Summary: Our sight is a wonderful gift from God. Yet there is a far greater tragedy than physical blindness.
Purpose: To understand the nature of spiritual blindness.
Aim: I want the listener to trust and follow Christ.
INTRODUCTION: Our sight is a wonderful gift from God. We marvel at the fiery colors of a sunset, the rich pastels of spring and the delicate beauty of a flower. How tragic it must be to never see even the light of day.
Yet there is a far greater tragedy than physical blindness. In this passage Jesus meets a man who has been blind from birth. The story about this man also illustrates that those who are blind can see clearly, while those with sight may wind up seeing nothing at all.
As we come to this time in the ministry of Jesus many of His followers had left Him. John 6:65--66 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father." As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. (NAS) Then in chapter 7 John tells us that, John 7:32 ... the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. (NAS)
In this story we will see three different reactions to this miracle of new vision that was given by Jesus.
Vs.1-17 I. The Blind Man Receives Physical Sight
Vs.1-2 A. The question "who sinned...?"
Notice that this question is prompted by curiosity, not compassion. It was widely believed that sin was always the cause of blindness. The only question here was whose sin was it? Jesus was only given two choices, but Jesus introduces a third choice.
Jesus' remark that "neither this man nor his parents sinned" does not mean, of course, that they were sinless. He meant that the man's blindness was not the direct result of anyone's specific sin.
Vs.3-5 B. The answer "so that the works of God might be displayed"
[Vs.3-4] Jesus' answer to the disciples' question reveals that God takes full responsibility for the way he has made us. There are no mistakes in God's sovereign plan. God told Moses: Exodus 4:11 "Who has made man=s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?" (NAU)
Since God is in control of the hard and hurtful things in life then He can make them go away whenever He desires.
[Vs.5] Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead He said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25--26 NAS)
Here before Jesus gives a blind man sight He says "... I am the Light of the world." (John 9:5 NAS) If you miss the light that Jesus has, there is no second option.
If Jesus is the light of the world, then He can do much more than just give physical sight. 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (NAS) Notice verses 35-38.
Vs.6-7 C. The cure "came back seeing"
Why did Jesus use wet clay to perform this miracle? The Bible doesn't say, but we do know that Jesus healed some blind men by touching their eyes (Matthew 9:29); other blind men He healed by touching them twice (Matthew 8:22-26); and here He put mud in the eyes.
The point is that God often chooses to do His work in different ways at different times. Just because the Lord worked in a certain way in your life, that doesn't mean that is the only way God can work. Vance Havner, a Baptist preacher, said if the groups of people who saw each of these three miracles got together one would form the "One Touch Baptists," one would form the "Two Touch Baptists" and one would be the "Mud in the Eye Baptists."
The important thing is that Jesus has the power to erase our spiritual blindness and flood us with beautiful light. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (NAU)
We don=t know why Jesus made clay and applied it to his eyes and told him to wash it out. In is interesting that the clay would have highlighted this man's blindness. What was about to be opened Jesus first sealed.
It is also interesting that faith in Christ was not required for this man to receive his sight. Many false teachers say that faith in Christ is required before He will heal you. Jesus did not even promise healing. This man didn't even ask to be healed. Jesus just put some mud in his eye told to wash out the mud.