Summary: Blind Begger is healed. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Luke chapter 18 verses 31-43:
• Stevie Wonder (the blind singer) and Tiger Woods (the greatest golfer in the world);
• Meet up in a hotel dining room and start talking.
• Inevitably the conversation turns to golf and Tiger Woods;
• Is surprised to find out that Stevie Wonder, who is blind, has been playing golf for years.
• The golf pro can’t believe it.
• He wants some details so Stevie Wonder explains how he does it:
• “My caddy stands out in the middle of the fairway and calls out to me.
• I listen for the sound of his voice and play the ball towards him.
• Then when I get to where the ball lands, the caddy moves further down the green,
• Shouts out and I hit the ball again.
• Tiger Woods is obviously impressed but then he asks, “But how do you putt?”
• The famous singer replies:
“Well, I get my caddy to lean down in front of the hole;
And he calls to me with his head on the ground and his mouth just over the cup.
I just play the ball towards his voice.”
• Tiger Woods finds all this very amazing;
• And then asks Stevie Wonder if they can play a round sometime.
• Stevie agrees but says that because people don’t take him very seriously;
• He only plays for money and he never plays for less than $10,000 a hole.
• Tiger Woods thinks about it for a minute and then says,
• “OK, that’s serious money, but I’m up for it. When do we play?”
• To which Steve Wonder answers,
• “You name the night.”
Blindness dominates this latter chapter in Luke’s gospel:
• Last week when you looked at the Rich Young Ruler;
• There was nothing wrong with his natural eyesight.
• Someone said to Helen Keller;
• The deaf-blind American author, activist, and lecturer:
• “What a pity you have no sight!”
• To which she replied, “Yes, but what a pity so many have sight but cannot see!”
• This young ruler was physically okay but spiritually blind;
• He was unable to see what was hindering him from finding eternal life.
• Sadly, he was a man blinded to the true way of God by materialism.
• He loved the things of the world more than he loved the things of God!
• We read those tragic words; “He went away very sad for he had great wealth;
• Those who reject the call of Jesus Christ always leave sad! Be warned!
• The disciples were blind in their understanding regarding the way he would die.
• They could not understand how the Messiah would die;
Quote: William Barclay:
“The Jews were obsessed with the idea of a conquering king; they still clung to hope that he would let loose his power in Jerusalem and blast his enemies off the face of the earth.
Here is a great warning to ever listener. The human mind has a way of listening only to what it wants to hear. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see”.
• Then we have the story of the man who was physically blind;
• But who could spiritually see and left Jesus physically seeing as well!
(1). The Future revealed (Verses 31-34).
“Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock Him, insult Him, spit on Him, flog Him and kill Him. On the third day He will rise again.””
(a). His death:
• This is the third time in the Gospel of Luke that Jesus predicted His impending death.
• Chapter 9 verse 22, & 43-45.
• And, each time He told them about what was to come, he got more explicit.
• Earlier he had told them (chapter 9 verse 22):
• He would go to Jerusalem, & suffer at the hands of the “elders, chief priests and scribes”,
• These three groups of men made up the Sanhedrin who would condemn Jesus.
Now in these verses Jesus introduces another aspect:
• Verse 32: “He will be handed over to the Gentiles”.
• That is the Romans.
• It was a degrading thing for a Jew to be turned over to Gentiles.
• Not only were they the enemy (an occupying force but they were also outside of God’s laws).
• The Jews stoned their victims;
• It was the Romans who brought crucifixion to this part of the world.
• Crucifixion was an awful punishment;
• Inflicted by a cruel & powerful empire on its enemies.