Summary: This sermon basically reveals the causes for suffering and the fact that obedience is necessary in order for God to work a miracle in your life.
May 26, 2002 John 9:1-12; 35-38
“Mud pies and miracles”
I want you to do something for me. I want you to close your eyes. Now, imagine yourself going about your daily activities this way. The alarm goes off tomorrow morning, but your sudden blindness does not prevent you from being able to smack the snooze button. You’ve been doing that in the dark for as long as you can remember. You go to the dresser or the closet to pick out your clothes for the day, but since you can’t see, you can’t tell the color of the clothes you picked out. For all you know, you may be wearing two different colors of socks or an orange scarf with a red blouse. I’ve seen some people who looked like they couldn’t see when they got dressed in the morning. As your vacuuming that afternoon, you hear a screech and a “thwooop”, and you start to wonder, “Did I just vacuum up the cat?” At dinner that night, the kids take one bite of the meal that you prepared and notice that it tastes a little funny. “Mom, are you sure that can was tuna and not cat food?” Now imagine yourself trying to do your job without being able to see. [pharmacist, traveling salesman behind the wheel, teacher] Now open your eyes. Some of you may need to punch your neighbor in the shoulder to wake him up.
In doing this, I in no way intended to poke fun at people who are blind. But I wanted you, for just a minute, to imagine what your life would be like if you had never been able to see and were suddenly granted the miracle of sight. That is exactly what happened in the life of a man that John tells us about in John chapter 9.
In this chapter, John tells us about two different groups of people. The first group is represented by a man who was physically blind. He knew that he was blind. He longed for someone to work a miracle in his life and take away his blindness. The other group is represented by the Pharisees – the religious leaders in Jesus’ day. They were blind spiritually but were unaware of their blindness. They had no desire for Jesus to do anything in their lives. They did not need a miracle, at least that’s what they thought. We only have time this morning to deal with the man who was ready for a miracle, so we will deal with the other group next week.
There’s a reason that we have come to this passage of Scripture today. I believe that there are blind people in this church today. No, I don’t mean that you couldn’t see the sunshine as you drove in this morning, or that you couldn’t see the words in the song sheet as we sang the songs. But there are other things that you cannot see. Some of you cannot see how much God loves you. Some of you cannot see the extent of your sin that makes you so unworthy of that love. Some of you cannot see a way out of a situation that you have gotten yourself into. Some of you cannot see any hope for tomorrow. Some of you have or are getting ready to make some decisions about the direction of your life, and you are blind to the pain that those decisions will bring to you and the people that surround you. Right now, you’re stumbling along, and you’re getting all bruised up because of all the things and people that you’re bumping into along the way.
Do you believe that Jesus can take away your blindness? Jesus is the Light of the world. He can cause you to see. But that depends on another question. Do you want Jesus to take away your blindness? Let’s take a look at how a miracle happened in the man that Jesus encountered that day. By the time that we get done this morning, my goal is that you, like him, will be able to say, “I once was blind, but now, I can see!”
1. Some people are blind to the cause for their blindness – “who sinned?”
A birth is normally such a wonderful experience in the life of a family. Expectant parents anticipate that day and all the joy that will come along with it. After the labor pains are over, and dad has cut the umbilical cord, mother holds the baby for the first time. All the months of nausea and the aching back and sore feat seem so small in comparison to the joy that they now feel as they hold their child. But this time, something had gone wrong. Mom was the first to notice that there was a problem. She went to her husband and voiced her fears. “Honey, have you noticed that Johnny just has that blank stare when he looks at you? When I walk into the room and stand over him, he doesn’t even react to my presence until I say something. Is there something wrong?” Dad just tells her that she’s an over-protective mother with her first child. There’s nothing wrong. This was the child that they had prayed for. How could there be anything wrong? And yet, in the back of his mind, there was something gnawing at him, things that he had noticed. He kept telling himself that things would get better. But they didn’t. Finally, there was no way to deny it. Their son was blind.