Summary: Jesus wants us to: 1. Be careful about criticizing other people (vs. 1-3). 2. Submit to the sovereignty of God (vs. 3; 32-38). 3. Be wise in the way we spend our time (vs. 4). 4. Shine for our Savior (vs. 5).
Jesus Brings Blessings Out of Burdens
The Gospel of John
John 9:1-7; 32-38
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - February 8, 2017
(Revised September 24, 2019)
*Here in John 9, the Feast of the Tabernacles had just ended in Jerusalem. A large crowd was still in the city, and Jesus had been preaching in a very public part of the Temple (John 8:20). He confirmed His identity as the promised Messiah who had existed for all eternity. He warned the unbelievers that they were in danger of dying in their sins (John 8:21-24).
*Jesus spoke about His death on the cross, which was about 6 months away (John 8:28). He also spoke about the everlasting freedom He will give to everyone who believes in Him (John 8:31-36). And in John 8:59, when the unbelieving Jews took up stones to kill Jesus, He miraculously "hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."
*After the Lord got away from those would be murderers, He made Himself visible again, and John 9:1 tells us that "as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth." Jesus was about to work another amazing miracle, the miracle that inspired John Newton to write, "Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see."
*This miracle is only recorded here in John's Gospel, and it helps us see how the Lord wants us to live. Let's begin by reading John 9:1-7.
*I can't imagine what it would be like to be blind, even for a day. But one of the most comforting Bible verses for Christians is Romans 8:28. There Paul said: "We know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
*Our God can bring good things out of the bad things that happen to us. He brings blessings out of burdens. This wonderful truth made it possible for blind and deaf Helen Keller to say an astounding thing: "I thank God for my handicaps, for through them I have found myself, my work, and my God." (1)
*Helen Keller found out that Jesus can bring blessings out of our burdens. So did the blind man here in John 9. And the blessings God gives us can go far beyond our own lives. They can touch our family, our friends, neighbors and people we will never meet in this world. In fact, the blessings this blind man received can also bless us, because they show us how God wants us to live.
1. FIRST: JESUS WANTS US TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT CRITICIZING OTHER PEOPLE.
*We should be very careful about criticizing other people. This is one of the Lord's lessons for us from vs. 1-3:
1. And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3. Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
*When the disciples saw this man who had been born blind, they just naturally started looking around for someone to blame. It's the natural thing for us to do too. But God's Word warns us against that kind of critical spirit, and one reason why is because our vision is limited.
*Of course, the Lord's vision was crystal clear in this Scripture. For that matter, the Lord's vision is always clear! Many Scriptures confirm this truth to us. In Genesis 16:13, Hagar "called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, 'You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees . . .'"
*Then when the Lord wanted a new king for Israel, He chose David to be the king. But at first, the prophet Samuel only knew was it was going to be one of the sons of Jesse. 1 Samuel 16:5-7 tells us that Samuel:
5. . . sanctified Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.
6. So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, "Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him.''
7. But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.''
*God sees it all! Psalm 33:13-15 says:
13. The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.
14. From the place of His habitation He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth;