Summary: This sermon is about having your eyes annoited so that you can see; or see differently!
Illustrated: “Great Truths” from children(1)
• No matter how hard you try you can’t baptize a cat
• When your mom is mad, don’t let her brush your hair
• You can’t trust dogs to watch your food
• Don’t sneeze when the barber is cutting your hair
• You can’t hide broccoli in a glass of milk
• Never wear polka-dot underwear underneath white shorts
Learned by experience. “Great truths” from some dramatic eye-opening experience, that develops new insight; new perception, new vision.
Let’s look at the scripture in John 9:1-12, Jesus’ encounter with a man who was born blind. The disciples ask “Whose sin caused this?” This man’s? Or his parents? Talk about “original sin” that the disciples thought the man could have sinned in the womb, to cause himself to be born blind? Jesus’ dispels the notion: vs. 3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
How did we ever think that he was down in his luck, begging beside the road because God was judging him for his wrong-doings? Rather, Jesus sees the beggar as someone God created; He saw them as “children of God”(1) and he responds by offering a healing that only Jesus’ can! Sin is detrimental, don’t get me wrong! Sin can separate us from God, cause pain and divisions in our life, but sin was not the cause of his blindness, or of someone being born lame, or disease.
Jesus heal’s the blind man by making a poltis of saliva and mud, and then instructing the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. Rev. Ron Gilmer states: “With saliva and mud dripping from his fingers, he caresses a beggar’s face and then watches and waits for him to go Siloam, from whence he returns with clearer vision.”(2) Silva “may seem repulsive” but it has long represented curative powers. “A child burns his fingers and into his mouth it goes…or a child scrapes her arm and wants mommy to kiss it and make it well”(1) What is significant to this text can possibly be lost in translation. For example one translation (NIV) reads “Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes.” The actual word used (3) was “epichrio” (ep-ee-khree-o) “to smear over” or “anoint”. Within this word is the same root that is used in the “Christos” (khris-tos)(4) for Christ which means “Anointed”.
This is then a story about the Anointed One, anointing the eyes of a blind beggar so that he can see. Literally then, He “Christs’ the man’s eyes”. Theologian and author James W. Moore asks the question “Would you like to have your eyes Christed?”(1) The blind man was asked (repeatedly) about who healed you, and even how or why? And of course he gives that response that has become classic: I once was blind but now I see!