Summary: The message of the gospel always remains the same but God uses different methods to reach different people.
Rev. Brian Bill
September 3-4, 2016
I love hearing how people come to Christ, don’t you? Here’s the main point of our passage today: The message of the gospel always remains the same but God uses different methods to reach different people.
Let’s try a little experiment. Can you shout out in one sentence what method God used to save you? I’ll start. God used the death of a friend and then my college roommate to share the gospel with me.
Let me prime the pump with some responses I received to a post I put on Facebook this week. Here’s what I wrote: “I'm conducting an informal survey to find out what method God used to bring people to saving faith in Jesus Christ. It would help a lot if you could share in a sentence how you were saved.”
• I was taken to church as a baby and around 7 years old I realized my need for Christ and salvation.
• I gained my walk with Christ through Celebrate Recovery at Edgewood.
• My grandfather led my sister and I to the Lord during a Sunday church service where the preaching was on hell.
• God allowed me to get to the lowest place I needed to be so my hard head would have no doubts it was Him that saved me from my mess of a life.
• A youth leader led me when I was 15. Yeah for youth leaders that don't give up!
Who’s next? Just raise your hand and I’ll call on you. Remember…just give a one-sentence summary of the situation God used to save you.
Did you notice how God uses a variety of ways to reach a variety of people? That means that we shouldn’t make the way he opened our eyes normative for everyone else. The message of the gospel remains the same but God uses different methods to reach different people.
Charles Spurgeon preached on passage at least three different times in his ministry. I read one of these sermons this week and loved his perspective: “Had our Lord cast all His miracles in one mold men would have attached undue importance to the manner by which He worked, and would have surreptitiously thought more of it than the divine power by which the miracle was accomplished.”
For example, Jesus healed a number of blind individuals and used diverse methods.
• In Matthew 9, two blind men regained their sight when Jesus simply touched their eyes.
• In Matthew 12, we read that Jesus healed a blind and mute man but we’re not told how.
• In Mark 8, a blind man named Bart could see after Jesus simply spoke a word.
• In John 9, a man who was born blind was healed after Jesus spat on the ground to make some mud and then this mud was put on his eyes. He still couldn’t see until he went and washed in the pool of Siloam. This man gave a one-sentence summary of his transformation when he declared in John 9:25: “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
By the way, since more than 90 people shared sentence summaries of how they were saved (between my wall and the church wall), I decided to sprinkle some of these sentences throughout the sermon. I was blown away by this response!
I’m hoping you’ll be encouraged by the various methods God uses and if you’re not saved yet, that you will repent, believe, and receive Jesus Christ today. Who knows, God might use this sermon to lead you to salvation!
• After a car accident when I was 21 years old…I knew I would not have gone to Heaven if I died…
• He used a heavenly 2x4 across my head. And then, he brought wonderful believers into my life…it all started with one invite from a friend to "check out this church", which I reluctantly accepted, and the rest is His-story.
• I accepted Christ as my Savior at a summer Youth Camp.
• I chose to follow Jesus as a child and my mom led me to Christ. I had some years of wandering and living in deliberate sin and the death of my brother in law slapped me in the face with repentance and renewed commitment to the Lord.
• Jail, Cell 121. And a 90-year-old man coming to visit me every Sunday.
The message of the gospel always remains the same but God uses different methods to reach different people. We’ll totally see this in our passage today. This mystifying miracle is found only in the Gospel of Mark and it’s the only healing that takes place gradually as Jesus uses a two-step process to open the eyes of a blind man.