Summary: 4 Reasons That Believers Can Be Blind! 1. Judgment 2. Skepticism 3. Tradition 4. Fear
Are We Blind?
June 6, 2004
The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies will always be known as the team that suffered one of the great collapses in sports history. They let a huge division lead slip away by losing ten games in a row at the end of the season. Despite the collapse, the Phillies season had its share of memorable moments, including a perfect game and a ninth-inning home run by a Phillie to win the All-Star Game.
But the most remarkable moment of the entire season occurred after a game, not during it. Clay Dalrymple, a Phillie pitcher, was asked to assist a blind girl who had requested a chance to walk out on the field. Dalrymple took the girl to home plate where she reached down and felt the plate. Then they walked to first base, second base, and third base before ending up at home plate once again.
While Dalrymple was showing the girl around the bases, he never noticed that the fans remaining in the stadium had stopped to watch him and his companion. He just assumed that the silence in the stands meant the fans had gone home. But when the two of them finally reached home plate, the ballpark erupted. Dalrymple was shocked by the applause. When he looked up, he saw thousands of fans giving him a standing ovation.
Later, Dalrymple told a Sports Illustrated reporter, “It was the biggest ovation I ever got.”
I am convinced that we take so many things for granted in life. Sight is one of those things. For those of us who have been blessed with the ability to see, we don’t know what it is like not to see. It is not until moments like the story that was just shared that we realize the blessings of life that we have that we take for granted.
Listen to what Max Lucado writes about one particular man who was blind:
For 51 years Bob Edens was blind. He couldn’t see a thing. His world was a black hall of sounds and smells. He felt his way through five decades of darkness. And then, he could see. A skilled surgeon performed a complicated operation and, for the first time, Bob Edens had sight. He found it overwhelming. “I never would have dreamed that yellow is so…yellow,” he exclaimed. “I don’t have the words. I am amazed by yellow. But red is my favorite color. I just can’t believe red. I can see the shape of the moon—and I like nothing better than seeing a jet plane flying across the sky leaving a vapor trail. And of course, sunrises and sunsets. And at night I look at the stars in the sky and the flashing light. You could never know how wonderful everything is.”
How many of us in here this morning have ever had to place a blindfold on and have a friend lead us somewhere? That is not the best position to be put in.
And that is exactly what it is like for thousands of people who are blind.
Imagine for a moment what it would be like never to see a sunset. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to never see the faces of those you love. Imagine for a moment never to see the birds who sing, or the colors of the flowers.
Open up your Bibles to John 9
Our text this morning is the entire chapter of John 9. I know that is a lot, but I believe that we need to look at the entire chapter this morning for our lesson.
Before we read the text some background information is necessary. In John chapter 8 Jesus has had a busy day. He has forgiven the woman caught in adultery! He has claimed to be the light of the world, and He has angered the Jews to the point that they were going to stone Him, but they couldn’t.
Those are some pretty amazing things there. Then He backs His preaching up with what happened in chapter 9.
Read The Text!
“What, are we blind too?”
That is the question the Pharisees asked. They knew exactly what Jesus was saying to them.
It is possible to have our sight and yet be blind to what is going on around us. In our text this morning I see 4 things that will cause us to be spiritually blind.
1. The Disciples of Jesus were blinded by judgment.
What did the disciples say when they walked up on the man?
"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Now, before we go any further, I think is necessary to say that this was a common belief among the Jews of that day. As a matter of fact, it was widely taught that God punished people right now for their sin. And that punishment came in the form of some sort of sickness or disease.