Summary: This is the first in a 5-part series I did on witnesses to the life and ministry of Christ. Each message was prefaced with a dramatic monologue.
(Holding dirty coat in hands; speaks as if to a person who has brought him the old coat)
Man, where’d you find this thing? C’mon, where’d you get it? I never thought I’d see this old thing again! You think I’ve got a use for it now? Man, it’s old and ratty and dirty; I don’t know that I’ll ever need this again, I tell you. Say what? You heard there’s a story in this coat…well, yeah, I guess so. Sit down, man, cause you ain’t gonna believe this one, but you’re right, there is a story, all right, there is a story.
Can you imagine what it’s like to be blind, man? I mean, I couldn’t see nothin. Nothin. I couldn’t even imagine what stuff looked like; I was born that way, you know? Darkness all my life. I couldn’t do nothin without someone helping me. I mean, you learn some things, you learn how to get around a little, but you just depend on other people for so much—and a lot of people, I mean a lot of people, man, they just don’t care, they don’t care. You’re just in the way…that’s the way I felt all my life, just in the way, just takin’ up space, man, just playin out the string, you know what I mean?
I couldn’t work a job; I couldn’t see. You know what that does to a man? You know what it does to his pride, man? It trashes it, you know? You don’t earn nothin, man, nothin. All you get is what people give you. So I begged. It was humiliating, man, it was as bad as being blind, having to beg, having to sit there every day in the hot sun and call out to people walking down the street, people you can’t even see, who might be mocking you even as they drop something in your cup. I sat there every day on the side of the road, sweaty and grimy with the nasty dust kicked up in my face, and the stinking animals…well, I don’t want to go there, man.
So anyway, one day I’m sitting there just like every other day, hoping that somebody will have a little pity in their heart and drop a few pennies in my cup, right? I hear this commotion in the distance, it sounds like a crowd coming my way, so I says to my buddy Ralphamiah, “what you think that is, bro?” And he says, “man, I don’t know, but I hope I don’t get trampled here. And then somebody screams out a name: Jesus. Jesus! Man, I’d heard of this guy, I’d heard He was like a miracle worker or something. You gotta be kiddin me, he’s coming this way? And all of a sudden, I says to my buddy, “you thinking what I’m thinking?” And he says, “no”, like the dumb lunk he is, you know? I says, “hey, man, this is our chance, buddy!” I figure I gotta go for it, you know? I mean, if this guy really is some kind of magic worker, well, maybe He can do something for me, right? So I just start screamin, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Well, all these people got ugly real fast. “Shut up, you stupid idiot! Shut up!”, they said, but I don’t care now, you know, I just scream louder, “Son of David, Jesus, man, come help me, come help me!” What have I got to lose, I figure, right? What’s the worst that can happen, huh? Sometimes in a man’s life he’s just got to go for it, right?
And then all of a sudden, there’s a hush over the crowd, and I hear the procession stop, right, like right in front of me, and some guy says, “hey, you, blind guy, get up and come here; Jesus wants you!” Man, he didn’t have to ask twice, you know what I mean? Man, I’m up like a shot, and I follow the sounds over to where I figure Jesus is, and He stops me and says, “What do you want me to do for you?” Man, that was the easiest question anybody had ever asked me, and I’m thinking, buddy, if you can do for me what I want done, I will follow you to the end of the earth, you know?
“Teacher, I want to see!” I said. And just like that, there’s no hocus-pocus, no alakazam, just “Go, your faith has healed you”, and when he said that, POW, my eyes opened, and the very first thing I saw in my whole life, man, was the face of Jesus. Man, that was cool. And then I remembered what I’d said to myself earlier: if a man could just give me my sight, I’d follow him anywhere. So that’s what I did.