Sermon Illustrations

When I first met PETER SUMNER he was blind. As a young man a terrible accident burned his eyes and left him without his sight. He walked down the aisles of the first Church I served in and his hand knocked the edge of the pew with quite some force. Until that time it didn't occur to me how easily he might be hurt even though he had a guide dog to lead him.

Later, with just his cane, I told him of some steps he would have to master. He said "UP OR DOWN?". It hadn't occurred to me how important that information might be to him. Have you ever walked down some steps not realising that there was one more step to go? Horrible feeling to step out into mid air expecting to find something solid. I take eyesight for granted, although I appreciate it when I stumble around in the dark each morning to find the lightswitch.

Peter received the miracle of sight through modern surgery. They replaced the lenses of his eyes completely. When they removed the bandages, he saw his wife for the first time. They had tried the operation once before but his eyes had rejected the new lenses and so, after a time, he was thrust back into the world of darkness. He was relunctant some years later to try again. But since medical technology had advanced so much since his last operation, he was willing to submit himself to the surgeon's hand and once again receive the miracle that we call sight.

My wife just asked me whether I would like to see the view. She noticed that the blinds on the window were shut. I can't imagine not being able to have that choice. To see the colours of the morning and the glassy surface of the lake is magnificent as we enjoy this holiday house for another few days. We have to travel over a mountain to get internet access. It is not surprising to me that two blind men stumble after Jesus, willing to come under His authority in order to receive their sight. Who would want to live their lives in darkness.

In Matthew 9:26, after raising Jairus' daughter from the dead Jesus is now famous for His healing miracles and authoritative teaching. Two blind men follow Him and shout, "SON OF DAVID, have mercy on us!" (Matthew 9:27). What a strange thing to say. How do they know He is from David's lineage? And why do they address Him like this? It occurs to me that the answer to that question might be important.

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