Summary: See here is a great truth… it is not enough to believe that Jesus exists, or that he lived long ago, or that he was a good man, or even a great man
Today we have a very familiar story, but I want to come at it from a different angle.
Let’s cruise through the story.
Jesus is walking through the streets of Jerusalem, in the middle of a large crowd. He did this because he was hiding. If you look at the end of chapter 8, you will see that he has just escaped… by the skin of his teeth… from an angry crowd of Pharisees who had bent over and turned around to find rocks with which to stone him… TO KILL HIM.
I believe Jesus’ disciples took advantage of their turned backs, to drag Jesus into the crowd, and get him safely away.
I can imagine Peter causing a distraction by reaching out and punching the guy next to him and starting a big melee… giving the other disciples cover and an opportunity to get Jesus far away.
Now, surely several blocks away, and safely lost in the crowd, Jesus is walking along with his disciples… I don’t know if Peter has caught up yet… when they see a blind beggar.
The disciples take the opportunity to get their minds off the angry mob, so they try to involve Jesus in a theological debate.
Looking at the blind man, they asked, “Jesus, whose sin caused this man to be blind, his or his parent’s?”
Jesus shocks them when he says, “Neither.”
They don’t understand. For them, all sickness and suffering is the result of someone’s sin. They need to be able to blame someone, just so they can maintain their belief system.
Jesus continued, “This man is sick so that his healing could bring glory to God. No one had to sin, God caused it”
Then Jesus squatted, and spit in the dirt. Taking the spit and the dirt Jesus made a little bit of mud and put the mud on the blind man’s eyes.
You or I would have resisted someone putting spit-mud on us. The blind man did not see it coming.
((( ILL: Like me when Mama wanted to spit-wash me)))
Then Jesus gave the blind man specific order to go to the pool of Siloam and wash the mud off.
Why? Faith! Jesus wanted the man to demonstrate faith, his healing would be dependent on that faith.
If he disobeyed, choosing a closer pool… no faith… no healing
Sort of reminds me of Namaan in OT
Because he obeyed, which took effort… which took faith… HEALED
He went toward the pool and Jesus went the other way.
Jesus’ trouble was over… he had escaped. The blind man’s trouble—what he thought was his trouble--- blindness… was over…
But his troubles were just beginning
He spent the better part of the day being drug from inquisition to inquisition asked questions he could not answer
See Jesus challenged their nice, neat little belief system that they had tied up in a bow… he was doing things and saying things that did not fit… it was messing up the wrapping.
ILL: Have you ever seen ants if you disturb their anthill? They go scurrying in a hundred directions to put the hill back together.
These Jews were religious ants scurrying to re-establish the order to their religion because Jesus came along and kicked the hill apart.
In their scamper, they needed to do two things…
1. Discredit Jesus
2. Affirm their religion
So they did what any lawyer would do in court… they attempted to discredit the evidence or the witness
First the evidence --- a man blind from birth given sight
They denied it was even the same blind man who was a beggar
They tried to convince the jury this man only LOOKED LIKE the same man.
But the man said, “Yep, I’m the man.”
That course failed, they had the man give his testimony hoping they would find some grounds to contest him.
So they told the man to tell them in his own words what had happened.
He said, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
I love it, did you hear that last sentence.
This line is so typical of a new Christian…
They have not been a Christian long, they have not seen that much yet, they don’t know any theology… but they just tell what has happened to them. That is what witnessing is—telling what you KNOW.
Listen to this man’s testimony…
I went I washed I saw
This is every Christian’s witness
I went I went to Jesus, in my sin, in faith
I washed I was washed in the blood, my sins were forgiven
I saw Now my eyes are opened, God has given me the light of understanding, The Spirit is in me