Summary: Why is Easter so special? It is special because of Jesus and who He is.
TOWARDS EASTER 2001: JESUS AND THE BLIND MAN
As we march towards Easter this year, I want to make a concentrated effort to make it special. But really, Easter is already a special time for those of us who call ourselves Christians. What about Easter makes it more special than all the other Sundays of the year? What? Or perhaps the correct questions should be… who? Who makes Easter more special than any other time of the year. The answer is of course Jesus and I did not want us to come to Easter Sunday and not know this Jesus who makes it special. We are going to begin this Sunday to look at Jesus, His ministry, and His interactions with the people He encountered.
INTRODUCTION… God Glorified in Weakness, Bits and Pieces, June 1990, p. 23-4
It was 1818 in France, and Louis, a boy of 9, was sitting in his father’s workshop. The father was a harness-maker and the boy loved to watch his father work the leather. "Someday Father," said Louis, "I want to be a harness-maker, just like you."
"Why not start now?" said the father. He took a piece of leather and drew a design on it. "Now, my son," he said, "take the hole-puncher and a hammer and follow this design, but be careful that you don’t hit your hand." excited, the boy began to work, but when he hit the hole-puncher, it flew out of his hand and pierced his eye! He lost the sight of that eye immediately. Later, sight in the other eye failed. Louis was now totally blind. A few years later, Louis was sitting in the family garden when a friend handed him a pinecone. As he ran his sensitive fingers over the cone, an idea came to him. He became enthusiastic and began to create an alphabet of raised dots on paper so that the blind could feel and interpret what was written. Thus, Louis Braille opened up a whole new world for the blind--all because of an accident!
Our topic today deals with blindness and the miracle that Jesus performed when He encountered it. What did He do? How did He react? What can we learn about Jesus from His interaction with this blind person? Let’s read.
READ JOHN 9:1-12
I. THE BLINDNESS
We begin today realizing that this story is all about blindness. It was the physical
blindness of this beggar that caught the disciples’ attention. They noticed this man, I am sure he wore tattered clothes and walked with a large cane of some kind. We are told he was blind from birth. Can you imagine that?! Never having seen anything. He wouldn’t know what a tree looked like or what blue is. I truly cannot imagine. But you know, the beggar’s blindness was not the only blindness we find.
Did you catch it? The disciples, upon seeing this man, ask Jesus a question and want Him to teach them (they refer to Him as Rabbi). They believed that the blindness of this man happened because of some sin that had been committed. They were unable to see what was about to happen. And the disciples were not the only blind ones about. We read in John 8:43, 45-47 that Jesus refers to the Jews as blind because they cannot see He is from God. The Pharisees later in this chapter have to deal with a man-born-blind that could see and attributed Jesus’ healing to the Devil and cast this man out of the temple.
I think we find two types of blindness here in John chapter 9 (and chapter 8). We find the physical blindness of the beggar and also the spiritual blindness of the disciples, the Jews, and the Pharisees. Which do you think is the worse kind of blindness to have? Do you think physical blindness— not being able to see trees, people, read words, etc— is that the worst? Or is being spiritually blind, an altogether different kind of blindness— unable to see God, His love and forgiveness and His might blessings and acts— the worst? I say to you this morning that there is nothing worse than being spiritually blind. People who cannot spiritually see God are lost and cannot find their way.
II. THE MIRACLE
We find that Jesus did not leave the man born blind… blind. Jesus explained to His
disciples that He would heal this man to demonstrate the works of God. Jesus says He must work and work while He is on the Earth because a time will come when His working time will be done. Jesus says to His disciples, “I am the light of the world.” Jesus brings light to dark places. He brought light to this blind man—all he had seen his whole life was darkness.