Summary: Jesus heals the man twice - once physically, and once spiritually. One can Jesus do for you?
“Lord, I Believe.” John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39
When I was in grade school, in third grade, the teachers couldn’t figure out what my problem was. They would be up at the blackboard, writing things, and I would quickly lose interest. “Why doesn’t he have any attention span,” they would say. I would always get bad grades at speed reading – they would flash words up on the screen, and no matter how slow the words went, I always got an F. Whenever they would show a movie, I wouldn’t watch it. And yet, my homework was always done well. It was a mystery. What is his problem, they wondered. I wondered that too.
Finally, one day, they figured it out. I couldn’t see – I needed glasses. I remember my first time I went to visit the eye doctor, and I took the eye test – can you see anything up on the screen? No, I said. I can never see anything up on the screen – I just thought – well, that’s how it is. But then he had me look through those lenses, and a whole new world opened up to me. I picked out the coolest frames I could find, I put on my glasses, and then, I could see! Everything was clear! When the teacher was up in the front, I could actually see what she was doing, and so I paid attention! I could finally read those words in the speed reading class. I could actually see those movies that were being showed. It was great, to finally be able to see.
It’s not uncommon for people to have problems with their sight. Many people lose their sight because of one reason or another. Imagine what it’s like for those people who are born without sight, born blind. If a person is going blind, at least, for awhile in life, they were able to see. But what about those people who have never been able to see? They’ve never seen colors, they’ve never seen the snow, they’ve never seen anything! A whole world has remained shut to them.
Today, we’re going to talk about blindness. In the Bible, there are two kinds of blindness – one kind is the physical kind, the kind that we think of when we hear the word “blind.” But there is another kind of blindness in the Bible, spiritual blindness. What is spiritual blindness? You’ll understand it better as we study our Gospel lesson for today. But for now, I’ll give you a short definition of spiritual blindness. Spiritual blindness is when a person is not able to see who Jesus Christ really is. Spiritual blindness is not believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Spiritual blindness is when you are unable to see all the good things about God that God wants you to see – that’s spiritual blindness.
Today we are going to see how Jesus Christ can heal a person, not just of physical blindness, but of spiritual blindness.
Jesus is with his disciples, and as he is walking with them, they reveal that they have a blind spot in their faith. Do you know about blind spots. When you’re driving, that spot right over your left or right shoulder, that you can’t see in your mirrors. Do you know about spiritual blind spots? A spiritual blind spot is when a Christian doesn’t really understand something. Take a look at the disciples. In verses 1-2 it says: “As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” This was a common teaching at that time – every time someone is suffering, it’s always because he’s being punished for a sin – that was the common teaching of the day. The disciples saw that blind man, begging on the street, and they wondered to themselves – “what did he do, or what did his parents do, that he was born blind?”
The disciples had a spiritual blind spot in their understanding of how the world works. The disciples didn’t understand why bad things sometimes happen to good people. But here Jesus takes away their blind spot. He says, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. But this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” This man who was born blind from birth wasn’t being punished for a particular sin. God allowed this blindness to happen to him for a good purpose – so that the work of God might be displayed in his life, so that God might reveal his love and power in this man’s life.
Do you have any spiritual blind spots? When you see someone suffering, do you say to yourself, “Wow, what did he do to deserve that?” Or what about when you are suffering – do you say to yourself, “God must be punishing me for my sin!” Today Jesus reminds us why bad things sometimes happen to good people – so that the work of God might be displayed in a person’s life. Sometimes God allows bad things to happen to someone, so that he can reveal his glory through that person’s situation.