Summary: Why was he born blind? Why can we see? This sermon celebrates the gifts of physical and spiritual sight.
John 9:1-7,13-17,34-39 (NIV) As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 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. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?” So they were divided. 17 Finally they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
Dear friends in the name of Jesus, the world’s light,
“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” This is a bold statement that Jesus here makes. When someone is your light, what do you think of? When someone is your light, do you think of a person who lights up your life? Do you think of a person that fills you with joy and happiness when you around that person? How can it be that Jesus is the light of the world? How can it be that Jesus can bring light and life to every person in this world?
Last Sunday there was a show on that featured a young man that had been born blind. His parents decided that, rather than focus on his inabilities, they would focus on his abilities. From young on, this boy loved music, and is a talented singer and musician. The family made many sacrifices in order for this young man to explore and use his talents. His father even took a night job so that he could be his son’s eyes during the day and help him get around. His father even helped him become part of the marching band at his school, pushing him around in formation just so the young man could participate in something he may never see.
When we look at a situation like this, what are we to think? The question may come, “Why was this boy born blind?” Maybe we should be asking a different question. Maybe we should be asking the question, “Why can we see?” As we continue in this Lenten season on the road with Jesus to his suffering, death and resurrection, why is it that we can see Jesus as our Savior and friend? This all happens because of who Jesus is:
JESUS CHRIST IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
1. He gives physical sight
2. He gives spiritual sight
As we see Jesus in the Gospel of John, we are easily able to see how it came to the point that Jesus was crucified. One of the first things that Jesus does, after changing water into wine, is to clear the temple building in Jerusalem of those changing money. When this upset some people, they asked him by what authority that he did these things. Jesus answered: “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” Jesus was referring to his death and the fact that he would raise himself to life again. Then Jesus speaks with Nicodemus, one of two who believed that Jesus was indeed the Christ. Nicodemus had said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous sings you are doing if God were not with him.” Although two of the Pharisees from the Jewish ruling council believed that Jesus was indeed the Christ, most of them rejected him. Later, during a feast, Jesus was in Jerusalem again. This time he healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years, another miracle that showed that Jesus is God. Because Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath, he was persecuted. When he was confronted, Jesus gave a clear testimony of who he was and why he had come into this world. He even said that he would come back to this earth and raise the dead. Because of their rejection, Jesus also went to Galilee, where he fed 5,000 from a few loaves of bread and two small fish, and where walked on water. Jesus again decides to go to Jerusalem for the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, where everyone was now looking for the man who had cleansed the temple, healed the invalid and taught many things. The question was, “Is Jesus the Christ?” The majority of the Jewish ruling council had determined that Jesus was not the Christ, and they even went so far as to determine that he was sinful for healing on the Sabbath.