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Summary: a sermon exploring the man born blind's journey from darkness to light,

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Sermon John 9: 5-42 Blindness/Sight/Insight

In the gospel of John,

Light is

LIFE.

And darkness

Is

Death.

And, as to people (?)

You either lived in the light,

OR

You lived in darkness.

It’s a pretty stark contrast, I know,

But John’s gospel takes us there --

In the story I just read,

We get to “see” both

Light and darkness at work.

The story begins

When Jesus “sees”

A man

who is

blind.

The man’s been without sight,

His eyes dead,

Since … he was born.

And because of it,

His life has been reduced

To sitting at the side of the road

And begging for scraps.

Through no fault of his own,

He lives in darkness.

His darkness --

It’s not something he chose

Or a consequence of something he did.

It simply

“is.”

The disciples don’t

“See” it that way.

In fact,

At their first sight of him,

They want to have

a theological discussion with Jesus,

Not that THAT will do the man any good.

In fact, all it really amounts to is a

Blame game.

“It’s his fault.

It’s his parent’s fault”

Of course, I can recognize it as that --

Because I know we all do the same thing.

In the face of tragedy,

Whether its for an entire nation

Or something much more intensely personal,

In the face of disease or sickness,

We want someone, something

to “blame.”

“It’s their fault.

Or their fault

Or their fault.”

But, Jesus doesn’t do that!

Jesus was sent into the world

To do the works of God,

So, he gets right down

to the holy business

Of doing something about the man’s condition.

Now, I note for you

That up till now,

The blind man

has said nothing,

Asked for nothing,

Done nothing.

We don’t know what he believed

Or didn’t.

But that doesn’t stop Jesus

From doing something good for him.

So, let it be known --

that all that follows,

It flows from

grace.

All that happens --

To the man who lived in darkness.

It’s a pure gift

From

Jesus.

Interestingly enough,

The gift begins

when Jesus spits -

into the dirt.

Does spit count as “holy” water (?)

In any case,

Jesus puts a little of himself into the earth,

mixes his spit and the dirt together,

smears it on the blind man’s eyes,

Here’s to mud in his eyes!

And then Jesus -

The one who told

Nicodemus

That he must be born of water and the Spirit,

The one who told

The woman at the well

That he had living water to give her

The one who had just put spit and dirt

on a blind man’s face,

Jesus told that very man,

“Go, wash in the water I’m sending you to. ”

Clearly, Jesus has given

The man that’s standing there

with the dirty, muddy face

A command that he might want to obey.

So, he does.

The blind man

Goes to a pool fed by a fresh flowing spring,

And he washes himself in the water.

And when the

dirt and spit and mud come off,

The man gains his sight

For the very first time.

He’s cured.

He’s free of the blindness

He’s lived in

All his life.

Praise be to Jesus!

Now, that might have been

A good enough place

To end the story.

Jesus cures the blind man!

But, the story --

It Didn’t end there.

It didn’t just come to a stop

With this amazing miracle,

Because … that’s not really point in the story.

The issue

Is not just whether or not

the man can “see”

with his own two eyes.

It’s not just whether or not

His (or anyone else’s) vision is 20/20

It’s whether or not he has really truly

Left the darkness behind

To live in the LIGHT of LIFE.

And that still remains to be seen.

Now, you’d think that maybe

Somebody somewhere somehow

would celebrate the miracle:

a man, who once was blind

Can now see!

But … they don’t.

Turns out, certain religious leaders,

Aren’t happy that the man

Can now see.

In fact, THEY’RE upset!

They can’t believe -- It’s the same guy.

They want to know

What happened,

Who did it

And why.

So instead of rejoicing with him,

The man who was born blind

is questioned

And questioned again

Then his parents are questioned,

And then, for the THIRD time,

he’s questioned AGAIN.

Mind you,

The man with new sight

hasn’t even really seen Jesus at all

He’d only felt his wet, muddy fingers

touch his face.

But every time he is questioned

his understanding of who Jesus is

Seems to grow richer, deeper.

First time he’s asked

“How were your eyes opened?”

He just called Jesus,

“Jesus … The man … who made mud …”

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