This is the sermon for Wednesday evening April 29th, 2009.
John part 43
John 9:35-41 ISV – 35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. So when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him. He is the person who is talking with you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I do believe,” and worshiped him. 39 Then Jesus said, “I have come into this world for judgment, so that those who are blind may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees who were near him overheard this and said to him, “We aren’t blind, too, are we?” 41 Jesus told them, “If you were blind, you would not have any sin. But now that you insist, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”
We are continuing in the story of the man born blind, whom Jesus healed on the Sabbath. The Pharisees investigate the healing, and they are angry that it took place on the Sabbath. They try to use manipulation and intimidation in both the former blind man, and his parents.
After all is said and done, they throw the blind man out of the synagogue. All this man has done is really nothing; Christ healed him, and now he gets punished for it. You see, that is what both the world and religion does. If you don’t fit comfortably within the box they created, then they will try to run you out.
It is here that Jesus teaches us a very short, yet important spiritual lesson: Just who is the truly blind in this narrative? That is the question we want to look at tonight.
The Lord searches for the cast out man.
John 9:35a ISV – Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. So when he found him…
The Pharisees and the leaders of the synagogue which was under their control didn’t know what to do with the man, and in anger they kicked him out of the synagogue and synagogue worship. For us this seems rather non-important, but for this Jewish man Jesus healed, this meant he was no longer able to worship God in the synagogue. This had to be devastating for him.
Notice the text said that Jesus heard about it and that He found him. In the Greek that word found means, “being found after a diligent search is made.” This means that Jesus went hunting for the man. John MacArthur says, “Not only did Jesus take the Divine initiative to open up this man’s physical eyes, now He is taking the Divine initiative to open up this man’s spiritual eyes.”
This man’s world has cast him out. Possibly his parents may no longer have anything to do with him, all because he once was physically blind, but now can see. But this is the type of person that Jesus came for. Jesus went searching for him and found him.
In many ways we are like this man in the story. Our world loves us for a while, but when addiction gets a hold of us, or we become entangled and mired in sin with no visible way out, our world comes crashing down, and people give up hope and abandon us. But aren’t you glad that Jesus searched for you?
I know that this might be hard for some to accept, but Jesus didn’t wait for us to look for Him, because that just truly won’t happen without Him taking the initiative. Jesus searches for us, and calls us out.
Look at what Jesus said earlier.
John 6:44-45 ISV – 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him to life on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And all of them will be taught by God.’ Everyone who has listened to the Father and has learned anything comes to me.
The most important question this man has ever been asked.
John 9:35b ISV – So when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
Jesus asked this man if He believes in the Son of Man. Jesus is using a Messianic term. This man being Jewish and raised in the synagogue he just got kicked out of I’m sure heard all the passages of the promised Messiah and His coming and the different titles, one like the Son of Man Jesus uses here. Passages like this one in Daniel.
Daniel 9:13-14 HCSB – 13 I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. 14 He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.
When Jesus asked this man if He believed in the Son of man, in Greek the word “believe” means, “trust.” Does this man trust in the coming Messiah? He has been kicked out by religion, he has been ridiculed, even after something wonderful and gracious happened too him, but does he trust in the Messiah, in the midst of all this?
Sometimes we get the cart before the horse, do we not? We want people to change their life, then come to Christ, but it doesn’t really work that way, does it? Do we trust Christ, right in the midst of our sin, right in the midst of our pain, right in the midst of our world crumbling apart? That is the question that must be asked.
The man’s positive response.
John 9:36 ISV – He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.
This man may not have realized it, but this situation God has used to prepare his heart to believe in Jesus. His world has abandoned Him, but not His God. Christ has searched him out and found him, right in this abandoned condition. God has prepared this man to respond in a positive way.
We hate to see people who we love who may be lost go through difficult times. We may not be aware though that God is using those difficult times to prepare their heart to believe the Gospel when it is presented too them.
Christ reveals Himself and the man believes.
John 9:37-38 ISV – 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him. He is the person who is talking with you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I do believe,” and worshiped him.
Notice that it didn’t take much for this man to put his trust in Christ once Christ reveals Himself to Him. Why? Because God has prepared this man’s heart to receive, so it was a natural response.
In our culture, we will use manipulation, entertainment, scare tactics, and whatever else to try to get conversions. Oh, we may draw a huge crowd, but do we see true conversions?
But when God works on the sinner, He knows what He is doing. He is putting the person in the right place, in the right experience, at the right time to prepare the sinner’s heart, so that when the Gospel is preached, and Christ is revealed as their Savior, it is a natural response for them to put their trust in Him and worship Him.
The truth about spiritual blindness.
John 9:39-41 ISV – 39 Then Jesus said, “I have come into this world for judgment, so that those who are blind may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees who were near him overheard this and said to him, “We aren’t blind, too, are we?” 41 Jesus told them, “If you were blind, you would not have any sin. But now that you insist, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”
Spiritual blindness is much worse that physical blindness. Spiritual blindness darkens the heart of man. It is very easy to know when you are physically blind, but not so much spiritually blind. This is why Jesus came into the world for judgment. This judgment is not to bring condemnation, because that would go against what Jesus said earlier.
John 3:17 ISV – For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
The judgment that He has come into the world reveals people’s innermost thoughts and deepest motives, and reveals those who claim to have great spiritual understanding when in fact they are spiritually blind – in this case, the Pharisees.
There are many people in our world that are blinded by good works, philosophy and religion. It works for them, they feel, therefore they don’t even realize that they are blind. Their sin remains as long as they are in this condition.
We may know many people who are unaware that they are blinded in their sins. It doesn’t matter if they are good people, religious, or not, if they do not see their need for Christ, then they are blind. We need to pray and ask the Lord to open up their eyes, so they might see the truth that they are spiritually blind. It is time we see God open up the eyes of the spiritually blind with the powerful light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s be the candles that carry that light to the dark, blinded world we live in today.