Today, we’re continuing our message series entitled “Jesus Offers Hope.” Jesus offers hope to those who do not yet know Him. Jesus also offers hope to believers. There are times in our lives when life is difficult. There are times when we don’t know what the future holds and we are tempted to worry or fear. Jesus is there, whether things are going great or not so well, to offer hope. Through faith, we accept His gift of hope and encouragement. So, no matter what you’re going through today, God wants to give you hope.
Psalm 34:6 (ESV) This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
We can have hope because God hears our prayers and answers them.
Lamentations 3:21-22 (ESV) But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
We can have hope knowing that the Lord loves us. Nothing can separate you from His love and His mercy.
Today, my message is entitled “Seeing the Light.” We’re going to be looking at a story from John 9 about a man born blind. Let’s think about what those words mean. When a man is born blind, he has never seen the light. He has never seen another person’s face. He really has no idea what the world looks like. We find in the story that the man was still living with his parents, who undoubtedly cared for him. In those days, there was no technology to assist a blind person. The only way to earn any money at all was to sit by the road, begging others to give you money. It was a live of despair, hopelessness and darkness. The Gospel of John begins with these verses in …
John 1:4-5 (ESV) In him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
We learn that Jesus is the light of the world. The world is steeped in darkness, filled with people living in darkness. Yet, they don’t know they are living in darkness. The can’t see the spiritual reality of God, they can’t see their purpose in life. They stumble in the darkness, hurting themselves and others through their sin.
Today, God wants to give each of us hope. We can never have enough hope. God wants to fill you with hope, so that you can give that hope away by others. How is hope transmitted? Simply by letting the light of Christ inside of you shine through to others, drawing them to Jesus. Jesus is the only one who offers and who can give true and lasting hope. May God use His Word to give us hope today in every aspect of our lives.
John 9:1 (ESV) As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.
We’ve already talked about what life for the blind man was like. Yet, even as Jesus was passing by, He noticed this blind man and stopped. Jesus knew that every need is an occasion for a miracle, a miracle that would bring glory to God. The disciples on the other hand were not thinking about miracles. They were seeking to lay blame for the man’s condition. But …
John 9:2-3 (ESV) And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
The disciples believed the man’s condition was caused by sin. Either the sin of the man or his parents. My first question for the disciples would be, How could the man, as an unborn baby, possibly have sinned? Their question doesn’t even make sense. Rather than having compassion on the man, they were seeking to blame someone. Jesus clearly responds that neither the sin of the man or the parents was to blame. The man’s blindness had been allowed by God so that God could work a miracle. Now, we know from other teaching of Jesus that sometimes sickness is caused by a person’s sin. But not in this case or many others. How did Jesus respond to the man’s blindness?
John 9:5-7 (ESV) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
Jesus, the light of the world, would now work a miracle of healing for the blind man. In those days, the saliva of an important person was thought to have healing power. The miracle was not in the saliva or the mud, but in the power of the Spirit working in and through Jesus. The miracle did not happen immediately. The man had to do something. He had to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. So the Sent one, Jesus, sent the blind man to wash in a pool named Sent. When the man went and obeyed, his eyes were opened. He came back to Jesus, now seeing for the first time in his life. Jesus had become the light of the world for him. Jesus had worked a miracle which would bring God glory.
When do we need a miracle? We need miracles in difficult situations where we can not see the solution. If everything is going great, we think we can handle everything and we have no need for God or His miracles. So, God allows difficulties into our lives and the lives of others, so that He can work miracles and receive the glory. We need to have the attitude of Jesus. Every difficulty, every problem, every sickness is an opportunity for God to work a miracle. We need to have that attitude about our own lives and about the lives of people around us. Then we need to pray and believe God for a miracle. A miracle that will dispel the darkness and bring the light of Jesus into the situation. Not only do miracles bring God glory …
Miracles cause controversy today. Many denominations believe that God no longer works miracles today, as He did in the Bible. Some believe that even the miracles in the Bible are not true. This miracle of Jesus we’re reading about today caused controversy.
John 9:8-9 (ESV) The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.”
The man’s neighbors did not know what to think. No one had ever seen or even heard of a man born blind being able to see. So, some doubted the miracle and tried to explain it away. They said that the man who could now see was not the same man who had been blind. The man gave his witness, his testimony, that indeed he was the blind beggar.
John 9:16 (ESV) Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
Some of the legalistic religious leaders were not concerned about the man and the miracle at all. Jesus had healed the blind man on the Sabbath. The religious leaders taught that you could do no work on the Sabbath, including healing blind people. Since Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, they thought that He had sinned. Therefore He couldn’t be from God. Others debated whether Jesus could have done a miracle as a sinner? Rather then doubt the miracle, the leaders accused Jesus of sin.
John 9:22 (ESV) (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.)
The man’s parents refused to answer questions about the miracle. They were afraid that if they said anything positive about Jesus, they would be put out of the synagogue. For the Jews of that time, the synagogue was not only their spiritual center, it also was their community, government and family center. The parents directed all questioners to their son to protect themselves. Miracles cause controversy.
Life Church is part of the Assemblies of God, one of the largest denominations in the world. We believe that the Bible clearly teaches that God worked miracles in the past, He still works them today and He will continue to do so until Jesus returns. The blind man who was healed through a miracle is an example to each of us. I’d encourage you to read the entire chapter of John 9, as we don’t have time to look at every verse this morning.
For each group of questioners, the healed man responded with courage and truthfulness. He was what every witness for Jesus should be like. He didn’t know the answer to every question, but he did know that he was blind and now he could see. The healed man knew that what happened was not by chance, he knew that Jesus was the one who had worked the miracle. That is what God calls us to be like. Simply sharing our story of what Jesus has done for us. The story of every believer is that Jesus has turned our lives from spiritual darkness to light. For many, we have stories of miracles, where God has healed, guided, provided or rescued us in different situations. Share those stories with those God puts in your life. Oh, there will be controversy, not everyone will believe, but …
The religious leaders then called the healed man a second time for questioning.
John 9:24-25 (ESV) So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
At this point, the healed man didn’t really know who Jesus was. He had only interacted with Him on one occasion. The man was honest, he didn’t know whether Jesus was a sinner or not. He did know one thing, that he had been blind and now he could see. His life had been radically turned right side up through a miracle of physical healing. As he continued to discuss with the religious leaders, we see that ...
John 9:32-33 (ESV) Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.
The healed man realizes that the miracle he has experienced was profound. No one had ever heard of a person born blind, who was healed. The man boldly proclaims that only a man from God could do such a miracle. If Jesus was not from God, the miracle would not have happened. As we read the entire section, we see that an uneducated man is uncovering the spiritual blindness of the religious leaders. The leaders did not like to be exposed, darkness does not welcome the light.
John 9:34 (ESV) They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
The religious leaders seemed to accuse everyone except themselves of being sinners. Here they undoubtedly are accusing the man of sinning before birth and so bringing on his blindness. They do not want to listen to the truth from the healed man. So, they put him out of the synagogue. This was severe persecution, as often the synagogue would help people who couldn’t help themselves, like the blind man. Yet, now he could see and God would take care of him.
John 9:35, 38 (ESV) Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” … He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Jesus heard that the man He had healed had been persecuted by being put out of the synagogue. So, Jesus sent looking for him. He asked the healed man whether he believed in the Son of Man, a title Jesus often used of Himself. The man replied that he didn’t know who the Son of Man was. Jesus answered and told him that he was the Son of Man. The healed man then called him Lord, proclaimed his faith in Jesus and worshipped him. Not only had the blind man been physically healed, he had been spiritually healed, he was saved.
Jesus is the light of the world. Those who believe in Him are transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of light, the kingdom of God. Jesus calls us as believers to let our lights shine to dispel the darkness around us. As we let our lights shine, people will be attracted to the Jesus they see in us. As we are faithful to being witnesses, as the healed man was, God will touch others. God is still a God of miracles, He still responds to faith and healing prayers. God wants to give each one of us hope for greater things as we follow Jesus. If you’re here this morning and you have never said, Lord I believe, to Jesus, I want to give you an opportunity. An opportunity to see the light of Jesus and have Him in your own life.