Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sermon on John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39, for the 4th Sunday in Lent, "Lord, I Believe!"

1. Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? (Exodus 4:11) God made us the way we are for His own purposes—to show His glory; that His works might be seen in us. This man’s blindness was through no fault of his own, or his parents, though the Jews and disciples believed it was. Each are given different gifts or abilities—sometimes also handicaps—but God works through them. Are we “marked” by our circumstances? Find our worth and esteem in Christ, not ourselves or how we compare to others.

2. Sin blindness. Spiritual. Unable to see the truth or the salvation that is in front of us. The Pharisees’ growing spiritual darkness, while a man first sees the light. We don’t want to see, because to see means to recognize our own helplessness, our lost condition—that we need God.

3. John 12:35-43 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”
41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

4. Jesus’ incarnational act of healing. Dirt and spit. God created with dust. Creates sight with mud. Jesus’ nearness to sinners and suffering. Matt. 12:10-12 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

5. After interrogation, refusal to call Jesus a sinner or deny He is from God, the Pharisees cast out the blind man. Being healed also led him to hardship. Jesus seeks him out and calls him to faith and a bold confession that He is the Christ. Our confession of Christ will also not win us the friendship of the world. It may cause others to turn away from us.

6. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. (John 9:35-38). Given the opportunity to believe and confess his faith, the healed man believes in Jesus and worships Him. This should be our natural response of faith. Healed from sin blindness by the one who is the light of the world—He drove out our darkness, gave us light, cleansed us from sin, gave light to the world. His light is life. So we worship Him. Worship is reserved by the first commandment only for God—and so we are right to worship Him who is the true Son of God, Jesus Christ—the One who can open the eyes of the blind.

Now the peace of God which passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, unto life everlasting. Amen.

Sermon Talking Points:
Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com
Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. Read all of John 9, and see the full “investigation” that was undertaken by the Jews about the healing of this blind man.

2. What types of “blindness” are discussed in this passage? Elsewhere in the Bible? Cf. Exodus 4:11; 23:8; Psalm 146:8; Isaiah 6:10; 35:5; Matt. 15:12-14; John 12:35-43; 2 Corinthians 4:4

3. What is remarkable and yet also very earthy about how Jesus healed the man? What does this indicate about Christ’s willingness to enter into the brokenness of this sinful world? What does the miracle of the incarnation (that “God became flesh”) teach us about God’s love for mankind and the fallen world? Phil. 2:5-11; John 1:1-18

4. The irony of this passage is that a man goes from physical darkness into physical and spiritual light—while the Pharisees go deeper into their spiritual darkness/blindness because of their unbelief in Jesus.

5. Why was Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath day not a violation of the Sabbath commandment? Exodus 20:8-11; Mark 2:27-28; Matt. 12:10-12

6. Why was it so important that the man healed of blindness confessed Jesus to be the Christ, the Savior? What hardship did it cause him to make that confession of faith?

7. How did this bring him greater healing than his physical restoration of sight? What was the natural response of his newborn faith? John 9:38. How does our faith give rise to this same response? O, come let us worship Him—Christ the Lord!

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