INTRO: BLIND AGAINST THE BLIND
In Alabama, one of the most celebrated sports heroes in that state was Charley Boswell. Charley was blinded in World War II while rescuing a buddy from a burning tank. He had always been a great athlete so after the war, he took up golf. One day he decided play an exhibition match. Of course he had a friend line him up and give him a distance, but I can testify that it’s hard to hit that little white ball when you’re looking at it. Boswell won the National Blind Golf Championship 16 times, once shooting a score of 81. In 1958 Charley came to Ft. Worth to receive the coveted Ben Hogan Award.
Mr. Hogan agreed to play a round of golf with Charley. Charley said, “Would you like to play for money?” Hogan said, “That wouldn’t be fair!” Charley said, “C’mon, Mr. Hogan, are you afraid to play a blind golfer?” Hogan was really pretty competitive so he said, “Okay, I’ll play for money. How much?” Boswell said, “$1,000 per hole.” Hogan said, “That’s a lot. How many strokes do you want me to give you?” Boswell said, “No strokes. I’ll play you heads up.” Hogan said, “Charley, I can’t do it. What would people think of me taking advantage of a blind man?” Boswell smiled and said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Hogan, our tee time is tonight at midnight!”
(From a sermon by David Dykes, Has Jesus Touched Your Eyes? 8/20/2012)
RECAP oF LAST SERMON:
Boswell was determined to use his blindness to his advantage in this golf game. But spiritual blindness is serious business, though. Being blind to the reality of who Christ is can be deathly serious. In the first part of chapter 9 two Sundays ago, we read how Jesus healed a man born blind from birth. The Pharisees questioned the man and his parents about his healing. He challenged them, and then they kicked him out of the synagogue. So Jesus finds this man after his confrontation with the Pharisees, and speaks to him once more…
John 9:35 (NLT) 35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
Jesus was asking this man if he believed in the Son of Man? Why is this so powerful? Who is this Son of Man? The Son of Man was a mysterious figure who surfaced in the Old Testament, specifically in the book of Daniel:
Daniel 7:13-14 (NLT) 13 As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.
We would ask the same thing of you today. Do you believe in the Son of Man?
Do You Believe In The Son of Man? — Only one religious leader throughout all history has EVER claimed to be the Son of God. Have you believed, meaning placed your trust in the Son of Man, Jesus, fully human, and fully divine, the Godman. The only time in history where deity was made to fit inside humanity. Jesus is God in carpenter’s clothes. Jesus came down and did blue collar work for 33 years. There’s this funny part in the Passion of the Christ. In Jesus’ day, the tables were very low to the ground, people would rest on their sides on their elbows. Jesus is working on a tall table like the ones we use today, and his mom is like, “this will never catch on,” and Jesus just laughs. But yes, he became like us!! So we can relate. We can see what Christ did in all kinds of life situations, how he got through different trials, when we read the Gospels. God slept and ate and drank and got sweaty and tired, all for us, through Christ Jesus. Christ as a man is still unlimited in beauty, unlimited in wisdom, unlimited in compassion, unlimited in forgiveness. And he is unlimited in his power to heal, set free, deliver and transform. He never sinned, but he was tempted in every category of sin we will ever be tempted in. There was a song several years ago called “What If God Was One of Us?” Well, guess what, he was. And he still is. Jesus still has those nail prints in his hands and feet, and that hole from the spear in his side. He could easily remove the scars, but will keep them to remind us forever of what he’s done for us.
And through this story of this man who was given a new pair of eyes, we see Jesus’ deep concern for his people, both their physical and spiritual conditions. His concern for people then, and his concern for people now remains the same. Now this man in our story that Jesus healed… Once his physical eyes were opened, so were his physical eyes…Jesus said, do you believe in the Son of Man? And this man responded….
John 9:36-38 (NLT) 36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”38 “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
This man responded to Jesus question and he asked, who is this Son of Man? I want to believe in him. Jesus said, you’ve seen him and he is speaking to you. This man said yes Lord, I believe! And he worshipped Jesus.
So this guy began to understand who Jesus is not just in a physical sense, but in a spiritual sense. How many people can relate to this? You go on living your life, even in church, still being number one on the throne of your own heart? Did you know that in the New Testament Greek, the word for worship means to lie prostrate, meaning literally with your face on the ground in front of the one you are worshipping. It’s proskyneo (pros ku nayo). Now listen to me carefully….when you see the English word worship in the New Testament, it is translated every time as proskyneo. This means bowing down and fully extending your body with your face to the ground is the only physical position that translates to worship in the New Testament. This would put you in a complete state of helplessness in front of that person. You wouldn’t be able to see. So powerful! Jesus handcrafted brand new eyes for this man, they just started growing…and then he immediately fell to the ground and covered his face. Once he could see, he voluntary fell on his face, and his eyes were pointing to the ground, so he voluntarily gave up his ability to anything without Jesus.
Jesus’ works and words should lead to us worship
See worship is allowing Jesus to be our eyes. What does this mean? It means that having spiritual sight means voluntary giving up what you think your life is supposed to look like, and letting Christ guide you.
https://www.youtube.com/embed//O_5R7l2j3So [Who Is This Man? Trailer].
John Ortberg has an amazing book called, “Who Is This Man? The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus.” In this book, he talks about the impact of Jesus on humanity.
Jesus’ impact on our world is highly unlikely, widely inescapable, largely unknown, and decidedly double-edged. It is unlikely in light of the severe limitations of his earthly life; it is inescapable because of the range of impact; it is unknown because history doesn’t connect dots; and it is doubled-edged because his followers have wreaked so much havoc, often in his name. He is history’s most familiar figure, yet he is the man no one knows. His impact on the world is immense and non-accidental. From the Dark Ages to Post-Modernity he is the Man who won’t go away. His vision of life continues to haunt and challenge humanity. His influence has swept over history bringing inspiration to what has happened in art, science, government, medicine, and education; he has taught humans about dignity, compassion, forgiveness, and hope.Who Is This Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus
by John Ortberg (Goodreads Author)
So John Ortberg understands who Jesus is. This blind man who was healed understands that Jesus is worthy of worship, he is of utmost importance and ultimate worth. He called Jesus Lord, which means supreme ruler, the highest king among kinds, the Master of the Universe. Has Christ seized your soul? Has he repossessed your heart? Of course we love him as Savior….but is he Lord? Let us be sure that he is.
What does Christ do? He continues speaking words of life to this man.
39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.
”40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?” 41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
If sin is keeping us from letting him be Lord of everything, or if unbelief is the sin, then we still have blindspots.
Don’t be afraid to admit you have blindspots — He came to wake us up and open our eyes. We must learn to lower ourselves and let Him be our eyes and lead us in every area. We must learn to worship him and let him be Lord in our sexuality, our marriages, our relationships with family members and in-laws. Our relationships with our commanders, our supervisors, the troops we supervise, we must examine our own hearts in these areas and see if Christ is leading us, if he is out in front in all these areas. What’s the solution to North Korea? You worship, and let Christ render judgment. Are you concerned about where America is headed? You worship, and let Christ render judgment. Let’s surrender our blindspots to the Lord. Nothing is impossible for a man who can build eyes from scratch.
Most high, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me, Lord, a correct faith, a certain hope, a perfect charity, sense, and knowledge, so that I may carry out your holy and true command. — Francis of Assisi
The Pharisees were shocked that Jesus thought they were spiritually blind. Jesus countered by saying that it was only blindness (stubbornness and stupidity)that could excuse their behavior. To those who remained open and recognized how sin had truly blinded them from knowing the truth, Jesus gave spiritual understanding and insight. But he rejected those who had become complacent, self-satisfied, and therefore, “blind.”
The Light of the World, Jesus, gives us a glimmer of hope. All of us need to follow the Light given to us. Barton, B. B. (1993). John (pp. 202–204). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.