Summary: God will use the times of trial in our lives for the victory he gives freely.
“The Blindness is an opportunity”
“God will use the times of trial in our lives for the victory he gives freely.”
Sunday Morning Sermon
For the most part we don’t know what suffering is. The other day I couldn’t find the remote – I looked everywhere! I was in the car with Rob and he stops at a McDonald’s for a drink – the lady hands him a cup ½ full of drink with no ice. I’ve spent hours and hours in line at Wal-Mart – time I can never get back, but it’s not suffering. Funny story – I was in line the other day and I knew it was going to take awhile so I called my dad. I’m on the cell phone and this man in line with me, just keeps talking to me – I let my dad go, because that’s easier to do. This man is a truck driver and had opinions about everything. We made small talk, and he asked me what I did for a living – I said, I’m a preacher – he looks at me and walks away. Understand I’m not dressed like I am this morning – I had sweats and a t-shirt on. He takes one look at me and walks off – I was thinking, “If that would have shut him up, I would have volunteered the information a long time ago.” Church that’s still not suffering! I know we probably all have stories of cold meals, times when we’ve been over charged or had bad customer service. I don’t mean to make light of loss or real suffering, because I know that’s very real too. This morning if you are going through a situation or a problem and there seems no way out – I encourage you to listen to what God has to say this morning. More than ½ filled cups at McDonalds or losing the remote – there is real suffering.
This morning we are going to look at a story in John’s gospel. I believe this man was suffering. More than just suffering – he was surrounded by a huge wall, put into every brick of this huge wall was a lack of hope. Take away hope – and you will crush a person’s spirit. I believe this man was inflicted with something – that no one had a cure for – and people just got used to seeing him. He was common in their lives.
Turn with me to John 9:1-41 (read) (Advance)
I was told one time that the gospel of John is written in a circular fashion. On the outside of this circle you have the story, but when you get to the heart of the story – the inside of the circle – you have the meaning. It’s the meaning that will help us understand the story better.
I see 7 “scenes” – John tells this story like he’s holding a video camera, and they are shooting film. We’ll unpack the story – and get to the meaning.
(Advance) Jesus told Andrew and his companion 1:39 “Come and see” – (Advance) In 1:46 he says the same thing to Philip and Nathanael – If you remember the response of the Samaritan woman – she told her neighbors the same thing (4:29). There is a theme that makes its way through the John’s gospel – involving both sight and belief. Our text this morning really continues that theme. (Advance)
I. Scene # 1 – Jesus heals the man born blind (1-7)
The disciples ask Jesus – whose sin caused this man to be born blind? There was an understanding that God caused suffering because of sin. If the young man was born out of wed-lock – it’s his parents’ sin. If he did something – it was his sin. Jesus doesn’t answer this – but understand something.
i. Always breaks down – it always destroys and the result is death
Physical death, spiritual death – the death of a relationship – sin brings death. We don’t get too far from the disciples thinking here – AIDS was thought of as God’s punishment for sexual sin. Honestly, it’s just what happens when people sin – regardless of how or why. That disease affects many sexually innocent people – but sin always breaks down, it always destroys and it will bring death.
b. The disciples were thinking
i. The parents sinned – and it was handed down – they might have been thinking about David and Bathsheba (Advance)
2 Samuel 12:13-14 (NIV) 13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die."