What Can Happen If We Would Let Him Work on Us?
June 10, 2018 AM 24th Anniversary as a Church
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (John 9:1)
A. Casual events, passing events in our lives are never accidents
B. They are ordained by an infinitely wise and loving God
1. Just as much as earthquakes and storms and major disasters
2. The very fact that Jesus goes out of His way for single, solitary individuals like the man we are about to read about this morning, is awesome!
C. It is the week of Passover
1. Jerusalem is packed with visiting Jews from all over the world
2. This means it is Jesus’ final few days before His crucifixion
3. And what do we find Him doing?
D. Jesus and His twelve disciples are walking through the city of Jerusalem, and they approach a blind beggar man who is evidently well known to have been blind from birth. The blind man is just sitting there, begging for a few coins to get him through the day
E. And they are intrigued by this man who was born blind – they were full of theological questions – a good thing to ask more than where are we going to eat next?
F. They did not realise just how many questions would be asked this day, nor how great the answers would be!
A. A Man Born Blind (9:1,2)
1. This man is not an old man, but a young man – somewhere between 20 - 30 years old
2. This man was born into an awful life – born completely blind
a. Had never seen with his eyes
b. Had never been able to do any work and pay his bills
c. Had been dependant since birth upon other people all his life to get around
d. His parents knew that he would probably end up begging on some street corner some day
e. Which is where we find him here in John chapter 9
3. The disciples were curious… Why? Why was this man born this way?
a. Did he deserve it? Was he some wicked sinner somehow, from the womb?
b. Or did his parents do some awful sin and pass the consequences onto their son?
c. Certainly there is not other alternative, right?
4. Do YOU ever ask the ‘Why’ Question about YOUR circumstances?
B. It is For the Glory of God (9:3)
1. What a way for Jesus to talk!
2. Jesus confidently declares that such disasters, and hardships could actually be FOR GOOD, and to bring glory to God
3. Shock of all shocks!
a. That’s such an offensive thing to say Jesus!
b. Does Jesus even care how offensive those words would be to this blind man?
c. Most people today see every burden and every heartache as a punishment only
4. But, Oh that every person in this room had faith to believe this Promise!!!
a. Absolutely no mater WHAT you are going through, it can be for good, folks!
b. If you would let Jesus pass by your way and not ignore Him!
C. Jesus Gets to Work (9:4-6)
1. He starts doing what only He could do
a. As God - Jesus was NOT doing His own work, but the work of almighty God (deity)
b. As the LIGHT of the world! Notice how Jesus calls Himself NOT the great Physician, or the great Healer, but the “LIGHT of the world”
2. Spits onto the ground – this is in the middle east remember… no water fountain nearby
3. Works the dust into a simple clay with His gentle hands
4. Reaches up and places clay from both His hands onto the very eyes of the blind man
5. I wonder if he is shocked, surprised???
a. John records this touch by Jesus as an anointing – not cruel, and probably not uncomfortable – just gently placed the clay on the two blind eyes!
b. “I” wouldn’t do such a thing – neither would YOU – but then again, we are not the Son of God! Who does GREAT things in humble ways!
6. I wonder if he was glad yet, that this Jesus had stopped by?
D. Simple Trusting Faith (9:6,7)
1. Look at how this blind man reacts…
a. The blind man does NOT know who Jesus is – has only heard of Him. Knows His name, and may have heard of His fame. But does not ask for Him, or seek Him
b. But he DOES trust Jesus! He allows this Jesus to touch his eyes – one of the most protected and sensitive parts of your entire body – yet this blind man trusts Jesus!
c. Even more than that, the blind man allows Jesus to place on his eyes, dirty clay!
2. Then he hears a simple command from Jesus: (not a suggestion either)
b. Wash your eyes in the pool of Siloam – it was nearby, just outside the city walls – it had a freshwater fountain flowing into it, so it was clean, fresh water
3. And he did!
a. Evidently someone led him out of the city to the water’s edge
b. And there, he dropped to his knees, and placed his face into the pool, and splashed the water into his blind eyes
c. And within seconds…
4. He came seeing!
a. This man came staggering slowly back to the place he had been begging just moments before, seeing as clear as day!
b. No longer needing anyone to take him by the hand
c. But walking slowly, stunned, amazed, speechless
d. Looking around at everyone and everything along the way, trying to take it all in
e. Here was a man who had NEVER seen a face, or what the sky looked like, or what dirt and sand looked like. He had never seen a bird fly overhead, or what leaves, blowing in the wind look like
5. Instantly a crowd gathered and noticed that he looked them straight in their faces
6. Everyone knew that this man born blind, could clearly see!
7. I imagine this man was now VERY GLAD that Jesus passed by his way!!!
E. Questions and Answers (9:8-33) – rather, an interrogation
Now comes the barrage of questions from all sides… How will the man handle it all?
1. All of his acquaintances and people who knew him agthered around (9:8-12)
a. Is this really the same man?
1) Looks like the same guy
2) Or at least is just LIKE the blind man
3) But this man had no probalem annoucing “I am he” – “I am the blind man!”
b. How did this happen? How were your eyes opened?
1) A man called Jesus made some clay and annointed my eyes
2) And then he told me to go and wash it all off in the pool of Siloam
3) And I went
4) And I now see
c. Where is Jesus? Why isn’t he showing Himself and taking credit for this impossible miracle?
2. They dragged him to the religious leaders – the Pharisees (9:13-18) – surely THEY will be able to figure out how this all happened!
a. It was on the Sabbath – on a Saturday of all days (14)
b. Same Questions
1) How did you receive your sight?
c. Same answers
1) Jesus put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can SEE
2) Not bothered by telling the story over and over – greatest day of his life!
d. Jesus has Caused Division!
1) Some decided that Jesus cannot be of God because He ignored the Sabbath to heal this man – so cut and dry
2) Others asked, How can a sinful man do such miracles?
e. The Pharisees asked the man, What do YOU think of this Jesus who opened your eyes?
1) He must be a prophet - that’s all he knew
2) A rare breed of persons – someone prepared by God for a great task
3) Like Elijah and Elisha, Daniel and Samuel
f. None of the leaders believed the man was the same man born blind – it just could NOT be that Jesus could do such a great miracle!
3. So they called for the man’s parents – more questioning (9:18-23)
a. This miracle was just another proof that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God – and none of them were allowing for that!
b. Is this your son, that had been born blind?
c. How does he now see???
1) YES! This is our son, but HOW he sees, we do not know
d. Which was a lie – they were terrified of being kicked out of their religion
1) Their fear of the Pharisees stopped them from dancing and shouting and praising God that their son had been miraculously given the gift of sight!
2) What a shame!
3) They redirect the questions back on their son (9:23)
e. He would have to stand alone!
4. They asked the man one more time (9:24-33)
a. To Give only GOD the praise
b. To Condemn Jesus as a sinner – a law breaker – a Sabbath rejector
c. The man responds with the most amazing logic ever
1) I don’t understand much theology
2) All I know is
3) I was blind
4) But now I can see
d. They press him further, implying Jesus did some wicked witchcraft – what did He do to you?
1) I have already told you FOUR times
2) Is it because you love to hear about it?
3) Will you start to follow Him now – be Jesus’ disciples?
e. Well, that was it! What a slam!
1) We be disciples of MOSES
2) We KNOW that God spake to Moses
3) As for this “fellow” – we have no idea from where this man gets His miracles
f. Why, THIS is marvellous don’t you think?
1) That He is a nobody, and yet He has opened my eyes! He just gave me such a miraculous gift!
2) We all know that God does not hear the requests of sinful people
3) But only those that worship God and does His will
4) It has never been heard of before that anyone ever opened the eyes of a man born blind
5) “I” am the first in all of history
6) If this is not a proof that He is of God, I don’t know what is!
F. Cast Out! (9:34,35)
1. Religious bigotry, blindness, hatred of Jesus
a. “Evidence, Smevidence! You were born blind because of sin in you”
b. “And here you are trying to TEACH US”
c. “Get him out of here”
d. “We’ll show you!”
e. And they pushed him out of the Temple area, out onto the busy streets – rejected!
f. What a sight - What a public shaming
2. Sounds so much like TODAY’S “tolerant” culture
a. They will not accept ANY evidence FOR Jesus being the Messiah
b. They will hate anyone whose life has been CHANGED and is actually different
3. So, it’s back to being alone
a. Parents won’t stand with him
b. Neighbours won’t stand with him
c. His religion rejected him
d. Would YOU stand with him?
e. I wonder if he is STILL glad that Jesus passed by???
4. Let’s see now…
a. Gladly stands alone with Christ
b. Able to walk away from the past, and from the crowds and popularity, and even from religion
c. He KNOWS what he is now
d. I would say he doesn’t mind being cast out by the world and culture around him!
G. Sought For (9:35-37)
1. When no one else would seek out this man… Jesus came looking for Him – AGAIN
a. This is now the SECOND time that Jesus just happened to pass by!
2. Jesus asks him one question… “Do you believe ON the Son of God?”
a. To believe IN is easy – most everybody SAYS they “believe IN Jesus…”
b. To believe ON is to fully TRUST, and ACCEPT Jesus for who He truly IS – the very Son of God, living AS a Man here in our world!
3. “Tell me who He is, LORD” (nice word there) “and I will believe on Him with all my heart – I will follow Him! I will love Him! I will worship Him!”
4. “It’s Me!” The very Man speaking to you right now is the Son of God!
5. “Will you believe it?”
H. I Believe! (9:38) No hesitation!
1. LORD… I BELIEVE!
2. Those words may mean NOTHING to you – but they meant eternal life to this once blind and lost man
3. This blindness in every person is the reason why Jesus CAME
a. To save what was lost. Luke 5:31,32 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
b. To give light to those who live in darkness - Mat 4:14-16 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light (saw Jesus); and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
4. What a life changing decision this man’s belief was!
a. A poor, blind man, totally unable to do anything EXCEPT BELIEVE
b. Could that REALLY be enough for anything?
c. Well, according to Jesus – that is perfectly enough!
1) It was enough for the thief on the cross next to Jesus to gain forgiveness and eternal life in Christ’s perfect kingdom!
2) It was enough for Peter to just believe Jesus was the Christ, the son of God
3) It was enough for the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8
4) It will be enough for you dear friend!
5. And the man fell at the feet of Jesus and worshipped Him – right out in view of everyone passing by!
6. And became Jesus’ disciple and follower from this day forward!
7. His faith turned into a LIFE of worship, and discipleship, and JOY!
8. He was SO GLAD that JESUS had passed by!
III. Conclusion (John 9:39-41)
A. Jesus Came as a Judgment – not a Judge, but as a Light
1. An exposer – a LIGHT! Like a bright halogen lamp – like an X-Ray
2. To show us just how DARK we all are deep inside
3. On the outside most “seem” just fine
4. But Jesus came to give light, salvation, forgiveness, a new life – a healing on the inside
5. THIS is the work of the Messiah
a. To open the eyes of the blind
1) Isa 42:6,7 “I the LORD have called thee … and will … give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”
b. And to close the eyes of the proud
1) Isa 61:10 “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”
c. How is YOUR eyesight today?
B. Are WE Blind Also?
1. A few brave Pharisees knew Jesus was talking about a much more serious blindness than physical blindness
2. They were curious whether Jesus was exposing THEM
3. But not concerned enough to run to get healed themselves!
C. Your Questions, Your View of Yourselves, shows your spiritual condition
1. If you were actually spiritually blind, and hopeless, and desperate to really see, then you could be like this man – saved! You could have no more sin!!!
2. But if you think you see just fine, and don’t WANT to start seeing, then you are most certainly LOST and BLIND and will die in your sins!
3. Those are the fearful words of the Son of God folks!
A. So, let me ask YOU! Are YOU blind also?
1. Blind to just WHO Jesus IS? Just another religious man, or the Son of God?
2. To the FACT that this whole world is a miracle of Creation – not an accident of science and accidents and chance and evolution
3. To just how blind and lost YOU truly are before God! So arrogant, so smart, so religious, so blind = doomed! No hope!
4. To how bad your future WILL turn out one day when you end up in hell
B. God has been very good to pass by your way this morning… Do you even CARE?
C. Today could be THE only opportunity to believe – to have your eyes opened to who Jesus is
D. Don’t be almost persuaded! BE SAVED TODAY!
1. By the holy Spirit of God
2. Bow your head and cry out to Jesus, the Son of God, and beg Him for the gift of eternal life
3. Your eyes WILL be opened, and more importantly, your heart will be!
V. And Dear Christian – Did you Notice the Characteristics of a Converted Life?
A. We ALL start off blind, lost, condemned, without hope and without God
1. Not all admit it
2. But no one starts off already a Christian – already saved
3. All are lost, and in need of salvation
B. At conversion, we know something has happened to us (Cf Acts 9:8,9, 17,18)
C. We love telling other people what happened when we were born again – had our eyes opened – were saved from sin’s guilt, shame and condemnation!
D. And by the way, converted people LOVE hearing other people’s testimonies about how God saved THEM!
E. There is a yearning to believe more and more – willing to let the Lord do things HIS perfect way!!!
F. Gladly stands alone with Christ
G. Able to walk away from the past, and from the crowds and popularity, and even from religion
H. Know what they are now
I. Converted people have NO problem worshipping JESUS, even publicly