Summary: Each of us were born with a debilitating condition - spiritual blindness. Regardless of our desire to see, spiritually we were blind to the ways of God. Our only hope was for a miracle. Thankfully, Jesus is the Light of the world.
The Light of the World
John 9: 1-11
As a boy Robert Louis Stevenson was intrigued by the work of the old lamplighter who went about with a ladder and a torch, setting the street lights ablaze for the night. One evening in Edinburgh, Scotland, as young Robert stood watching with childish fascination, his parents heard him exclaim, “Look, look! There is a man out there, punching holes in the darkness!” (i)
As we continue to examine the I AM statements of Jesus, we come to His proclamation of being the Light of the world. Like the man setting the street lights ablaze, Jesus came to punch an eternal hole in the darkness. We all were born in sin, separated from God, being blind spiritually and unable to comprehend the things of God. Our only hope was for one to open our eyes and deliver us from blindness.
Jesus encountered a man who needed His touch and used this as an opportunity to reveal that He was in fact the Light of the world. Those who walk about in darkness need His touch. This man received much more than His sight that day. All who come to Christ in salvation are delivered from the blindness of sin and our eyes are opened to the blessings and benefits of being in Christ. As we discuss the realities within the text, I want to consider Jesus as: The Light of the World.
I. The Predicament of the Man – As we begin to examine this passage, we first need to consider the predicament in which this man found himself. We discover:
A. He was Blind (1) – And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. As Jesus departed from the temple and those who sought to do Him harm, He passed by a man who was blind from his birth. We don’t know how old the man was, but we do know he had dealt with blindness his entire life. He had never experienced the beauty of sight, being able to see his surroundings and experience the beauty of God’s creation. Utter darkness is all he had known.
I know of no other description in the Bible that describes our situation better than the predicament in which this man found himself. While we all can’t relate to physical blindness, we all were born spiritually blind. Our eyes had not been opened to the truth of the Gospel. The darkness of sin is all we knew, not knowing the beauty of God’s grace in salvation. We were unable to do anything about our condition and stood in need of one to open our eyes!
B. He was a Beggar (8) – The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Those who lived around the man were familiar with him and the great predicament in which he lived. Being blind he was unable to provide for himself, having to resort to the kindness of others. Respectfully, but simply – he was a beggar.
We may not like to admit it, but we were all beggars prior to salvation in Christ. Our eyes were blinded by sin and we were unable to provide for ourselves spiritually. I remember the great burden of sin and realizing my inability to change my condition. Others recognized my need, knowing where to find help, and they pointed me to Jesus. I was simply a lost beggar in need of salvation. It has been rightly said that sharing the Gospel with another is simply one beggar telling another where to find bread.
C. He was Blessed (1, 3) – And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. The man was blind and he was a beggar, but he was also blessed. Some might wonder how a blind man could be considered blessed, but it is evident to see when we consider the text. He had been blind from birth, but one day he had an encounter with Jesus. He was unable to see the Lord, but Jesus saw him! The Lord was well aware of the man’s condition and had compassion on him. When the disciples wondered who had sinned, the man or his parents, to cause his blindness, Jesus responded neither. The man’s condition was not the result of his sin or his parents’ sin, but that the works of God could be made manifest in him. His condition was allowed so that God could be glorified and Jesus was about to perform a miracle for the man.