Summary: Six timeless truths from this man’s encounter with Jesus.
The Man Born Blind
Today we’re going to wrap up our series of messages dealing with these personal encounters with Christ in the book of John. In the passage were going to study this morning, I want to tell you right up front that there is so much here that we won’t be able to discuss. All of our encounters with Jesus have been this way, but today’s passage seems especially rich in what it holds for the man or woman who would but study it.
It seems that in John 9, Jesus and His disciples were walking along one day when the disciples spotted a man who had been born blind. They asked a question about him that really reveals quite a lot about our thought tendencies. They wanted to know who had sinned, this man or his parents, to cause him to be born blind. Obviously someone had to have sinned against God for Him to punish this poor man the way He had. Jesus didn’t pursue their line of thought too much when He answered,
“Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
Jesus said that the man had been born that way for just such a time as this, so Jesus walked over, picked up some dirt off the ground, spat in it, mixed it up into a paste, and smeared it in the guy’s eyes. Then He told the man to go and wash himself in the pool of Siloam. The man went and washed, and was healed miraculously that day. His friends couldn’t believe it! They began asking if he was really the same man, and after determining that he was, they took him to the Pharisees. They wanted to know what had happened to him, so the man rehearsed the story to them.
The Pharisees were enraged, because Jesus had healed this man on the Sabbath, so they wanted to know if it was real or not – who was this man who had healed him? They decided to call in the man’s parents and get them to vouch for the man, but they were afraid of the Pharisees and the great power they wielded in the land. Instead of helping them, they told the Pharisees to let the man speak for himself. He did, but it got pretty ugly as the man stood up for himself before these men. It wound up getting him kicked out of the synagogue, a very significant thing, and putting him right in the path for a second encounter with Jesus that day.
Jesus found the man after the Pharisees got done with him, led him to place his faith in Him as Savior, made a worshipper out of the man, then told the Pharisees that it was really them who suffered from the worst kind of blindness that’s known to man – spiritual blindness.
So why has God included this story in His Word for you? Why did God bother to have John record this miraculous, but true account of an encounter between the omniscient, all-knowing and all-seeing God and this blind nobody who had been kicked to the curb of society? As I told you earlier, there are many things that could be pulled from the passage, but today I want to leave you with six very simple ones.
You cannot argue the goodness of God according to your circumstances.
What was the question they asked? “Who sinned?” Obviously somebody had to have sinned or this guy wouldn’t have been afflicted with blindness. Now this is really messed up thinking. Think about it – what sin could the blind man have possibly committed to have been born blind? He would have to have committed the sin in the womb!
But isn’t that just how we think? It doesn’t have to be blindness – it could be any number of things in your life – sickness, financial stress, marital stress, loose a job, wreck the car, whatever – we seem to have this warped idea that our circumstances are indicators of God’s goodness or God’s judgment in our lives. Now, Jesus doesn’t say that bad circumstances are never the result of God’s judgment, but that with this man that’s not the case.
Listen, you can’t look at your life or anyone else’s life and ask the question – who sinned? You can’t look at your neighbor’s failing marriage and decide that one of them has been in sin. That may or may not be true – but the same is true of your own life.
Some of you are going through some very trying circumstances right now. We could go around the room and begin to name names and point out what you’re going through – but what we can’t do is argue the goodness of God according to those circumstances. Let me ask you something – is God good? Is He really good? Is He good when…