  Of course, just imagine, before his eyes were glazed over, he had been born blind, they had a certain looked to them.  Now, this guy, he has vivid sight, he can see.  So there is a change to him physically.  “Therefore they said to him, ‘How were your eyes opened?’”  ‘How could you see?  Incredible, you’ve been blind, how did this happen?’  “He answered and said, ‘A man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.  So I went and washed, and I received sight.’   Then they said to him, ‘Where is he?’  He said, ‘I do not know.’”  ‘I’m just telling you, this guy came, this Jesus, I mean, I didn’t go to any seminar or anything, he came to me, and this is what he said, this is what he did, little strange.  But now I can see.’  But so amazing, so tremendous, this work that’s hard for the others to even believe.  And I see that even when Christ works in people’s lives today, man.  Sometimes it’s hard for people to even….’Man, you really have changed.  Is that really you?  Something’s going on here.’  Well his neighbors question, and we see his answer, and his answer basically is to give a simple testimony.  He just says ‘This is what’s happened in my life.’  And that is a testimony, ‘This is what I was before, God moved in, this is what he did, this is the way I am now.’  That’s just giving your testimony.  So he just gives a very simple, but yet it’s a very powerful testimony of the work of God.  Well let’s look at verse 13.

 

The Pharisees and religious leaders try to discredit the blind man’s testimony

 

Verses 13-16, “They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees.  And it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.  Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight.  He said to them, ‘He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.’  Therefore some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbbath.’  Others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?’  And there was a division among them.”  Well now he’s brought before the religious leaders.  And maybe that is the proper order in this case, considering the way they were to be respected, and they were supposed to have certain insight into situations.  They bring this man before them, and they also question him.  So he gave answers to his neighbors, now we see his answers that he gives to the Pharisees.  And once again he just gives a simple story, a simple testimony.  But one, as we go on, the religious leaders, they do not want to accept this.  In every way, they try to discount this story, in every way they try to make this man even lie if need be, they just won’t accept this is the way it is.  Well a debate, as you see there, starts among them.  But the debate here isn’t so much about what Jesus has done, but it’s when he did it.  It isn’t the fact that he’s taken a man, incredibly, somehow they ignore that, that he’s taken a man born blind and healed him.  That isn’t really the issue at this point, the issue is, he broke their tradition.  [Some think Jesus broke the Sabbath, which he didn’t, he broke their legalistic interpretation of how the Sabbath ought to be kept.]  He did it on the Sabbath.  According to them, he broke the Sabbath.  His work was illegal on the Sabbath.  The fact that he made clay, the fact that he applied the clay, the fact that he healed a man, there were three violations according to their law, their interpretation of the law of the Sabbath.  God said “honor the Sabbath”, God said “Don’t do any work on the Sabbath”, God said “Rest on the Sabbath”, and they came through with all these interpretations of what that meant.  And according to their interpretations he’s broken the law.  But not according to God.  Not at all.  It’s according to their definition of what it means, what the word “work” means.  Well, it’s amazing, the hardness of their hearts.  Religious tradition, I tell you man, North County, as I stand in this prayer-room in the corner and I pray, more and more I just pray ‘Lord, set the captives free in our community’.  So many people are blinded.  Who’s really the blind people at this point?  It isn’t this man.  It’s these people that are blinded by tradition, blinded by religion.  And I tell you what, man, there is so much of that in this region….[tape switchover, some text lost]  He’s given his answers.  Now he gives this acknowledgement to them, that Jesus is indeed the Prophet.  Verse 17, “They said to the blind man again, ‘What do you say of him, he who opened your eyes?’  He said, ‘He is a prophet.’”  Not only has this man gained physical sight, but there’s another work going on right now too.  He’s slowly gaining spiritual sight.  And we see that in this story.  And that’s the more important thing, is the spiritual sight, being able to discern between good and evil, being able to discern what is truth and what is false.  Verses 18-22, “But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight.  And they asked them saying, ‘Is this your son who you say was born blind?  How then does he now see?’”  These guys are really amazing, I mean, they’re just not going to buy it.  So lets just go talk to his mom and dad.  ‘He wasn’t really blind, and born blind.  You know, this guy is making this up, let’s talk to his parents.’  “His parents answered them and said, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind.  But by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know.  He is of age, ask him, he will speak for himself.’  His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that he [Jesus] was the Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.”  But now you see the avoidance here.  The parents, they are questioned by the Pharisees, and for certain reasons they avoid answering the questions directly.  But these religious leaders are so amazing, man.  They actually bring the parents, question them, they hear answers they don’t like, and they really try to corner people, is what they try to do.    But we’re told that the parents don’t answer directly, they avoid answering really the question, for fear of men.  These religious leaders have made it clear that if anybody testifies or professes that this man is the Christ [Messiah], they’re out of the synagogue, they’re gone.  And that was pretty significant, I mean, basically they were saying they would be excommunicated.  And in that time there were three methods, three time periods where you could be excommunicated, for 30 days, or for 30 more days, or they could say ‘You’re excommunicated indefinitely.’  So that would be significant.  But what would that mean to the Jews?  That would mean, at least in their mind, that now they’ve lost their ability to pray, they’ve lost their ability to be blessed by God.  It also meant that your family would look down upon you.  If fact, in many instances, you’re family would treat you as though you were dead.  If you had a business or operated a business, your business would be off-limits to the Jews.  So it is significant.  [Comment:  It is also significant today as well.  When a Jewish person from a religious family, whether Orthodox or Reform Jewish, accepts Yeshua as the Messiah, they are excommunicated in quite a similar fashion, with all these other ramifications the pastor mentioned.  Each Messianic Jewish person could tell you a story.  And yet, in spite of all this pressure and persecution from the Jewish community God has successfully called within the past 38 years an estimated 500,000 Jews to belief in Yeshua as their Messiah.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/messianicmovement.htm.]  These religious leaders, man, they don’t mess around.  They want to trap the people, they don’t want the people for a moment considering Jesus as the Christ, so they put the Jew into a very difficult place, saying, ‘If you profess, man, that he’s the Christ, even indicate it, you’re out of the synagogue’, which meant a lot to that way of life. 

          Well, they [the parents] fear these men, as a result.  But too bad they didn’t hold onto the truths of the Old Testament.  Right?  Proverbs chapter 29, verse 25, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”  Isaiah 51, “Listen to me, God said, you know righteousness, you people in whose heart is my law.  Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults.”  And then again in Isaiah God says “I, even I am he who comforts you.  Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of  man who will be made like grass?”  I think that could maybe be an exhortation to some of us here today.  Some of us do, we fear.  And maybe that’s what keeps some of us from following Christ, acknowledging Christ, is the fear of man.  There are instances, because of our religious upbringing, that if I accept Christ, that if I acknowledge that Jesus [or Yeshua] is indeed the Son of God, the Lord of my life, that I am born-again, my family may have nothing to do with me.  My family may.  You know, a Jewish man not long ago, he told me his testimony, and his testimony was “I came to Christ, and forget now talking to my parents, my brothers and sisters don’t want anything to do with me.  Whenever I get on the phone, they just want to argue and ridicule and rebuke me for what I have done.”  [log onto http://www.amazon.com and look up the used book titled
“Kidnapped For My Faith” by Ken Levitt.  If copies are still available, it won’t cost much.  It’s Ken Levitt’s personal story of coming to Christ in an Orthodox family.  Ken is the pastor/rabbi of a local Messianic Jewish congregation in the North County area.]  They do stand difficult times as they wrestle with accepting Christ and following Christ.  You consider the Muslims.  In some cases [in Muslim countries] it’s the state law, it’s the civil law, if you accept Christ, you’re going to be killed.  If you follow anything else, in certain countries today in North Africa.  There’s even the Hindu’s in India.  But then there’s even groups like the Mormons.  You know, if you’re a Mormon, and you turn and accept Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life, if you’re born-again, man, you’ll be told, ‘You’ve left the Church, you’ve left God, you’ve left your family in many instances.  The Jehovah Witness experience can be the same way.  [Both the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are modern versions of two heresies that attacked the early Christian Church from the 100’s to 300s AD.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/whyorthodoxy.html.  See if you can figure out which heresy these two came from.  The answer is in the linked article.]  And so these people wrestle.  God is working in their hearts.  God is speaking to them.  But then there is this fear of man.  This fear of ‘Well, if I do this, consider these consequences.’  I remember the story that K.P. Yohannan told, this one was really striking that K.P. Yohannan shared about one of the missionaries as part of Gospel for Asia in India.  This man came to Christ, and that was one thing in and of itself.  But then he felt called by God to go and preach the gospel to other people in India.  And the story goes that this man shares, as he went out and left his house, that his family came following him, weeping and crying.  In fact, he got on a bus, his father weeping, clinging to him, saying ‘Don’t go, don’t go’, just as if he was rejecting his family.  And this man knew that God had called him to go and share the gospel.  He had to actually tell the bus driver, “Take my father and put him off the bus.”  And that’s a big deal in that culture.  And then they closed the door, and they drove off as his father was weeping and wailing.  That is tough, if you’re in a situation like that.  And maybe you are today.  Maybe there’s just a spouse, and you want to go ahead, but there’s this fear.  Or there’s a mom or a dad.  Well we should consider the promises of the Scripture, but also the exhortations there in the Old Testament.  God is the one who comforts us.  We don’t need to fear man.  God is with us.  Why fear somebody whose only like grass and going to die.  There’s the eternal God, it’s him we should fear.  And we know that’s the beginning of wisdom, to fear God.  But remember too what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 10, and we will often mention this at the end of our services, “Therefore whoever confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven.  But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my father who is in heaven.  Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth, I did not come to bring peace but a sword, for I have come to set a man against his daughter, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a man’s enemies will be of his own household.  He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.  And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.”  I hear of stories, even on Sunday morning, we often given an altar call, and I’ll hear later that somebody, maybe it was a parent, and they had their grown child with them, the parent wanted to accept Christ, but was thinking ‘My child’, you know.  I’ve even heard of stories where like a person started to come forward, and indicated that, and a relative reached over and said, ‘No way, don’t you dare go up there in front and accept Christ.’  And maybe that’s been your experience.  But God’s exhortation to you is “Fear me, don’t fear man.”  Because what counts is God, fearing him.  He’s eternal.  Well, we see the hardness of these religious leader’s hearts as they respond especially.  I mean, they know now, mom and dad saying ‘This guy, our son was blind, and he was healed.’  So they go to another tactic, and they start to literally assail this man.  Verse 24, “Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.”  I like this guy, because he’s funny, the way he responds to them.  They said to him, ‘Give God the glory.  We know that this man is a sinner.’  Now when they say ‘Give God the glory’, they’re not saying it in a worshipful, “praise God”, so much like we might use it.  But really that phrase was in the Jewish tradition, was a way of putting somebody under oath.  “Give God the praise” was a form of being sworn-in in a Jewish court.  And you might remember in Joshua chapter 7 when Joshua said to Achen who had sinned, he said to him “Give God the glory, and then confess your sin.”  So it’s kind of putting somebody under oath. “We know that this man is a sinner.”  What they basically try to do now is get him to lie, that’s their intent.  Verse 25, “He answered and said, ‘Whether he’s a sinner or not I do not know.  One thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.’”  ‘I’m learning, I don’t know a lot, but this I know, I know this, no matter what you guys say.  I was blind, but now I see.’  And as Christians we have the same experience.  There’ll be people, they’ll try to explain things away, try to rationalize your experience in Christ.  You’re like, “I know, this is what happened.  Christ touched me.  He delivered me, I tried so often to get rid of that, I tried so often to change.  And I accepted the Lord, and man it was so easy.”  And they’ll try to tell you, ‘No, it must have been your time studying or whatever, and all this is what did it.’  And you’re saying, ‘No, I’m telling you, this is what happened man.  Jesus just touched my life, and he changed me.  This I know!’  And as a Christian today, and as pastor I know certain things God has touched and worked in my life.  It’s the experience, man.  But all the more I am so sure that Jesus is God the Son and that he’s coming back.  And when God touches a life, man, that experience, all the more you’re like “I know what I know”, as Paul said, and I am persuaded for sure.  Well, these guys can’t deny the fact now, because mom and dad have stood for it and given a testimony.  So they basically try to use their spiritual authority, try to use some kind of logic and spiritual reasoning to really intimidate and to persecute and to manipulate.  So they question him again there and they said to him, “Now what did he do to you?  How did he open your eyes?”  (verse 26).  And he said, I’ve already told you, and you did not hear.  Why do you want to hear it again.  Do you also want to be his disciples?”  (verse 27).  ‘I’ve already told you, it’s pretty basic.  Let’s go through this, he spit, and he mixed some clay, he put it on my eyes’, but they want to ask him again.  You’ve had those experiences where you’re stating things, and people don’t believe you.  And your trying to explain and say ‘This is the deal.  This is the honest truth.  Maybe you don’t believe it, but it doesn’t matter, it’s true anyway.’  His response is cool.  I mean, they revile him, but he said ‘I’ve already told you, why do you want to hear it again?  Do you also want to be one of his disciples?’  [laughter]  Now, in the Greek, which we don’t have in the English, he expects them to go “No”.  That’s in the Greek, he expects them to go “No.”  But he’s kind of jostling them here.  ‘What do you expect, do you want to be his disciple?’  is basically what he does.  And they revile him.  verse 28, “Then they reviled him, and said, ‘Thou art his disciple: but we are Moses’ disciples.’”  Man, that’s what’s happened.  You see it throughout the Church Ages, right.  And you think of the Bloody Mary ages.  People, born-again, religious tradition, people being persecuted, simply because they love Jesus Christ.  People being burned at the stake, families being burned at the stake, because they just love Jesus.  [log onto and read the beginning chapters at: http://www.unityinchrist.com/history/saga.htm.]  Being assaulted, being assailed, being abused.  But hey, they know what they know.  [Comment: This struggle between false Christians and true Christians has existed throughout the Church Age.  These false churches show who their real father is by their actions---they both lie and kill, murdering others, sometimes in the hundreds of thousand, to accumulated millions.  Look at the historic evidence to see who’s who.  “By their fruits ye’ shall know them.”]  And they believe what they believe because God is working in their lives.  “And they say, ‘You are his disciple.  We are Moses’ disciples.’”  Man, do you think the guy’s impressed at this point?  I don’t think he’s impressed, not at all, because he knows, he knows, he’s never seen a day in his life.  And right now he’s looking at these guys face to face.  Even at that moment, he’s amazed, ‘I can actually look at you.  I can see what you look like.  I can see your freckles, I can see your mustache, you’re nice, I can see you’re ugly’, whatever he sees.  He knows he can see.  So he’s not impressed at all, I’m sure, at this point.  He’s blown away, and he’s seeing the foolishness of these people’s hearts as they just try to intimidate him, and then try to impress him.  Well the man, basically what we see is his astonishment.  

 

Who is really blind here?

 

In verses 30-32,  “The man answered and said to them, ‘Why this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he has opened my eyes.’---‘he’s healed me.  You guys are the pro’s here, and you don’t know?’---‘Now we know that God does not hear sinners---Let’s go through this, religious leaders [laughter].’  In fact, that’s just what the Pharisees have said in verse 16, he’s just restating what they just said [this former blind man is a sharp guy, he’s right up Jesus’ alley].  ‘We know, let’s logic this out, God does not hear sinners’---‘But if anyone is a worshipper of God, and does his will, he hears him.  Since the world began it has been unheard of anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.  If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.’”   This has never happened before.  ‘This is a first, and this guy Jesus, obviously he’s got a connection with God the Father.  If he was a sinner, if he was a wicked man, God would not work in this way.  You guys know that.’  And of course, that is something that they believe, but they’re not willing to accept Jesus, so they don’t want to accept this [reasoning now, which they obviously stated in verse 16].  So again the question, who really at this point is the one that’s blind?  Obviously he isn’t anymore, but they certainly are, and we’ll see that as we go on.  But this point that sin hinders prayer, and we see it in the Bible, and it was in the Old Testament, so that’s why they believed it.  Psalm 66, “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear.”  Isaiah 1, “If you spread out your hands I will hide my eyes from you, even though you make many prayers I will not hear.  Your hands are full of blood, you’re covered with sin.”  Then Isaiah 59, verse 2, it says that “It isn’t that God’s arm is not so short, or that his power that he cannot save, or his ear so deaf he cannot hear our prayers…”---but if we don’t have Christ and the forgiveness of sin, if we’re not covered in the blood of Jesus Christ, but he says “but your iniquities have separated you from God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.”  So sin separates us from God. And therefore as a righteous God he does not hear. [And the question always comes up, between the more Torah-observant Christian groups and the more grace oriented Christian churches: ‘If you’ve fallen into a rut, back into a lifestyle of sin in some way or other, does God hear you?’  The Torah-observant groups would say, ‘no he doesn’t’, while the grace oriented groups may say ‘yes he does’.  The balance is probably somewhere in the middle, where if you finally decide you’re getting saddle-sore sitting on the fence so long, and you really decide and beseech Jesus to help you change, start using his Holy Spirit to make the right choices and throw off whatever lifestyle is hindering you, then God will hear.  ‘Draw close to me, and I will draw close to you’, God says.  We should have the attitude that all those Old Testament admonitions apply, and not take sin lightly.  In this the Torah observant groups are right, because their carefulness to avoid presumptuous sins keeps their lines of prayer open.]   The first prayer he hears of a man or woman is, “Jesus, I need you, Jesus forgive me, Jesus be my Lord.’  That’s the first prayer he hears.  That’s the first prayer he answers, according to the Scripture.  And then in Christ, as I walk with the Lord, of course then I’m told I can go boldly to the throne of grace.  As a Christian my prayers can be hindered though, even as a believer because of sin.  We see in 1st Peter and other places too.  But we can confess our sin, and he’s faithful and just to forgive us of our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  But he says, man, ‘this has never happened since the world, since the beginning of time, that a man has been able to heal a man who was born blind.’  And in that, I think he’s stating too, because there are Scriptures in Isaiah that repeatedly say the Messiah, that will be one of the signs of the Messiah [cf. Isaiah 35:5-6].  He’ll come, and heal the blind.  [Comment: Isaiah 35 is a prophecy, by the context of the rest of the verses from verse 1 through 10 that is about the 2nd coming of the Messiah.  But that doesn’t mean Jesus wouldn’t come and fulfill some of those verses at his first coming, showing that he is who he says he is.]  The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the captive will be set free, that was a sign of the Messiah.  Well, “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing”, he says.

 

They go from assailing the blind man to abandoning him---but Jesus goes looking for him and finds him

 

But then this is what they do.  They go from their assailment basically now to their abandonment of him.  Verse 34, “They answered and said to him, ‘You were completely born in sin, and do you teach us?’  And they cast him out.”  At this point he’s probably not been expelled from the synagogue, that would normally take a formal meeting of the Sanhedrin, but man, they force him out and leave him abandoned outside at this point.  They’re done with him, and they’re frustrated.  But what pride.  Let’s read to the end now.  Verses 35-38, “Jesus heard that they had cast him out.  And when he had found him, he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?’  He answered and said, ‘Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?’  And Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen him, and it is he who is talking with you.’  Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and he worshipped him.”  This man now has been spiritually healed of his spiritual blindness.  This man is physically able to see, this man is spiritually somebody whose able to see.  I mean, there has been a work, a process that has been happening in his life, and it’s true in our lives too.  God starts to draw us, and we start to respond, there’s this process.  But at this point, man, he doesn’t just see Jesus as a prophet, and we need to see Jesus as more than just a prophet, that’s great, but there’s more than that.  And this is what Jesus now does.  Now he’s been cast out.  The next chapter ties right into this, this next chapter about the Good Shepherd, this Good Shepherd loves his sheep.  And here’s a sheep that’s been cast out, and Jesus we’re told in the Bible, man, he’ll go after the one, and that’s what he does.  This man’s been cast out, but a good place to be cast out of, really.  What a blessing, throw me out and let’s leave.  You know what I mean?  And then Jesus, this Good Shepherd goes and finds him.  That’s what it says, “He found him”, he looks for him.  And he says to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”  He knows his heart, ‘let’s just get it now, let’s make sure, let’s make sure you’re saved’, and he answered him “Who is he Lord, that I may believe in him?”  ‘I want to know, who is he?’  “And Jesus said to him, ‘You’ve seen him and it’s the one whose talking to you.’  And he said, ‘Lord, I believe.’”  And he clearly did, because it says “He worshipped him.”  Interesting, Jesus doesn’t stop him from worshipping him, he lets him worship him.  Same with Thomas, Thomas worships him, Jesus doesn’t stop them from worshipping him.  But the apostles, every time they’re worshipped by somebody in the book of Acts, Peter and those guys, they tell them, “Don’t worship me, I’m just a man.”  But Jesus allows him to worship him, because Jesus knew he was God the Son, that he was God [the One who was Yahweh in the Old Testament].  So he lets him worship him, because he is God.  That’s the whole point John continues to make, as we read through the Gospel of John. 

 

“I have come into the world that those who do not see may see, and those who see may be made blind”

 

Well, we see now this man’s acceptance of Christ as the Lord of his life, and he worships Jesus.  Well there are some standing there, some religious leaders, and Jesus then says to them, “‘For judgment I have come into the world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may be made blind.’”  (verse 39)  What does he mean?  The word “judgment” there is a sifting kind of word.  And really that’s what happens here.  By what he does, he sifts.  There’s a difference, that just by this miracle you can tell, this one guy is over here, and you can tell there’s other guys over here.  They’re not mixed together anymore, they’ve been sifted.  And that’s the type of judgment he’s referring to.  If you remember in John chapter 3, we know the reason Jesus comes isn’t to judge.  When he came, he didn’t come “to judge”, he came, John chapter 3, verse 17, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.”  He came to save.  But the result of his coming is judgment, it’s that sifting.  I mean, one person acknowledging Christ, another person saying ‘Not a chance.’  It’s that sifting, that type of judgment, exposing the real heart.  Well he says this, and it seems he says it because there’s these religious leaders standing by who hear him.  “And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, ‘Are we blind also.’”  (verse 40)  That again in the Greek, they expect a negative answer to that.  And Jesus probably blows them away with his response.  “He says, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin.  But now you say, ‘We see’, therefore your sin remains.’” (verse 41)  What is Jesus finally saying there?  He says this, you expect him to say it the other way, and that’s what they expect, but he makes a point here.  And that is, ‘If you’re really blind,’ meaning unable to discern, unable to be able to tell and grasp the knowledge of the truth, so that you couldn’t discern the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and false, if you were truly blind’, in the sense of the blindness he’s referring to, ‘you wouldn’t be able to discern, you wouldn’t be able to see and make a judgment.’  And that can be true of small children, and different people at different times.  ‘So if you’re not able to, even when you’re exposed to the truth, that means that if I’m not able to, I’m blind, and therefore I’m not even accountable for my sin, in the sense that I’m not of age, I’m not able to discern and apprehend that.  [Comment: The pastor here has gotten to a very little understood spiritual principle about the unsaved world in general, that most of the unsaved world is blind, does not discern, and therefore are not being held accountable for their blindness.  Some teach that this also accounts for most of the “unsaved dead.”  There are differing beliefs about this principle within the body of Christ.]  But, he says, ‘Clearly by your own testimony, you say you can see, you say you can discern, you say you know what’s right and wrong, and by your own words you show that your sin remains.’  Meaning, ‘You are accountable for you sin.’  And we’re accountable for our knowledge.  And as we’ve gone through this Bible study today, we can all be assured that we’re accountable for John chapter 9, God spoke to our heart, God’s revealed truths, now I am accountable for it.  What does that mean to my life, individually?  He says “therefore their sin remains.”  That is a scary deal when your sin remains and you stand before God, because then you’ll be judged for your sin.  Let’s close in prayer.  [Transcript of a sermon on John 9:1-41, given somewhere in New England.]

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