Summary: A sermon adapted from an IVP Bible Study by C. Nystrom to aid in story telling abilities
SEEING JESUS WITH OPEN EYES
QUESTION: HOW DO YOU SEE JESUS?
We want to see Jesus, and hear Him, and know Him. But sometimes we encounter times in our lives when we almost deaf and dumb and unfeeling to His touch. Yet, if we really think about it and review our lives with Jesus, we will find times when He has indeed opened our eyes and we have grown in our faith. We see Him differently as our faith grows and we gain a more complete picture of who Jesus is as our faith grows.
This was also true of a first-century blind beggar. He was blind both physically and spiritually. And slowly but surely, His eyes were opened to Jesus and he saw Jesus.
ILLUSTRATION… Seeing Jesus, in part from "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Philip Yancey
What were some of your earliest mental pictures of Jesus? How do you see Him now? How does the world see Jesus…Jesus and kool-aid and gold stars…holding a lamb…Cosmic Christ who controls all… sweet sweet savior…
QUESTION: HOW DO YOU SEE JESUS?
As we get into the text of John chapter 9, we are faced with a blind man. We find that he was a man who had been blind his whole life. He had grown up not seeing the people, places, and things around him. He was physically blind. Most people probably thought that he was being punished for some sin—why else would he be blind? Surely this man or his parents sinned?! We find him blind, but we also find him full of courage. He was approached by Jesus and did not run away. I am sure he had heard of Jesus, most people had, and when he realized Who it was; He was there for the healing. It took courage to stand in the middle of the crowd as an example. It took courage and faith to do as Jesus instructed and go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. It took courage, faith, and boldness to stand his ground and insist to his neighbors, “I am the man.” It took all those things to confess when asked that Jesus had healed him.
I am sure that he heard Jesus talking to His disciples and heard Him say that neither he nor his parents sinned, but that he was blind for God’s purpose. I am sure this made him curious about Jesus. Hearing he hadn’t done anything to bring this blindness on himself healed him. It boosted his faith to hear Jesus words. That newly found faith in Christ was tested immediately when he insisted that he was the man and Jesus had healed him. He stood firm. His faith was growing.
ILLUSTRATION… Time of Growing Faith (personal)... [share a time when your faith grew]
The man was then taken, probably the next day, to see the Pharisees. Now it was time for the religious leaders to question him. I am sure they saw this as an opportunity to discredit Jesus and make Him look like a heretic and from Satan. And this supposed healed-blind-man was the key. They lobbed allegations of sin about Jesus—not keeping the Sabbath. They insulted the man—steeped in sin at birth. They wanted to discredit the whole situation to make Jesus look bad to all the people.
As the Pharisees grilled this man and questioned him over and over—his faith stood firm. When questioned about Jesus’ identity—he answered that He was a Prophet sent from God. He affirmed time and time again that Jesus had healed him. He did not know a lot about Jesus, only that He had defended him to others and had glorified God in the process. He knew that Jesus healed him—he knew that for sure!