Summary: The hope of the gospel is that we will acknowledge our blindness, that we will be aware of our blind spots, that we will proceed with caution toward others.
22 September 2005
I want to give you some back ground information before we have our scripture reading today.
In John 9, we are told that as Jesus and His disciples were walking along, they saw a man who had been born blind.
"Master," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?"
"Neither," Jesus answered. "His is blind for a purpose; so that I can demonstrate the power of God.”
Then he spat on the ground and made mud from the spittle and smoothed the mud over the blind man's eyes.
And then He told him, "Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam."
The man did as Jesus told him and immediately He was able to see.
Now, this happened on the Jew’s Sabbath day.
The religious rulers and the Pharisees were looking for something to accuse Jesus of, so when they heard about it, they asked the man to tell them what happened to him.
The man that was blind told them how Jesus had smoothed the mud over his eyes, and when it was washed away, he could see.
Some of Pharisees said, "Then this fellow Jesus is not from God because he is working on the Sabbath."
But others said, "But how could an ordinary person do such miracles?"
So there was a deep division of opinion among them.
Then the Pharisees turned on the man who had been blind and demanded, "This man who opened your eyes--who do you say he is?"
The man replied, "I think he must be a prophet sent by God".
The Jewish leaders wouldn’t accept that answer, because they believed the man had never been blind, and so they had the man’s parents brought to them for questioning.
They asked them, "Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he see?"
His parents replied, "We know this is our son and that he was born blind, but we don't know what happened to make him see, or who did it. He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him."
The parents were afraid of the Jewish leaders, because they had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be excommunicated; kicked out of the synagogue.
They let his parents go, and then had the man who had been blind brought to them for the second time, and they told him, "Give the glory to God, not to Jesus, for we know Jesus is an evil person."
"I don't know whether he is good or bad," the man replied, "but I know this: I was blind, and now I see!"
"But what did he do?" they asked. "How did he heal you?"
"Look!" the man exclaimed.
"I told you once; didn't you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?"
Then the Pharisees cursed him and said, "You must be a disciple of His, but we are disciples of Moses. We know God has spoken to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't know anything about him."
"Why, that's very strange!" the man replied. "He can heal blind men, and yet you don't know anything about him!”
As the man continued to speak he said, “Well, God doesn't listen to evil men, but he has open ears to those who worship him and do his will. Since the world began there has never been anyone who could open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn't do it."
"You stupid, evil man!" they shouted. "Are you trying to teach us?"
And then they threw him out.
Now, for the rest of the story I will read our scripture passage; John 9:35-41.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
Some of the Pharisees who were close by heard what Jesus said and said to him, "Surely we are not blind, are we?"