Summary: Spiritual arrogance and presumption can blind us to our ignorance and stubbornness of heart; only those who realize their desperate need of the Savior come to the Savior in saving faith.
The Blind Who See and the Seeing Who Are Blind
1. We discover things everyday. Take this recent article from Medscape:
“Middle-aged adults who are more optimistic about their future tend to have higher antioxidant levels than their less optimistic peers, according to new research out of Harvard.
Investigators studying nearly one thousand people over ten years found that increases in optimism correlated with an increase in concentration of antioxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene, which is found in deeply-colored vegetables like carrots and kale.”
2. The relationship of food to disposition or outlook is fascinating. Even more fascinating, however, is the relationship of the spiritual to our very being.
3. Think of: forgiveness, guilt, insight, wisdom, faith, hope, love….from faith.
4. But not everyone is in the Kingdom of God…church made up of individuals…
5. The “church mysteries” enumerated by Paul were hidden within prominent Old Testament texts, like Isaiah; we see a concealed version of God’s plan for the church.
Main Idea: Spiritual arrogance and presumption can blind us to our ignorance and stubbornness of heart; only those who realize their desperate need of the Savior come to the Savior in saving faith.
I. The Gentiles Will Come to FAITH (10-12)
A. This is insulting to the ARROGANT Jewish leaders
B. Those who exalt themselves are HUMBLED
C. That the church would be mostly gentile is IMPLIED here
Romans 9:30-31, “What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone…”
D. Who is acceptably worshipping God here? GENTILE believers!
1. Who is
• Exalting the Name and Word of the Lord
• Offering God praise and prayer
• Appreciating God’s attributes
• Showing God off?
2. The gentile believers (mostly)
John 4:22-24, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Application: Those who come to faith are God’s servants. How is our service? Do we serve with a smile, or grudgingly. Evaluations/references: does not complete assignments, completes assignments, completes enthusiastically, completes & asks for more. How are you disposed?
II. God Gently Leads the Hurting Faithful Jewish REMNANT (13-16)
A. God exalts the humble who recognize their BLINDNESS
1. People who are spiritually blind often have no idea that they are blind…
2. But those who can see are aware of their blindness…
• Revelation 3:17, “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”
• Romans 11:1,5, “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin… So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.”
B. He leads us by the hand because we walk by FAITH, not sight
William Frey told the following story: When I was a younger man, I volunteered to read to a degree student named John who was blind. One day I asked him, "How did you lose your sight?"
"A chemical explosion," John said, "at the age of thirteen." "How did that make you feel?" I asked. "Life was over. I felt helpless. I hated God," John responded. "For the first six months I did nothing to improve my lot in life. I would eat all my meals alone in my room. One day my father entered my room and said, ’John, winter’s coming and the storm windows need to be up-that’s your job. I want those hung by the time I get back this evening or else!’ "Then he turned, walked out of the room and slammed the door.
I got so angry. I thought, "Who does he think I am? I’m blind!" I was so angry I decided to do it. I felt my way to the garage, found the windows, located the necessary tools, found the ladder, all the while muttering under my breath, ’I’ll show them. I’ll fall, then they’ll have a blind and paralyzed son!’" John continued, "I got the windows up. I found out later that never at any moment was my father more than four or five feet away from my side."* [Evie Meginson, Sermon Central]