Here is the sermon for Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009.

JOHN PART 42
Interrogation!
John 9:13-34.

John 9:13-34 ISV – 13 So they brought to the Pharisees the man who had once been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He told them, “He put mud on my eyes, then I washed, and now I can see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees began to remark, “This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a sinful man perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, for it was your eyes he opened?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had been given sight until they summoned his parents 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? How does he now see?” 20 His parents replied, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But we don’t know how it is that he now sees, and we don’t know who opened his eyes. Ask him. He is of age and can speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews. For the Jews had already agreed that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be thrown out of the synagogue. 23 That’s why his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.” 24 So for a second time they summoned the man who had been blind and told him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 But he responded, “I don’t know whether he is a sinner or not. The one thing I do know is that I used to be blind and now I can see!” 26 Then they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I’ve already told you, but you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become his disciples, too, do you?” 28 At this, they turned on him furiously and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but we do not know where this fellow comes from.” 30 The man answered them, “This is an amazing thing! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he does listen to anyone who worships him and does his will. 32 Never since creation has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man who was born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do anything like that.” 34 They said to him, “You were born entirely in sins, and you are trying to instruct us?” And they threw him out.

Tonight we are going to look at the response of the Pharisees, the parents, and the man who was born blind, over this miracle performed by Jesus. Will the Pharisees finally have a sign that they will accept as being proof of Jesus being the promised Messiah, or will they continue to harden their hearts? What about the parents, will they themselves rejoice over this great thing Christ has done for their son? And what of the person born blind, what will his response be to the interrogation, and to the miracle that Christ has done for Him?

Let’s look and ask the Lord to speak to us as we dig into His word for the answers to these questions.

The interrogation begins.

John 9:13-16 ISV – 13 So they brought to the Pharisees the man who had once been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He told them, “He put mud on my eyes, then I washed, and now I can see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees began to remark, “This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a sinful man perform such signs?” And there was a division among them.

The Pharisees were leaders of Pharisaic Judaism, which was the prevalent sect of Jesus day. As the leaders they were suppose to test the things done and said in the name of God.

That really wasn’t the problem at the beginning of this interrogation. It was their responsibility to look into it. The problem was they did not base their beliefs on the Old Testament Law, but on their tradition and their own Rabbi’s commentaries on Scripture.

Jesus calls confronts them on that in another place of Scripture.

Matthew 15:3 ISV – Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

Their judgment in this case would be faulty – Why? Because they themselves were blinded by their own sin and tradition, therefore they refused to see the truth and they were leading others into blindness and a deep pit of religion.

Matthew 23:13-16a ISV – 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [ “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation. ] 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. 16 “Woe to you, blind guides….

• Now the investigation is already being manipulated because this miracle had happened on the Sabbath.

It was forbidden in their Talmuds (Commentaries of the Old Testament Scripture) that they were not suppose to heal on the Sabbath. We have already seen by Jesus spitting in the clay, they believed that the spittle, especially fasting spittle, had healing properties, so therefore it was against their teaching for Jesus to do such for this man.

Also, Jesus made mud from the clay, so therefore he worked on the Sabbath by doing this, so they labeled Him a Sabbath breaker and a sinner.

But there were others amongst them that recognized that this was a miracle of God. How could God perform this sign if Jesus was a sinner?

What can we learn here? It doesn’t take long to be in the church before you start to develop traditions. Don’t let your background or tradition or your belief cloud your judgment of God – test with Scripture, not your interpretation or belief or tradition.

The healed man’s first confession.

John 9:17 ISV – So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, for it was your eyes he opened?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

Imagine if you would how this gentleman must of felt: Here a great thing has happened to him – he receives his sight, and now he is being interrogated by the religious authorities concerning this. Instead of rejoicing over this man’s new found eyesight, they are straining out a gnat, and swallowing a camel as Jesus has said in another passage.

But notice his bravery at the same time – he confesses that Jesus must have been a prophet.

The Pharisees question his parents.

John 9:18-21 ISV – 18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had been given sight until they summoned his parents 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? How does he now see?” 20 His parents replied, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But we don’t know how it is that he now sees, and we don’t know who opened his eyes. Ask him. He is of age and can speak for himself.”

The Pharisees still refuse to believe in the miracle. Surely this man truly wasn’t blind at all. So they summon the parents and begin to question them. His parents admit that he is their son, but they don’t know how his sight was supernaturally given to him. So they tell the Pharisees to question their son again.

The motivation behind the parents answer – fear.

John 9:22-23 ISV – 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews. For the Jews had already agreed that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be thrown out of the synagogue. 23 That’s why his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.”

Fear and intimidation can be very powerful motivators, and can sometimes cause us to do things and say things that we shouldn’t do, just like this case with the former blind man’s parents.

As followers of Christ, there will be fear, but we cannot allow fear to motivate us and intimidate us. We have a greater spirit operating in us than fear.

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV – for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

The Pharisees try to manipulate the former blind man’s testimony.

John 9:24 ISV – 24 So for a second time they summoned the man who had been blind and told him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.”

Give glory to God was a common phrase in the time of Christ that is based on the Old Testament, which basically meant, “Mark your words and be careful, for God is now judging you.” They used this phrase to try to brow-beat and scare the former blind man into a false confession of about Christ.

Religion does not have the truth to enforce it’s rules and government, so it must use fear, intimidation, and manipulation to do these things.

The former blind man refuses to be manipulated and suffers the consequences for it.

John 9:25-34 ISV – 25 But he responded, “I don’t know whether he is a sinner or not. The one thing I do know is that I used to be blind and now I can see!” 26 Then they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I’ve already told you, but you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become his disciples, too, do you?” 28 At this, they turned on him furiously and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but we do not know where this fellow comes from.” 30 The man answered them, “This is an amazing thing! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he does listen to anyone who worships him and does his will. 32 Never since creation has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man who was born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do anything like that.” 34 They said to him, “You were born entirely in sins, and you are trying to instruct us?” And they threw him out.

We need to honor this former blind man. He became brave and actually defended Jesus, why? Well, He had an experience that the arguments of the Pharisees couldn’t change. They had their tradition, their authority, their fear tactics, and manipulation; he had been touched by the Master. He may not have known much, what what he did know usurped everything the Pharisees had to throw at him.

The world hates believers in Jesus. They want to see us defeated, and would love to prove that Jesus didn’t even exist. They have their tradition, they have their arguments, they have their manipulation, but what do we have? An experience with our Risen Savior, and that experience usurps all they may try to throw our way.

The former blind man is accused of being a sinner and is thrown out of the synagogue. He suffered for the truth.

Notice what Jesus says about those who would follow Him.

Matthew 10:17-22 ISV – 17 Watch out for people, for they will hand you over to the local councils and whip you in their synagogues. 18 Because of me you will be brought before governors and kings to testify to them and the Gentiles. 19 When they hand you over, don’t worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say, for in that hour what you are to say will be given to you. 20 For it won’t be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 “Brother will hand brother over to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the person who endures to the end will be saved.

We will cover more concerning this former blind man next week.

The point I want to leave you with is don’t let this world, nor religious people intimidate you and try to manipulate you from the truth of God’s word. Our strength is not our interpretation of God’s word, or our ability to pull one verse out of context to get what we want; our strength lies in the whole counsel of God’s word. Let God’s word guide you and His Spirit strengthen you. What He has to offer is so much greater than the world or religion’s fear tactics.

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