Summary: This message taken from John 9 deals with the healing of the man born blind, and all those around him who were also blind in a different way.
Who’s REALLY Blind?
CHCC: March 6, 2011
Today we’re going to look at one of the most entertaining stories in all the New Testament. It’s full of so much detail that you feel like you were there … and like you actually know this remarkable man who started out blind and ended up seeing. The story in John 9 has a big cast – and by the time you get to the end of the story, you realize that the man born blind was NOT the only one who was blind. As we read through this story, we’ll see that several people had blind spots. First we look at the Disciples: As Jesus went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1-2
What the disciples asked about this blind man showed that they themselves were blinded – by a judgmental attitude.
1. Blinded by a Judgmental Attitude - The Disciples
It was a common belief back then that any physical defect was a punishment for someone’s sin. The question they asked wasn’t unusual, but it showed that they were blind to God’s reality. Here’s how Jesus opened their eyes to the truth. “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:3
When the disciples looked at the blind man, they saw someone to analyze and talk about. When Jesus looked at the blind man, he saw someone who could display the glory of God. Most people today don’t believe that a sickness or deformity is a punishment for someone’s sin. But when we look at people with problems, many of us are blinded by a judgmental attitude.
About 40 years ago, Susan’s father was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder. People didn’t know as much about mood disorders as we know today. Cecil was a wonderful, godly man, but there were some who claimed that being mentally ill proved he didn’t have enough faith in God. One counselor he talked to even suggested he might be demon possessed. Another counselor claimed his depressions had to come from parental abuse that he was refusing to admit. Everyone seemed to have an opinion about the problem. Most of the opinions were well-intentioned but wrong.
We still don’t have the answer to why a good man had to suffer for so long. But I can say that Cecil’s life displayed the glory of God. He was never healed, but by God’s grace he continued to live a godly life and set a wonderful example for everyone he came in contact with. In fact, I see his faithful endurance as a bigger miracle than if God had healed the sickness.
How do you see the people around you? When you see people who are flawed and struggling --- someone who’s sick or disabled --- an alcoholic or drug addict --- a homeless person --- are you blinded by a judgmental attitude that sees them as a lost cause? Ask Jesus to open your eyes to the potential for God to transform the lives around you … the way He transformed the life of this blind man.
Jesus spit on the ground, put mud on the man’s eyes, and told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. When the blind man came back, he could see! But we immediately find out that his friends and neighbors are the blind ones. They’re blinded by cynicism.
2. Blinded by Cynicism – the Crowds
Instead of being amazed and excited, some of the folks started arguing. Some of them said, “Hey, the blind man can see now.” Other’s said, “No, that guy just looks like him.” Meanwhile the man told them “Hey, I AM the man!”
Can you imagine? This guy can SEE for the first time in his life! But he get’s put on the defensive. He has to try to convince these skeptics of who he really is. He tells the story of what happened over and over, but some people are too cynical to admit even the possibility that his story could be true.
Do we ever miss the amazing miracles of God because we’re too cynical to believe? If you hear about a criminal who has a jailhouse conversion, do you immediately write it off as fake? If someone claims that God healed them from a sickness, do you figure they probably weren’t all that sick in the first place? Sure there are times when people make false claims, but if we become cynical, we run the risk of missing the transforming miracles that happen right before our eyes. I’d rather be fooled now and then than to fail to see what God is doing in the lives of people around me!