Summary: what is it we see when jesus opens our eyes?
John 9:13-18, 24-25) Gifts of Life Ministries 3-10-02
Fourth Sunday in Lent
?Can We See??
There?s a story of a blind man who was on his deathbed. The man had been born blind but that didn?t stop him from serving the Lord. He was very active in his church, always giving, never asking for anything in return. Everyone loved this old man. Children ages 6-60 came to him for his straightforward, good Christian advice and counsel. You may say he was the epitome of what Jesus talked about in Matt. 7:16. ?You shall know them by their fruits?.
Well one day the pastor of the church came to pray and to talk with him. The pastor when he approached the man?s bedside said, ?everything?s going to be fine?. The old man responded, ?I know everything?s going to be fine. I?m not worried at all. Matter of fact, ?I?m real happy right about now?. Well, this kind of threw the pastor for a loop. Here is a man on his death bed and he is reassuring the pastor that everything is going to be all right, and to top things off, the sick man claimed that he is real happy right now.
After that exchanged both he and the pastor were quiet for a moment then the old man spoke up. He said, ?pastor you know why I?m happy right now?? The pastor, with tears in his eyes about now responded, ?why?? The old blind man said, ?just think, I?m lying here about ready to die. And when I die, I?ll close my eyes for the last time, because the next time I?ll open them, I will be able to see. And you know what? The first person I will see ever in my life will be Jesus Christ.
Now I don?t know whether this story is true or not but it really doesn?t matter. For you see, the story serves as an illustration. One may argue that this old blind man had been given sight a longtime ago, sight that really mattered. Sight to see things not in the natural but in the spirit, and his focus was still, as it always had been, on seeing Jesus Christ.
I came to ask us this morning, ?when did we first see? Do you remember when your eyes opened up? Who or what did you see? Now I?m not necessarily talking about being saved. For you see, some of us were saved when we were 8, 9, 10 years old, and been in church all of our lives. But we have grown up and we have experienced more things about ourselves, others, and the world which in part changed our views on how we approach, handle, and views things. When was it that you really saw and what did you see?
Was the first person we saw was Jesus and how Jesus has been a part of our life inspite of? Did we see how he had brought us? How he has kept us? How he still loved us after all of our idiotic and insane decisions we made?
Did we see how he protected us, comforted us, cared about us? Did we see how he gave us chance and chance again? Did we see how Jesus was still working in our lives despite the objections to the help that was provided? Did we see and recognized Jesus working in our lives?
Or did we see ourselves? Did we see a broken down beat up shell of a person desperately searching and seeking serenity? Did we see our lives as an un-orchestrated orchestra out of tune with the dark, damp and destitute realities of life? Did we see the broken relationships, shattered dreams, and unfulfilled desires that led us to be this meandering wonderer wondering through the desert of despair? In other words, did we see ourselves just going through the motions not living but just surviving? When we saw for the first time what did we see?
Did we see the injustice and all of the problems the world throws at us? Did we see the homeless and any marginalized and ostracized person, not just as another bum in the street or someone that?s sick and deranged, person but as a person? Did we see, as Lord Acton puts it, how ?power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?? Did we see how many of our children are failing and flunking out of school? Did we see where we can find money for this project and that program and for those people, but yet our children still go hungry, our schools are not adequately funded, our neighborhoods are in disarray and our belief and faith systems are gone. What did you see when your eyes were opened?
However, sadly, there are people who cannot see. There are some people who just don?t get it. Some people can?t see the forest for the trees. They can?t see any light at the end of the tunnel. God has manifested God?s presence again and again in their life, blessing them, delivering them, shaking them up, bringing them through, giving them friends and family members who love and care for them, showing them a better way, but they still refuse to see.