Born Blind – John 9 Part 1

Girl Born Blind

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, ’If I could only see the world, I will marry you.’ One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend. He asked her, ’Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?’ The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn’t expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him. Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: ’Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.’ From a sermon by Ray Swift, The Gospel, 6/17/2010

You see her blindness was a blindness of the heart. She was so focused on what she didn’t have, she couldn’t appreciate what she did have.  It is the same with us so often.      It’s so interesting that the Bible says that we walk by faith, and not by sight.  This woman was supposed to see the world through eyes of faith, regardless of whether she could physically see or not.  My prayer is that as we study this message about a man who was physically blind, we will be passionate about pulling people out of spiritual darkness and bringing to the light of Christ Jesus.

John 9 (NLT)  9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. 7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

So in the text we see Jesus passing a man who had never had any eyes.  He was born blind.  The disciples asked him why the man was born blind.  Jesus said it had nothing to do with his sins or his parent’s sins.  This actually happened so the power of God could be seen in him. Then Jesus went on to say we must work quickly while it is still daylight, because the night would soon come.  He said that while he was in the world, he was the light of the world. Then Jesus made clay from his saliva and from the mud, spread it in the man’s eyes, told him to wash in the pool that meant “sent,” and he came back seeing.

     What a powerful story.  First, we realize that this man was born blind in this situation, not because he was being punished, or because his parents were being punished, but so that God’s power could be seen in Him. With the coming of Jesus into the world, it signaled the beginning of a new age. What do I mean? Well earlier in all the gospels, after he was baptized Jesus was saying repent for the kingdom of God is at hand, or in other words, I am God in flesh, so wherever I go the power and presence of the kingdom of God, which is heaven, I carry with me. He was trying to open people’s spiritual eyes, by opening this man’s physical eyes.

 Jesus came to give us back our spiritual lenses

 So Christ, throughout the gospels, and throughout our lives, is constantly trying to show us who he is.  You’ve been to 3D movies, right? So life with Christ is like having 3D goggles for life.  Without Christ, you don’t have life in the third dimension, the spiritual dimension.  In other words,  life is not about how much money we’re putting away, or what kind of degree we’re getting, What really matters in life is pursuing a relationship with the Son of God. Colossians says this about Jesus:

Colossians 1:17 (NLT) 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Through the lenses of a relationship with Christ, color and life and dimension are breathed into our attitudes, our habits, our thought patterns.  if Christ made us and holds all creation together, don’t you think he can breathe life into the Aomori Prefecture?

Now we are ambassadors of Christ, and ambassadors carry all the authority and weight of the country they represent, do they not? We as Christians carry the power and majesty of heaven within us, and we can bring heaven to earth…the healing, deliverance, restoration, purity and power of heaven is within our grasp as human beings if we have the faith to rely on the Spirit of God.  That’s what having our heavenly lenses is all about.  When we look at modern medicine and all the advances we’ve made, we have to realize that modern healthcare as we know it was started by believers.  In other words, Christians founded the first institutionalized hospitals, treatment centers for the elderly, etc. It was Christians who worked to make hospitals as sterile as humanly possible.  Everyone who has lived for the past 2,000 years has lived under the direct influence of either Christ or his followers. And in spite of opposition, Christ’s imprint has been felt here in the East as well.  The spread of Christianity is transforming Asia.

Did you know that as of 2017, the Bible Society reports that 1 million Bibles are sold in Japan every year? 1 million Chinese people a year are coming to Christ according to the Bible Society as well.  Because Christianity is so restricted, Chinese believers weep and worship when they get Bibles.   Do you know where the largest church in the world is? It’s about 2 1/2 hours away from here by plane, in Seoul South Korea.

The founder of Yoido Full Gospel Church (YFGC), Pastor David Yonggi Cho, knew God wanted him to move the Assemblies of God church to this island with no bridges in the heart of Seoul. Today, YFGC sits on what has become much-coveted land.  Yoido (or Yeouido) Island has become Seoul’s main financial district and also houses South Korea’s National Assembly.  With 830,000 members, the congregation holds seven services each Sunday. It is by far the world’s largest church.

      South Korea is the world’s leader in sending out missionaries. They are sending missionaries to Japan, and some of our former members the Chibas, sent me a compilation CD of a Korean church, in which the members sing in Korean and Japanese.  Now I barely know what’s being sung, but it’s about Jesus and that’s all that matters!

     And that’s just my corner in the Body of Christ that I’m connected to! God is moving through his church in General! People are putting on those 3D lenses, their spiritual eyes are open, and they are seeing the world as Christ sees it.  This means they see a world that desperately needs to be saved from darkness.  And surely, if Christ can do all that, imagine what he can do in your life, and in mine.

John 9:20-25 (NLT) ”20 His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, 21 but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

     So in this passage, some of the people who saw the healing were skeptical.   Some said that it wasn’t the guy who used to sit and beg; it was just someone who looked like him.  Pharisees examined and cross-examined the man who was healed. They weren’t convinced, so they went to his parents.

  In reviewing the facts of the case, the Pharisees had no intention of believing or following the one who had performed the healing. They wanted to disqualify Jesus. They avoided the truth in their quest for a loophole.

What was the issue here? The Pharisees, some of the Pharisees, were extremely jealous of the success of Jesus. What’s sad is that transformed life of the man who was formerly blind was missed.  Folks, don’t miss out on the miraculous because it stretches your understanding of God.  How can we expect the miraculous if we don’t position ourselves to receive it?

                                               Make room for God to be Himself

Some of the Pharisees didn’t have room in their theology for the miraculous.  I want to ask you….in your personal lives, how much room do you give to Jesus? Where he is walking?  Is your heart….is my heart, on the same path that Jesus is on? We must be honest with ourselves and seek out that path that he is on when he walks by.   Let’s make room for the miraculous. You know, I have heard people make the statement, let’s not put God in a box:

So God is not in a box, we definitely agree. But we as flawed, sinful human beings must BOX IN our UNDERSTAND of God, because if we don’t corral our understanding of God IN, we can get into cults and made up religions. Listen to the Apostle Peter compare experiences with the written Word:

2 Peter 1:16-19 (NLT) 16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

Peter is going back to when he saw Jesus transform before His eyes at the end of the gospels.  But he says this experience only reinforced his belief in the prophets and what they wrote down.  That should be a powerful tonic for any kind of obsession we might have with experiences.  Experiences are wonderful;  but the party will eventually end, and you will still need to be discipled, and disciple others.  So miracles and experiences can sometimes breath new life into our faith, but don’t let the basis of your faith be in miracles. Let it be in Christ crucified.

So back to the Pharisees. They prided themselves on studying scripture, but if they really KNEW scripture, meaning it was really their DAILY Bread, they would’ve seen Christ all over the Old Testament.  So again, they ask this guy over and over again about his healing…

John 9:26-34 (NLT)  “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?”27 “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” 28 Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”30 “Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32 Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”34 “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue.

The Pharisees asked the man again about what happened.  Then he asked them if they wanted to be Christ’s disciples too! They were disciples of Moses but couldn’t get with Jesus. The man who was healed understood exactly who Jesus was and where he was from.  God listens to those who worship Him and do his will.  Then the man reminded the Pharisees of the uniqueness of this miracle.  Ever since the world began, nothing like this ever happened.  Jesus HAD to be sent of God.  So then the Pharisee kicked him out of the place of worship!

This miracle is unique throughout the entire Bible; this is the only place where we see someone blind from birth being healed.  Look again at this miracle!!

In his book Darwin’s Black Box, biochemistry professor Michael J. Behe, a Christian, acknowledges a “powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution”—something he refers to as “irreducible complexity.” if we look at the human eye, It has thousands of co-equal functions to make it work. If we take away just one of those functions, the rest of the eye is worthless as an eye. How then did the eye evolve when all functions had to be present at once to give it any worth at all?

“To suppose that the eye could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

Comfort, R. (2001). Scientific Facts in the Bible: 100 Reasons to Believe the Bible is Supernatural in Origin (pp. 81–82). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos.

The focusing muscles in the eye move an estimated 100,000 times each day. The retina contains 137 million light-sensitive cells.

Comfort, R. (2001). Scientific Facts in the Bible: 100 Reasons to Believe the Bible is Supernatural in Origin (pp. 81–82). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos.

One marvels at the incredible intricacies of the human eye, but our eyes are like disposable cameras compared to the high-tech eye of the eagle. Yet, in this creation we haven’t begun to see what God can do. But Jesus was showing us glimpses.  And he showed us so that we could believe he is the Son of God.  Because if he’s not, then we might as well go home.

Jesus is God’s Son, or there’s no point 

     Again, the miracle was designed to point us back to Jesus.  It was a creative miracle; only the Creator God can make eyes from scratch.  Either Jesus is the Son of God, and he is the ONLY hope humanity has, or it’s all pointless. You might as well sleep in on Sunday morning; I might as well hang it up. The man was converted; he became a disciple, he responded to Jesus.

Do you want to become his disciples, too?” —- This man asked the Pharisees this, and we are asking this today.  Do you want to become his disciples, too? What is a disciple? μαθητής (mah-thay-taysss) mathetes, which meant scholars, followers, pupils, true believers.  Too many people are fans, and not followers of Jesus….they like his Facebook page, but won’t send him a friend request!!! Or if they send him a friend request, they don’t turn on their notifications, to see him in their timeline or news feed everyday.  Let’s be tuned in, and have our spiritual sight, restored.  We have to simply ask.  God give me wisdom in sharing my faith.  God, when people do become followers of Christ, continue to allow your grace and your presence to guide them and grow in them daily.  That’s it! We pray and let God do the work.

But what’s the key theme here? God, do the work in me.  I can’t do it, God you can.  Mental toughness alone won’t change your heart. Disciple won’t change your behavior.  Only the Great Physician, Christ Jesus, can healed what’s broken inside all of us.  Won’t you be his disciple today? Won’t you allow him to cure you of spiritual blindness? Are you ready to really see? I challenge you position yourself on the path where Jesus walks.

THE END.

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