Listen to the full sermon.
When Jesus walked the earth as a man, He revealed the incredible love of God toward all humanity and the individual. In amongst the multitudes, Jesus would see the need of the individual, hear their cries and feel their pain.
Having the compassion of God, He stepped down into humanity’s darkness and shone His glorious light. He pushed back the darkness of false belief and religious striving, bringing revelation to the work of God and revealing His glory.
Let us go to the Gospel according to John. Where we will journey with Jesus and His disciples of the time. We will encounter the religious and the individual through whom the glory and work of God was revealed.
the glory of God
John 9:1-11 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.” Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”
What an incredible encounter with the living God!
This the situation. The disciples of Jesus were in bondage to incorrect belief. They erroneously believed that blindness of the man was a result of some sin or wrong doing in his or his parents life. This false belief is from the same root that attributes sickness, whether mental, physical or even spiritual to unconfessed wrong doing in someone’s life.
words of light and life
Jesus the Son of God who became the Son of Man knows all things. So He immediately responds to his disciples false belief and the need of the individual who was born blind, with words of light and life. Jesus brings sight to the man who was born blind and revelation of the truth into His disciples minds. Jesus emphatically declares that neither the man who had been born blind or his parents had sinned, to cause this blindness.
With His words and actions, Jesus removes any false perception of God. He makes it very clear that God’s work is salvation and healing, not sickness or blindness.
Our reality is that we live in a world damaged by evil, where the seed of humanity reproduces both good and evil. Way back in the beginning sickness, evil and death were given power by humanity and activated into God’s perfect world that He had created.
It is important we understand that God is not a master controller, manipulating people or circumstances. That is not God’s work or who he is. Controlling and manipulating people and circumstances is an abuse of power and the way of humanity’s selfish desires and evil.
Jesus states that the work of God is revealed in healing – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is in God’s free gift of salvation and His continual pursuit of humanity in love that we see the unseen. We see into the heart and mind of the living God.
Since the beginning of a time humanity has been running, striving, working, trying to hide their shame. Yet from generation to generation, God has been working. Pursuing in love, bringing healing and forgiveness, salvation and deliverance, love and restoration, equality and freedom, peace and life everlasting.
jesus is greater
Interestingly the man who was formerly blind did not know who Jesus was, yet He received His sight. This also dispels the false belief that whether we receive healing or not depends upon us knowing God. The disciples knew Jesus, did life with Jesus, each and every day, yet they still had some false belief and incorrect preconceived ideas about God and self.
What is so awesome is that Jesus is greater than any false belief, lack of revelation or religious striving.
This is the good news for all humanity, God is greater!
Unfortunately not everyone was so excited about this good news and truth about God. There are those who have made an empire of self glorification and refused to let go of their abuses of power, oppression of others and manipulation of the truth. Having seen Jesus and know who He is, they choose to live a lie filled with hypocrisy and even worse, attempt to rob others from receiving their healing. So let us continue on the journey with Jesus and the man who was once blind and now sees, to discover the various responses to the glorious work of God.
the religious object
John 9:12-38 Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”
the power of the testimony
He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”
He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?” Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.” The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
the blind see
The religious reasoned amongst themselves. They had forgotten why they were given the law all those centuries ago and were now manipulating it to prevent people from receiving from God. The condition of their own spiritual darkness and hardness of heart was revealed in their response to Jesus. If only they would receive Jesus and the truth, so that they too could be set free.
Yet sadly they poured all their energies into trying to rob the man who was born blind of his joy and revelation, as well as setting their minds to declaring war on God and attempt to destroy Jesus. Jesus their messiah, their saviour and healer. They had knowingly chose to their only pathway to salvation and align themselves with pure evil preventing others from entering in.
They confronted the man who once was blind. Steeped in their hypocrisy and pride, they demanded the man who was once blind give glory to God. When ironically he had already been testifying of what God had done, yet they refused to listen. The religious made a judgement about him and pridefully determined in their hearts who was clean and who was a sinner. Ignoring their own inner uncleanliness. Effectively they were elevating themselves above God, for it is only God who can determine such things. It is only God who is pure goodness and knows the secrets of people’s hearts.
the religious remain blind
John 9:39-41 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.
Jesus is the one who judges, that is determines those who are for God or against God. Simply put those who reject Jesus the Son of God, reject God. Those who receive Jesus the Son of God, receive God the Father, His Holy Spirit and His kingdom.
Jesus came to bring healing and salvation, where everyone who receives Jesus, their body becomes a temple where the living God dwells. A temple that God our Father in heaven declares is holy ground.
Ironically the man who was once blind was cast out of the physical temple, by the religious leaders who had rejected God, for testifying of God.
God never casts us out or takes away His presence from us. He is greater than any false belief, religious striving or circumstances of this world.
The amazing love of God is such that even knowing our weaknesses and the deceptions of our heart, God is greater and never stops loving us. His love is true love, a perfect love, an unconditional love that comes only from God.
By journeying with Jesus, we understand the heart and work of God. Until Jesus returns, God the Father is always working. He continues to relentlessly pursue in love each individual and people group. Revealing His glory in ways each one can understand.
for this is the work of God
He brings healing and forgiveness into humanity’s darkness of guilt and shame. Salvation and deliverance from the destructive forces of evil and selfish desires of humanity. Unconditional love and eternal restoration into humanity’s rejection and brokenness. He establishes His kingdom of equality and freedom into the hearts and minds of all who are willing. Having pushed back the darkness and defeated death, He gives peace and life everlasting.
Praise His mighty name!