Summary: A greater miracle than healing the blind is healing spiritual blindness. This message gives 7 characteristics of spiritual blindness.
May 26, 2002 John 9:8-38
¡§Mud-pies and miracles¡¨ (pt. 2)
[review last week¡¦s sermon in which a man who had been born blind was healed by Jesus.] He was physically blind so that he could not see Jesus. He was also spiritually blind so that he could not see that Jesus was the Light of the world. This morning, we are going to examine what happened in this man¡¦s life after the healing of his physical blindness. Most of the time when Jesus did a miracle, we don¡¦t have the rest of the story. We aren¡¦t told what happened afterwards ¡V how that person¡¦s life changed. Here we have some of that information, and not all of it is pleasant. We¡¦re going to see that this miracle brought him into close contact with some people who, though they could see with their eyes, they could not see with their hearts. They were spiritually blind. They could not see who Jesus was, they could not see the darkness in themselves and they could not see what Jesus wanted to do in their lives.
Our purpose here this morning is not simply to describe them. We also want to allow God to examine our hearts and see if the descriptions that match them match us too. Maybe we aren¡¦t blind in the same way that they were or even to the same extent. But all of us have blind spots ¡V those areas of our lives that are in need of repair even though we might think that they are in good shape. As we look at 7 characteristics of spiritually blind people, allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart with His spotlight so that He might illuminate some areas that have been in the dark.
People who are spiritually blind ¡K
„X are content to beg for scraps and spare change rather than exist in abundance. (vs. 7)
The blind man had spent all his adult life begging at the temple. He was dependent on the generosity of others for his survival. Then along comes Jesus, who puts mud on his eyes, tells him to go wash in the pool of Siloam, and suddenly, he can see! What do you think he did when he could see? Did he go back to his spot in front of the temple, close his eyes, take his place among all the other beggars, and start begging again just like he had for so many years? NO! That life was over. He didn¡¦t have to live on scraps anymore. The Bible tells us the first thing that he did. It says that he went home. He went back to the place where he knew there were people who loved him and where his needs would be met in abundance.
This man reminds me of the story that Jesus told of a son who ran away from home because he blindly considered the freedom of money to be of greater value than the love of his father. After all the money was gone, he was forced to work feeding pigs and living off the things that the pigs wouldn¡¦t eat. Scripture records that one day, he came to his senses ¡V his eyes were opened ¡V and he realized that back home, even the servants had an abundance of resources to meet their needs. So he left that job behind, and headed back to his dad where he was welcomed with open arms, and a feast was prepared in his honor. When his eyes were opened, he stopped surviving on scraps and started living in abundance.
I have a strong suspicion that many Christians are surviving on scraps. They are blind to the abundant supply of blessing that God wants to pour out on them. Maybe they got saved, but then they headed right back to that place and lifestyle that they occupied before their healing occurred. They don¡¦t understand that God wants to give them a brand new life.
Some of you here may be existing on scraps. You¡¦re willing to obey God ¡V to a point, just enough to get you enough blessing or enough energy to make it through the day. You come to church enough to ease your conscience or to keep the preacher off your back. You put a little bit of money in the offering plate to say that you¡¦ve done your part. And so because you are not willing to obey to the full, God cannot give you abundant life to the full. God has untold blessings waiting for you. Let him open your eyes to the abundant life that He wants to give you, and stop living on scraps.
„X are more interested in explanation than experience. (vs. 8-17)
That young man traveled home. With the help of other people, he found his town, and then as he arrived, once he had asked, he found where his mom and dad lived. He had to get lots of help. After all, he had never seen his home, his town or the road that he traveled on in order to get there. The closer he got to home and with each new person that he asked, a look of recognition started to come to people¡¦s faces. The neighbors started asking questions among themselves. ¡§Is this the same guy who used to sit at the temple and beg because he was blind?¡¨ They couldn¡¦t believe it even when the blind man testified that he was the man that they thought he was. You might expect that they would respond with joy and praising God. That¡¦s what happened at other miracles we have looked at. But instead, they responded with disbelief. They wanted to know ¡§How¡¨. How could a blind man receive sight? They couldn¡¦t accept his simple explanation, so they took him to the Pharisees. The Pharisees could answer their questions. The Pharisees would be able to see the truth. Or so they thought.