Summary: “As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5
Theme: Jesus, the light of the world
Text: 1 Sam. 16:1, 6-7, 10-13; Eph. 5:8-14; Jn. 9:1-41
Life teaches us many lessons and we can learn a lot from even the games we play as children. One popular childhood game is Hide and Seek. In this game, one child gives the other children a chance to hide by closing his or her eyes and then looks for them trying to find out where they are hiding. Another similar game is called Blind Man’s Bluff. In this game one of the children is blindfolded and then he or she has to find and touch another child. It is usually very funny as the blindfolded child tries to feel its way, groping and stumbling over obstacles that are in the way. This game really gives us a good picture of the way we behave in life. Many people go through life blindfolded, groping in the darkness, stumbling and tripping over many obstacles. Only this time it is not being done for amusement and it affects their eternal destiny. This is because we are all born spiritually blind because we are descended from Adam. Worse still is that we are not only born spiritually blind, but also born into a dark world without light. God’s love and grace made provision to meet our need. When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He revealed His name to be Yahweh, meaning I Am Who I Am. His name, however, is only fully revealed by Jesus Christ when He describes Himself by the words “I am the bread of life. I am the door. I am the good shepherd; I am the way, the truth and the life, I am the resurrection and the life; I am the light of the world.” Jesus Christ is the light of the world. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
We need Light to see and what we see with our eyes is only possible when there is light. When there is no light, when there is absolute darkness, we cannot see anything even with exceptional good eyesight. When, however, the problem is with the eyes no amount of light will enable us to see unless sight is first restored. Since we are all born blind into a world, we need Christ the light of the world, to restore our sight. Unfortunately the world loves and prefers the darkness to the light. When the light of Christ confronted the world, the world very clearly said that they would rather have darkness. When they came face to face with the light, they fled from the light because they hated the light. They didn’t want the light to expose what they were doing. They preferred to live without the light so that they could do what they wanted because the light would expose their evil deeds.
The gospel reading today tells the story of a blind man Jesus healed. He was born blind and for him everything was in darkness since the day of his birth. He had never seen the light of day and was forced to beg since there were no work opportunities for blind people in those days. Asked the reason for the man’s blindness Jesus declared that he was born blind so that God could reveal his great work of salvation in him; so that God, through Jesus Christ, could show his majesty, his power and his great mercy. In the sovereign providence of God, this man was born blind so that the Lord Jesus Christ could heal him of his physical and spiritual blindness as a symbol or a sign for all mankind. We are all born blind into a dark world because of sin and grope around in the darkness because we cannot see and need the light of the world, Jesus Christ. There is more to seeing than what we see with our eyes. Because of our spiritual blindness we cannot discern the truth and as a result we cannot see things as they really are and therefore value the wrong things. Only the light of Christ can restore our sight and make us see things as they really are.
Without light and without sight we cannot see and understand the truth about God. The tragedy of many people is that they are not conscious they are blind and are in darkness because they have rejected the light. The Pharisees were in a way right to condemn the man born blind. They accused him of being steeped in sin at birth and so he was. But so were they and so are we all. The Pharisees by rejecting Christ showed how blind they were. They could not see their own sin and need for salvation. Instead of rejoicing that people were being healed and lives were being changed and taking advantage of the healing taking place, the Pharisees were only concerned about the observance of the Sabbath. Keeping the Sabbath was more important to them than caring for the needs of others. Because of their blindness they did not realize that God never intended the Sabbath to prevent an act of mercy or of kindness.