“Blind to the Truth” - John 9 - 3/7/04
Blind people have done some amazing things. During one of the recent Olympic games there were blind skiers. They trained going down hill along with a sighted skier who called to them when to turn right or left. There are blind men who have conquered steep mountain heights. Fanny Crosby wrote hundreds of hymns. Helen Keller became and inspiration and a voice to a whole nation. One of Helen Keller’s most famous quotes is also one of my favorites: She was once asked, “What could be worse than being blind?” To which she answered, “Being able to see, but having no vision.”
I think that is where many people are in our world today. We have physical sight, but we really don’t see correctly. We’re blind to the truth. We want to look at the miracle of Jesus healing the man born blind this morning. It’s found in the gospel of John, chapter 9, and we want to understand what it means for us to really see. The story goes something like this, if you’ll look up at the screen.
***Play video clip***
This morning I want to talk about 3 truths to having clear vision. The first of these is
I. We need to see people as they really are.
Some times when we are around others, we fail to see the truth about them. Here Jesus comes with his disciples, and they see a man born blind. Right away, the disciples make some quick judgments about him. First, the man is blind, but his is not deaf. It appears their discussion takes place right in front of the man. But they are talking about the man as if they could not hear.
Let’s learn to be sensitive in the presence of others who have special needs. If a person is blind, or handicapped, sick, or old - they still are capable of interaction. Let’s not isolate them.
**if Jazmin present, interview about blindness
Have you ever been to visit someone who is sick, and you ask the spouse how they are instead of asking the person? We tend to be blind to seeing people as they truly are.
A. Don’t presume sinful actions on the part of people.
It is easy for us to look at others and assume they are sinful. Sometimes we look at ourselves and think what WE might be doing if we were in their situation. We see the disciples instantly see the man and assume he must have sinned that he was born blind. Remember the story of the prodigal son - when the prodigal comes home the older brother accuses him of spending all his money on prostitutes, although that is never mentioned anywhere in the story. The older brother has probably stayed at home and dreamed how HE would have spent all the father’s money.
We so often hear the story of Lot, and we think Lot is this evil man who wanted to live in the city of Sodom. But when we look at 2 Peter 2:7 we read that Lot was a righteous man, “But at the same time, God rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a good man who was sick of all the immorality and wickedness around him. Yes, he was a righteous man who was distressed by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day.”
Let’s be slow to assume sinfulness on the part of others. Sometimes we hear something about someone else, and we’re quick to believe it, even when there is no proof given. That is called GOSSIP and that is SIN. When someone comes to you with an accusation about someone else, stop the gossip in its tracks. Offer to go with that person and sit down with the person they are talking about and resolve the matter. Do not allow yourself to believe sinful accusations about someone else when there is no proof of the sinfulness.
We tend to jump to conclusions very quickly. When I was pastoring in Pennsylvania, I had passed out cards to the members of the board and asked them for prayer requests. I remember one man, Melvin Baker, had simply written on my card, “I need an interest in your prayers.” As I got the cards back and looked at them, I read his and thought, “Well look at that - he needs to be interested in having me pray for him.” I thought he didn’t want me to pray for him. However later when I had a chance to talk to Melvin I came to realize that that was a his phrasing to tell me, “I really need you to pray for me.” I had jumped to a conclusion, and it was a wrong one. Let’s not try to look at the heart motives of others. We can look at actions, but let’s let God be the one who looks at hearts.