Healing the blind
Sermon for Sunday March 19, 2023
John 9:3–4 3Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.
This is like the friends of Job who claimed that Job was being punished for his sin. Job lost all his sons and livestock. Job’s friends accredited his losses to his sinful actions. Whatever Jo’s sins were his friends did not know. There are consequences for our sins, but the only time God will be part of that consequence is when He is trying to reprimand and teach us and that we then learn from being reprimanded.
We are all born with sin so then we should all be born blind or crippled or deformed. Maybe we are, we’re just blind to it. However, God does work in this way. Instead, Jesus speaks of the works of God being displayed by those who appear to us to have been born with a defect. Who really has the defect? The one who we say is deformed or the one who can’t see the person or angel inside of the one we think is deformed?
Jesus continues to test His disciples and our sight by, as He tells His disciples, that they (Jesus and the disciples) must do the work of Him who sent Jesus into the world. This is to be accomplished while it is still day because night is coming. Jesus is not talking about the time of day but rather the time that is upon the disciples and us all. Jesus is the light and His crucifixion is the night that approaches. The darkness is the world, and the darkness is approaching and when it is here it will smother the good works that will glorify God. That is, until Jesus returns to judge the world.
John 9:5–7 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So, he went and washed and came back seeing.
As long as Jesus Christ is in the world then the works that will glorify God will continue. Jesus has been crucified, but He is still in the world. If we look in the hearts of all and especially all believers, we will know Christ is in us and we who believe are in Him.
We are in the world, and we might say that Jesus is in the world because His body is still trying to glorify the Father. The body of Christ that we are speaking of is the church. The church is the community of saints. The community saints are those who believe and are the disciples of Christ. And the disciples of Christ are those who learn and put the word of God into action.
Sent? Jesus was sent by the Father to restore us to be His children and to give us salvation. Jesus heals people and restores them to good health and Jesus sent this man to give him sight. The sight that Jesus gives this man is twofold. One, is that this man can now see as others do. Two, is this man can now see that Jesus is the one who was sent from the Father. Those who have been blind to God’s existence have restored sight through faith and grace and now can know God.
John 9:16–17 16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
The problem with our world is that it has blinded itself from God and salvation. The world, just like the Pharisees, cannot see what was sent to save them. There are a lot of people walking around fooling themselves and letting the world fool them into thinking they can see. And it is their blindness that creates a division between them and all believers. It is their blindness that keeps them from seeing the real truth.
Think of the mud Jesus used to anoint the eyes of the blind man. The mud was made from dirt of the ground and the spit of Jesus Christ who gives living water. (The women at the well.) Adam was made from the dirt of the world, Adam owns the blame for the original sin. The living water, that is water with the word of God cleanses us from sin. We call it baptism. Jesus (The Word) sent the man to the water (pool of Siloam), the man’s sight was cleansed and now He sees the savior and now the man sees salvation through the Son of Man, the Son of God who wash away all of our sin.
John 9:32–34 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
The blind who see, don’t believe yet they see the truth and deny it. Those who are blind and cannot see, see more than those who can see because they listen. We see what we want and close our eyes to what we don’t want and miss out on what we should see and should want.
Just because a person chooses not to believe does not mean God does not exist. And just because a person wants to believe in a false god does not mean the false god exists. God is God who is the creator and therefore cannot be created by the very things He has created. The truth is the world casts out those things that are true and holds on to those things that are not true.
John 9:35–38 35Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
This might be an argument that seeing is believing if it were not for the blinded Pharisees. But, seeing and experiencing may be better than just 20/20 sight. The once blind man experienced the healing, the words, and the touch of the Savior and therefore was given sight and sight of faith and now believes.
John 9:39–41 39Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.”
The Judgement? Jesus comes to judge the world, but we know our judgement was decided on the cross where Jesus forgave us our dept to sin and the law. The world will suffer for its relentless sins, while we who repent (that is, we believe) will be spared to eternal life.
Jesus fulfilled His mission of salvation to all believers not only on the cross, but also in the grave, dissention into hell, and His resurrection from the dead. The finality for those who’s “guilt remains” is the bottomless abyss, but the finality for all believers is eternal life, joy, and all this with Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Written by Pastor Curtis A. May