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Sermon:
THATíS MY STORY AND IíM STICKING TO IT
JOHN 9:1-12

SOMEONE SAID TO HELEN KELLER, "WHAT A PITY YOU HAVE NO SIGHT!" TO WHICH SHE REPLIED, "YES, BUT WHAT A PITY SO MANY HAVE SIGHT BUT CANNOT SEE!"

TEXT Ė PEOPLE WHO COULD NOT SEE. NOT JUST THE BLIND MAN . . .
THE DISCIPLES OF JESUS WERE BLINDED BY JUDGMENT.
ďRABBI, WHO SINNED, THIS MAN OR HIS PARENTS, THAT HE WAS BORN BLIND?Ē THE TRADITION . . . ABNORMALITY (10 FINGERS, 10 TOES, 2 ARMS, 2 LEGS, HEAR, SEE) . . . THIS TYPE OF THINKING GAVE BIRTH TO THOSE WHO EVEN TODAY BELIEVE IN THE DOCTRINE OF REINCARNATION, THE BELIEF THAT THE SOUL OF THE DEAD RETURNS TO EARTH IN A NEW BODY? . . . OUTWIT, OUTSMART, OUTLIVE Ė SIN . . .

ONE OF THE PRINCIPLE COMPONENTS OF THE THEORY OF REINCARNATION IS KARMA, THE DOCTRINE THAT EVERYONE GETS WHAT THEY DESERVE. THAT THERE IS AN IMPERSONAL FORCE IN THE WORLD THAT CAUSES US TO BUILD FUTURE DEBITS AND CREDITS BASED ON OUR BEHAVIOR.

THIS THEORY WHEN APPLIED TO ALMOST ANY PROBLEM, PRODUCES A WARPED WAY OF THINKING EXPLANATION.

THE CHILD THAT WAS BORN WITH OR HAS LEUKEMIA, THE CHILD WHO IS CRIPPLED, THE CHILD WHO IS DYING OF STARVATION ARE ALL TOLD: ďYOU ARE GETTING EXACTLY WHAT YOU DESERVE; YOU HAVE THESE PROBLEMS BECAUSE YOU OR YOUR PARENTS COMMITTED SOME GREAT SIN IN A PREVIOUS EXISTENCE OR SITUATION."

THE FOUR-YEAR-OLD BOY ABUSED BY AN ANGRY FATHER WITH A LIT CIGARETTE, THE SIX-YEAR-OLD GIRL BEATEN, HER ARMS AND LEGS BROKEN BY AN ANGRY AND IRRATIONAL MOTHER ARE TOLD: "YOU WERE NOT THE VICTIMS OF INJUSTICE. YOU JUST GOT WHAT YOU HAD COMING TO YOU BECAUSE OF SINS YOU COMMITTED IN A PREVIOUS LIFEóSINS YOU CANNOT REMEMBER." GINA CERMINARA, SAYS ANY BIRTH ABNORMALITY "IS PROBABLY OF KARMIC ORIGIN."NKING.

THE DISCIPLES WERE GUILTY OF SUCH THINKING. SUCH ELITIST THINKING. A THINKING THAT SUGGEST:
IíM FINE . . .
IíM PUT TOGETHER
I GOT IT GOING ON . . . BECAUSE I HAVENíT DONE ANYTHING WRONG. THATíS AN ELITIST ATTITUDE. FOR THE TRUTH BE TOLD:
YOU HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE
YOU DRIVE . . .
YOU LIVE . . .
YOU EAT . . . NOT BECAUSE YOU HAVENíT DONE ANYTHING WRONG . . . .
THEREíS SOME OF US WHO PRAY ďTHANK YOU LORDĒ
THEREíS SOME OF US WHO PRAY ďTHANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVENíT DONE.Ē
HAVENíT EXPOSED Ė WICKEDNESS/WEAKNESS
HAVENíT EXPOSED Ė SHORTCOMINGS
HAVENíT EXPOSED MY SICK IDEOSYNCRACIES . . .

THATíS WHY JESUS SAID IN MATTHEW 7:1-2 "DO NOT JUDGE, OR YOU TOO WILL BE JUDGED. FOR IN THE SAME WAY YOU JUDGE OTHERS, YOU WILL BE JUDGED, AND WITH THE MEASURE YOU USE, IT WILL BE MEASURED TO YOU.Ē

JESUS REPRIMANDED Ė DISCIPLES ďNEITHER . . .Ē
THE DISCIPLES WERE BLINDED BY JUDGMENT.

THEN THE BLIND MAN NEIGHBORS WERE BLINDED BY SKEPTICISM.
V.8 Ė NEIGHBORS WERE USE TO SEEING THE BLIND MAN AS A BEGGAR . . . POSITIONED HIMSELF TO GET BLESSED/GOT BLESSED . . .
BROKE . . .
BROKE DOWN CAR . . .
BROKEN RELATIONSHIP . . .
PICK-UP THE TAB
I CAN DRIVE
DISCIPLES Ė BLINDED BY JUDGMENT
NEIGHBORS Ė BLINDED BY SKEPTICISM

THIRDLY, THE PHARISEES (RELIGIOUS LEADERS)