Summary: A sermon about maturing in Christ.
“Half a Cure Just Isn’t Going to Cut It”
By: Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN www.eastridge.umc.com
This cure is unusual in that instead of it being instantaneous, it is marked by stages.
Usually Jesus’ miracles happened suddenly and completely, but this one suggests to us that there is a process.
There is a symbolic truth here.
No one ever sees all God’s truth all at once.
There is a danger in thinking that making a personal decision for Christ suddenly makes a person a full-grown Christian.
I know that when I had my conversion experience, I suddenly thought I knew it all.
I kind of miss that feeling sometimes…
But if my born again experience had been the “end of the road” where would I now be…some 25 years later?
Thankfully, it was just the beginning!
There is just too much to learn…
…God is just too big…
…we are too finite…
The discovery of the riches of Christ are inexhaustible!!!
William Barclay once wrote, “If any of us lived 100, or 1,000, or 1,000,000 years, we would still have to go on growing in grace, learning more and more about the infinite wonder and beauty of Jesus Christ”!!!!
It is true that sudden conversion takes place, but we are to go on for a lifetime and still need eternity to know as we are known!!!
How exciting is that?
After Jesus first put His hands on the man and asked him, “Do you see anything” we are given the vivid picture of a person half-cured of blindness.
It has been said that there are many Christians in whom the process of healing seems to have stopped at this stage.
And that they have never allowed Jesus to perform the service of restoring full, clear sight.
There are so many folks who only get a dim view of Christ and a clouded view of His possible meaning for their lives and for the world.
I suppose it can be said that many Christians are in a state of “arrested development.”
And this is not a safe nor a healthy place to be.
It takes time, much study and practice to learn to follow Christ.
We must fall down many times before we learn to walk.
There are a lot of scrapped knees and bruised elbows along and throughout the Christian journey.
It’s kind of like learning to ride a bike or skateboarding.
A few years ago, when I decided to start to skateboard I constantly had some painful reminder of my activities.
But we get up, dust ourselves off, apply the bandages…
…learn from our mistakes…
…I mean, who wants to take a fall like that again?...
And get back on that board.
…and are better for it!
So it is with Christ!
In the Lord’s prayer, for example, Jesus takes it for granted that we will trip, stumble and fall all over the place.
Why else would Christ teach us to pray, “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”?
We’re gonna sin.
We’re gonna make mistakes.
But we are called to repent, get back up and get on with it!!!
If we didn’t fall so short so often, how in the world would we be able to relate to others?
How in the world would we learn one of the most important lessons of Christianity, “Do not judge”?
When we live our lives with a clouded and dim view of Jesus, how in the world can we expect His revelation of Who God is to radically change our lives?
How can our experience of Him bring us deep and lasting joy?
To follow Christ means just that—to follow Him!
How can we follow if we can’t see?
And how can we see unless we allow Christ to open our hearts and minds—our entire lives to the meaning of Scripture and a deep and abiding love for others?
A half cure of blindness gives us only a dim view of other human beings.
In our Gospel Lesson, the blind man saw people, but they looked like “trees walking around.”
A tree is a thing!
It’s a commodity.
It is something we use.
Trees are often seen as being expendable.
If they are growing too close to our home, we chop them down.
If we are making a road, we level them by the thousands.
I have read that the most horrible word to describe other human beings that came out of World War 2 was the word “expendable.”
People are not objects.
People are not things.
People are loved beyond measure by the Almighty God Who came and died to set us free!!!
There is not one of us who does not have sacred worth!!!
There is no such thing as a “worthless human being.”