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Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode 100 · 5 months ago

Seeing the Light

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Seeing the Light

John 9:6-41

Dax Bryant - Preaching

We're so glad to be back with you. We were gone for a couple of weeks, it felt longer than that, and it is, despite the heat, really nice to be back here with our Church family and we're just grateful to be here with you. We're glad that you can be gathered here this morning is the people of God to to worship God together, and so, as we prepare to hear from God through his word, would you join me and let's pray and ask God to speak to us. Father, would you grant us the vision this morning to behold your blessed son, Jesus, who is the radiance of your glory and the exact imprint of your nature? And even though we have not seen him, may we love him and though we do not now see him, may we believe in him and rejoice in him with inexpressible joy, full of glory spirit. We pray that you would fill us and lead us in the knowledge and truth of our Lord and Savior, that you would open our eyes that we might see Jesus and to prove things that are excellent. So, God, persuade our hearts now to receive the truth of your word and, through it, to direct our steps that we might walk in the narrow path of your mercy and truth. For Jesus Sake and for his glory, we pray. Amen. John Chapter Nine is where will be this morning. If you close your bibles or your device, go ahead and get back in John Chapter Nine. We look into those verses that were read for us. All of you will know probably immediately who I'm describing here, but we'll see. She was born a normal, healthy baby girl, but at the age of nineteen months she was struck by a fever that left her completely blind and completely deaf. She was suddenly cut off from the world around her and and no one really knew what to do or how to help, and I'm speaking of Helen Keller, of course. And it wasn't until she was six years old that a woman came into her life who was at first simply known as teacher. And I want you to listen of what Helen Keller wrote later of this life changing experience for her. Here are her words. She says, have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship tense and anxious groped her way toward the shore and you waited with beating heart for something to happen. I was like that ship, she says, before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line and had no way of knowing how near the harbor was. Light give me. Light was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me. In that very hour, she says, I felt approaching footsteps. I stretched out my hand, as I supposed to my mother. Someone took it and I was caught up and held close in the arms of her who had come to reveal all things to me and, more than all things else, to love me. That someone was named Anne Sullivan, and from that moment forward, Helen's life was forever transformed. And and her words, as she describes that experience, doesn't that resonate with you if you are a believer in Jesus Christ this morning, can't you lend your amen to those words on a spiritual level, which she experienced physically, stretching out her hand in complete blindness, being grabbed and swept up in the arm of the one who had come to reveal all things and to love her? And I think that experience is also similar to what we read about here of this blind man in John Chapter Nine. Were returning to our series that as we move through the gospel of John here this morning after a couple of weeks in the psalms, as many of you, if you've been around you you know, we're in what is called the festival cycle of John's Gospel, where all of the...

...different stories and events take place around the Jewish festivals happening in Jerusalem. And also, if you're familiar with the gospel of John, you know that it is marked not just by these different cycles and themes, but wrapped up in the middle of that are these seven signs. Seven signs in John's Gospel, seven literal physical miracles that Jesus really performed in his earthly ministry, but also seven signs that served to point to deeper spiritual realities. And that is certainly the case in the sign that is recorded for us in this chapter, which is the sixth sign found in this Gospel. There's a couple of different ways to count the signs, but everyone agrees this is the sixth sign. Now we're going to start in chapter six, but it was now three Sundays ago that we looked at the first five verses of this chapter. We took a little minor excursus to spend some time thinking about suffering Jesus. In those first five verses he's leaving the temple, he sees a blind man and his disciples ask essentially, who sinned to cause this man to suffer the way that he's suffering, and it turns out they're asking the wrong question. The explanation for the man suffering is not found in the human causes for that. The ultimate explanation is found in God's purposes for the suffering, which ultimately is God's glory. And that brings us now here to the actual account of the healing of this blind man. And, if you notice, the healing itself is described in just two verses and then the whole rest of the chapter is this series of interactions that centers around this miraculous healing, this sign that takes place and and more importantly, and this is our big idea for this morning, is that this sign provides a picture of what happens when the light of Christ goes out into the world. Those who know they are blind beggars receive spiritual sight and the selfrighteous who think they can see, are blinded by the light. So as we work our way through this chapter, here's how we're going to frame things. We're going to first take a look at the this miraculous illustration in versus six and seven, which leads to some muddled confusion, versus eight through twelve, followed by a malevolent interrogation versus thirteen through thirty four, and finally, all of it results in a marked division versus thirty five through forty one. So so first let's take a look at this miraculous illustration verse six, having said these things, when we have to ask what things well, it's the things that Jesus just said, and versus three through five. But it culminates in that statement of the end of verse five, where he repeats again I am the light of the world. And now we get a miraculous illustration of that statement. This is what happens when the light goes out into the world. Those who know they are blind beggars receive spiritual sight, and the self righteous, who think they can see, are blinded by the light. So here is this miraculous illustration of salvation. He spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the d that's totally normal, right, nothing unusual or gross about that at all. Why do it this way? I mean, Jesus could just speak a word or so to speak, snap his fingers and this man would be instantly healed. We read of Jesus Healing Many blind people in the gospels. This is the only time that he does it this particular way. So why the spit and the mud? And to help us answer that, I think we need to consider a few things here. First of all, we need to recognize that this was not normal. In fact, this was offensive. I can't be the only one who has this childhood memory of playing outside in the dirt and coming back in the house, or or maybe eating my food and...

...getting a little bit on my face and my mom sees me and the first thing she does is flicks her finger and rubs it off with that. Just me. You know, that happened to everybody. That doesn't make it right. Even as a child I remember trying to squirm away from that because it's gross. But for Jew it was even more than that. This this was offensive. Contact with saliva, really contact with any bodily fluid would render you ceremonially unclean. But when Jesus does this, when Jesus performs this act, even though it seems offensive to us, even though it would be unclean to a Jew, it's actually a cleansing work. And I want you to think about this, this parallel here with this illustration and what it's what is pointing to when we think about the way of salvation. The way of salvation is offensive, isn't it? We spoke about this a little bit this morning and Sunday school. Just just think about how graphically the Bible speaks of this, of how salvation happens. The Bible says it is the shed blood of Jesus. We say that a lot. Right think about what that really means. Spilled blood of human being that cleanses us from our sin. We sing about being washed in the blood, about being plunged in a fountain filled with blood. That is offensive, that is unclean. But when Jesus performs that act of spilling his blood, of washed, you know, in his blood, it's actually a cleansing work. And then when we think further about the way of salvation, beyond the physical, graphic aspect of the blood. People still find the way of salvation offensive for other reasons. The idea that that you are saved not by what you do but sheerly by the grace of God alone, to think that the only thing, as Jonathanward says, that you contribute to your salvation is the sin that made it necessary to to think that God will actually save the worst, most viless, despicable kind of person you can imagine who repents and turns to Jesus Christ, but the nicest person on earth that you know that remains in his sin will perish forever. That is offensive to people, and the reason is because that humbles man and glorifies God, and Sinful Man resists that in our hearts. So Jesus is showing US partly, I think, in this act that salvation is offensive. Not only that, secondly, this this act that Jesus does, it's deeply intimate. It's deeply personal. Saliva from his mouth, mixed by his hands on the ground, applied to another man's eyes with his own hands. That is that is up close, that is intimate, that is personal and it's another picture of what salvation is. Salvation is always intensely personal. Because it's not just Christ's blood washing away unnamed sins and this sort of sweeping, generic sort of sense. No, salvation is Christ's blood washing away your individual, particular, named, specific sense. It is deeply intimate and personal. Until Salvation has been applied to you intimately, personally, you have an experienced salvation. A third reason why Jesus does it this way, and this has more to do with the timing of when he does it more than the method. But but I want you to just let your eye drop down to verse fourteen for a second and notice that it was now as Sabbath Day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Now will will come back to this, but remember that Jesus has already been in conflict a couple of times with the Pharisees about works performed on the Sabbath, and it's you almost get the idea that Jesus is intentionally going out of his way to create these controversies, don't you? And...

...then, lastly, and I think this is probably the biggest reason that Jesus heals this man in this way, it's implied in verse seven, and he said to him go wash in the pool of Salom so instead of instantly healing him, instead of even healing him after applying this spit and mud concoction to his eyes, Jesus gives him something to do. Jesus commands him with a task. Why? Well, I think, in this miraculous illustration of the Gospel, I think this is a call to believing, submission and immediate obedience. He says go wash in the pool of Sloam, and then John adds for our benefit, that the name of the pool means scent. And why Bother to point that out? Well, all throughout this Gospel, Jesus claims to be the one sent by the father from heaven. Most recently, you can just look back to chapter nine, verse four, where Jesus said we must work the works of Him who sent me. So there's a continuation of that theme of Jesus as the scent one, and that Pool Saloam, the pool called scent. That was the same pool where the priests drew the water out of during the the Feast of Booze for that daily ceremony where they'd scooped the water out of the Pool SALOM and go pour it on the altar. And remember back in John Seven, on the last day of that feast, maybe even at that moment, in the silence after that moment, or the water being pulled, poured out from the Pool Saloam, Jesus stands up and cries out and says if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. So, just very briefly here were reminded that Jesus is the true Saloam. He is the true scent one, the ultimate scent one. So in this miraculous illustration, have you noticed this? So far, the initiative has been totally with Jesus. Jesus is the one who saw the blind man and took notice of him. Jesus is the one who spat and made mud and applied it to the man's eyes. Jesus is the one who gave the man a command of what to go do. But now the man has to submit to and obey Jesus's command into verse seven. So he went and washed and came back seeen, and it's important to say that he obeyed. But the healing power didn't come from his obedience. The healing power didn't come from the waters in the pool of Saloam. The healing power comes from the scent one himself. This is a miraculous illustration of salvation. There sits a blind, helpless begging sinner. Jesus sees him, Jesus comes to him and Jesus displays grace and mercy to him and in return he asks only for a simple response of faith. The man obeys. He's washed clean and he can see. And that's not just his story, right, if you are a believer, that is your story. This is a beautiful picture of how Jesus brings you spiritual healing and sight and life. But this miraculous illustration leads to muddled confusion. Let's look at it here, starting n Verse Eight. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, is this not the man who used to sit and beg? Some said it is he, other said no, but he is like him. And he kept saying I am the man. So this guy seems to have been pretty well known, probably because, I imagine, he sat in the same place begging every day. So when people notice him back in the neighborhood, I'm sure after this he went home to tell everybody what had happened. They're a little confused you've experienced that before. We see somebody, maybe from church, you run into him at Walmart and it's out of con text and you can't quite play them. It looks like the guy and maybe it's not. He's not worried. Should be. They can't explain it, especially given the fact that he apparently now can see. It looks like him, but it can't be him. Maybe maybe there's a long lost cousin who bears a resemblance or a twin brother they didn't know about. But the crowds buzzing here with with astonishment, with speculation about what's going on, and he keeps saying it. Hey, it is me, I am the man verse ten. So they said to him...

...then, how were Your Eyes Open? I mean that seems like a fair question. He answered, the man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me go to Stalom and wash. So I went and washed and received my sight. Now that is an accurate summary of what happened, but it doesn't really answer the question, does it? How were your eyes opened? And all he can say is look, all I can I can just tell you what happened. That's it. This man named Jesus came to me, he put one of my eyes. He told me to go wash it off. I did it. Now I can see verse twelve. They said to him, where is he? And it's not so much as they need to fact check this guy's story. Right, the proof is there. Think rather they want to meet the man who's responsible for this miracle. And he said I do not know. Which, which I think is kind of funny, actually right, because we're not told that after he goes and washes his eyes off, that he comes back to Jesus. Heat more likely he goes home to tell his family about it. How could he know where Jesus was? Up until five minutes ago? He was blind. He couldn't pick Jesus out of a crowd to save his life. So these people are left with trying to figure out how to understand what's happened. And if they can't find Jesus to explain this, then the next best thing is to get an expert opinion. Surely the leaders down at the local synagogue will be able to shed light and help them understand what to make of this remarkable event. And the crowds has no way of knowing this, but this action is going to spark a malevolent and ill intended interrogation, and we're going to watch this interrogation unfold here really in three stages. Stage one of this malevolent interrogation. It starts in verse thirteen. They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. And then John adds, as we briefly noted, it was a Sabbath Day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. So try to picture the scene. I imagine it's a bit chaotic with with them still trying to figure out what's going on, the excitement of it all. And so the crowds come before the Pharisees and maybe they kind of shove this guy out in front a little bit and everyone's kind of talking over each other to to relay the story. And then minor detail emerges. Wait, when did this happen on the Sabbath? That's interesting. Tell tell me more. And suddenly this becomes the focal point because if this happened on the Sabbath, then Jesus has violated at least two, maybe three, points of the law. Healing itself was forbidden on the Sabbath, except in cases of life and death. Guilty. Making mud may have technically qualified as work of some kind according to the Pharisees definition. Guilty there. And thirdly, the legality of anointing ones eyes on the Sabbath was also up for dispute. So maybe guilty there as well. So picture this. Now here is this living, breathing, seeing miracle standing right in front of these guys. But instead of responding with wondrous amazement to that, what captures their attention is the timing of this miracle. Once they hear that this took place on the Sabbath, what should have been an impartial investigation transforms into a malevolent interrogation. And remember we saw back in John Chapter eight that the Pharisees had already decided. Some of them were saying that Jesus was a demon possessed Blasphemer, verse fifteen. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his site. So they've already heard from the crowd. Now they want to hear directly from the source. And he said to them he put mine of my eyes and I washed and I see. It's very simple, very straightforward response. And yet his answer causes a rift here among the leaders look at Verse Sixteen. Some 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 things? And there was a division among them. Remember, that's one of the hallmarks...

...of this festival cycle, chapters five through ten, increasing hostility, increasing division. We see it here again. But notice, notice how they refer to Jesus here, this man. They don't even say his name. And there's two arguments to two sides of this division. The first argument goes something like this. A man of God keeps the Sabbath. Jesus doesn't keep the Sabbath. Therefore Jesus is not from God. Right, that's just logic. One, O one. But that's countered by another logical argument that goes something like this. A sinner cannot do such a work. Jesus did such a work. Therefore Jesus cannot be a sinner. So it's interesting that the blind man is the one being interrogated here, but really it's Jesus who is under this scrutiny, and the Pharisees are unable to reach a consensus. There's division among them. Verse Seventeen. So they said again to the blind man, what do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes? So they're going to force this man, who has no education, no religious training to speak of, to pick a side, and he does. He instantly sides with Jesus. He said he is a prophet. Now you need to keep an eye on this, because something's happening here. It is this man doesn't fully understand things, but he's just taken a significant step regarding his vision of who Jesus is, from verse eleven, where he said the man called Jesus, to now in verse Seventeen, he is a prophet. This guy's not worried about the the legal technicalities of the Sabbath. What he knows is that God has worked a miracle in his life through Jesus, and so Jesus must be a prophet. His disguy's eyes are opening wider all the time. He's beginning to see more and more clearly, and at the same time the vision of those who are standing in judgment over him is getting more and more clouded. So the Pharisees, they've heard the testimony of the friends and neighbors, the people who knew this man then this man himself has personally confirmed what happened, but it's not enough to convince them. And isn't that always how it is when someone is determined to remain in unbelief? There's no amount of evidence you can give, no matter how impressive it is, that's going to be enough to convince that person, at least until God first opens his or her eyes to the truth. So here they are, no consensus reached. So what do they do? They have to go over the facts yet again. They call for additional witnesses here. Maybe they've missed something. It's possible, isn't it, that the neighbors might be mistaken about his identity. But but surely his parents will know their own son. And so that brings us to stage two of this interrogation, verse eighteen. The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his side and asked them two questions. Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then, does he now see? His parents answered, we know that this is our son and that he was born blind. Obviously now he's not. So that settles it then, right. But so far they've only answered the first question and they're on pretty safe ground, nothing controversial. He is our son. He was born blind. But as for the second question here, how then, does he now see? They are more, HMM, cautious. Verse Twenty One. But how he now sees we do not know. Nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask Him. He is of age. He will speak for himself. So here now with the second question, they defer to their son, which means he must be at least thirteen years old, since he's able to legally testify here. But but the question is, why won't his parents speak on their son's behalf? And we can think about some obvious answers. So that there's no indication that they witnessed the actual moment of the healing. They probably couldn't really explain it in any more beyond what they had...

...heard from their son already. But surely in the hearing of the story from their son he had mentioned who it was that it healed him. He already knew that. And they must have known that Jesus was involved in this, because John tells us why these parents acted so cautiously cowardly. Verse Twenty Two. His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore, his parents said he is of age. Asked him. Now we understand there I'm just going to go ahead and call it cowardice. They didn't want to be kicked out of the synagogue. That's the same reason many people are remain in unbelief today, or or sometimes even freeze up because their fear of man, their fear of earthly consequences, is greater than their fear of God. Being put out of the synagogue had serious personal, religious, social economic consequences. This was. This was no small threat. But again, notice who this threat was for anyone who should confess Jesus to be Christ, which suggests that that not only were the parents aware that it was Jesus who had healed their son, but even more than that, they must at least have an inkling that Jesus could be the Messiah. And so yet, even though they knows something of the truth, they've determined they're not going to stick their necks out here. But the point isn't to be hard on the parents necessarily. The point is to set the cowardice of the parents up against the courageousness of their son. As you read this story, John, who wrote this is calling you to pick a side here. Are you going to identify with the parents who did not have the faith to act boldly, or are you going to identify with the man who was formerly blind, who is gradually beginning to see more and more clearly who Jesus is? And this brings us to stage three of this interrogation. This, this partial, yet cowardly, cautious confirmation that the parents give is really no help at all for what the Pharisees want to accomplish. So now here in Stage three, they turn their attention back to the man who was formerly blind one more time. In this really sets off a contentious confrontation. Here Verse Twenty Four. So for the second time they all the man who had been blind and said to him, Give Glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner. I notice there's been no further evidence provided, no conflicting testimony has been introduced, no further theological reasoning has been offered. Yet somehow a conclusion has been reached we know that this man is a sinner, and when they say give glory to God, they're not saying praise God, that you're healed, or or you ought to praise God instead of Jesus, that they're not saying that. There's an example of this in the Old Testament. Joshua says the exact same thing to Aiken when he confronts him about his sin. He says, my son, Give Glory to the Lord of Israel and tell me now what you have done, do not hide it from me. That's what's going on here. The Pharisees, in the same way, are imploring this man to tell the truth, Give Glory to God, speak truly. But the only truth they want him to confess is the conclusion that they've already drawn that this man, as they insist on calling Jesus, is a sinner, that he's a lawbreaker, and they're looking for any little detail that will support their foregone conclusion about him in the smallest way. That's all they want to hear. And now that contract as between the blind man and his parents, formerly blind man and his parents. It sharpens even more here because in fear, his parents kind of himmed and hod in growing faith. This man holds his ground, he speaks and defends Jesus. And Remember, this guy is a beggar from the streets, now standing up to the most religious and most educated people in his whole country. Verse Twenty Five, he answered whether he is a sinner. I do not know. He...

...said, I'm not. I'm not qualified to make that judgment. I'll leave that for you, the theological experts. He continues. One thing I do know that though I was blind, now I see and once again believer. His story is your story, his words are your words. That's that's your confession, that you were once blind and now you see. And all the Pharisees can see is that they're stuck here. They're wrapped up in the cycle, so they're forced to go over the same ground once again. Verse Twenty Six. They said to him, what did he do to you? How did he open your eyes? And I think this is the moment where this guy starts to realize that he is just a pawn in this game. This whole thing is just for show. The outcome has already been predetermined, no matter what he says, and they're just desperately looking for any testimony they can use against Jesus to accomplish their desired end. And at the same time, this guy's eyes are opening wider all the time. And so, verse twenty seven, he answered them, and I wish we could hear the tone in his voice here. I've told you already and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples? That's how I hear it. However he actually said it. It accomplishes the desired effect. It's enough for the Pharisees to drop all pretenses here. They respond now with open hostility. Look at it, Verse Twenty Eight, and they reviled him, saying you are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, there it is again, this man. We do not know where he comes from. The Pharisees knew that God had revealed himself to Moses. Now, of course, they'd added their own oral traditions to that over the centuries, but their desire was to stick with what they knew, what they knew to be true in their minds, rather than jump on board with this this man who defied all of their traditions. They say, we don't, we don't even know where he comes from now. By now they knew that his hometown was Nazareth. That's not what they're saying here. It's more to the effect of what Jesus has already told them, that they don't really know where he comes from. They don't know the true origins of this man. They're definitely unwilling to say that he is from God. Right. In fact, they've said the opposite of that earlier, that that he's demon possessed. And the big irony here lies in something that we already saw earlier in John's Gospel, something Jesus said back in chapter five to the effect of if the if the Pharisees, really new Moses, if they really understood Moses, then they would grasp that when Moses wrote, he was writing about Jesus, or is John writes in the prolog for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. But the Pharisees are blind to all of this. Not that the man who had been healed had yet grasped this completely either. But listen to his conclusion in verse thirty. The man answered why? This is an amazing thing. You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. I like this guy and and watches. He drops a little bit of logic of his own here in verse thirty one. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. God doesn't listen to sinners, but God listened to Jesus. Therefore, Jesus is not a sinner. Not Bad for an uneducated, formerly blind beggar. And he continues here. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone open the eyes of a man born blind. And he's right. There's not a single recorded instance in anywhere in the Old Testament of a man born blind being healed. The obvious conclusion verse Thirty Three. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing. And just like that, all of a sudden this guy has flipped the script. Now, suddenly he's the authority. He's turned the whole interrogation on its head and he's preaching to them now and he's making sense, isn't he? Who who's really blind in this story, the transformation that's taking place in this man is is astonishing and the Pharisees can't handle it. Look at Verse Thirty Four. They answered...

...him. You were born in utter thin, and you would teach us. They're so outrage of being spoken to like this by this untrained, ordinary beggar. He's really beating them at their own game here, that their only response is personal insult. You were born in utter sin. And that takes us back to verse two. Right word. The disciples made that assumption that it must be thin that cause this man's blindness. But do you see what happened here just now? With with those words, with that insult, they unwittingly confirmed the whole point of that the interrogation was intended to overthrow, to cast doubt on. To say you were born in sin implies that they knew that this man was born blind, which means that Jesus did open his eyes. But their own blindness is so inescapable now that they can't even see the irony of that insult that they admit what they're questioning. And then we're sold. We're told simply they cast him out. That excommunication from the synagogue that his parents had so feared had now become this man's reality. So we move from a miraculous illustration that led the muddled confusion that resulted in this malevolent interrogation, and now finally we come to marked division, and here, in these last verses, the final interactions in this chapter, this is really where, I think you can see that the big idea most clearly that when the light of Christ goes out into the world, those who know they are blind beggars receive spiritual sight and the same time the self righteous who think they can see, are blinded by the light. So let's look here for this, at this first result of when the light goes out into the world, it's that blind beggars receive spiritual sight. And as we go through this section, I want to point out just a few theological truths about spiritual sight, and we'll do this relatively quickly. Verse Thirty Five. Jesus heard that they had cast him out and, having found him, he said, do you believe in the son of man? So notice Jesus, here's what has happened. And again he seeks this man out and finds him. Once again, Jesus takes the initiative here, not just in the saving but in the seeking of this man, and that's a theological truth, that to receive spiritual sight requires Jesus taking the initiative. Now, this man's eyes have been open, but he doesn't yet see the full picture. So look at his response to Jesus's question there in verse thirty six. And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him? Now? He knows what the phrase son of man means. He's asking who the son of man is, and I think it's entirely possible that he doesn't realize that he's speaking to Jesus just yet. Remember, he hasn't this is the first time you've seen him, according to what's written here. But nevertheless, this man's heart has been prepared and he's ready to believe, and that's another theological truth, is that that spiritual sight requires the gift of faith, a heart that's been prepared. Verse Thirty Seven, Jesus said to him, you have seen him and it is he who is speaking to you. Now this man sees the light. Verse Thirty Eight he said, Lord. I believe that's a theological truth about spiritual sight. It results in believing and confessing Jesus as Lord, and he worshiped him. Yet another theological truth, that spiritual sight results in the worship of Jesus. This man is experienced an unbelievable transformation. To just skim through the way he refers to Jesus, and you'll notice the progression through this chapter. He first refers to Jesus as that man called Jesus, then he identifies him as a prophet, then he stands up defends Jesus in front of the Pharisees in the synagogue, and now he places his trust in Jesus and more than that, he worships him. When the light of Christ goes out into the world, one result is that those who know they are blind beggars receive spiritual sight. But there's another result, and that is the self I just who think they can see...

...are blinded by the light. As we go through this I want to point out a couple of theological truths about spiritual blindness as well. Verse Thirty Nine, Jesus said for judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see and those who see may become blind. So Jesus reveals here that his purpose in healing this blind man is really to serve as a kind of living. parable about spiritual sight and spiritual blindness, and he says for judgment. I came into this world. But wait, I thought Jesus came into the world to save, not to condemn. Well, the thing is, as we've already seen in this gospel, saving some necessarily means leaving others in the condemnation they've placed themselves under already. When the light shines into the world's sin is exposed, some see the light and they come to the light. Others See the light, they're blinded by it and they flee from it. So this is one theological truth about spiritual blindness. It results in judgment for judgment. I came into the world verse forty. Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things and said to him, are we also blind? Jesus said to them. If you were blind, you would have no guilt, but now that you say we see, your guilt remains. So when the Pharisees, when they overhear this and the it all kind of clicks what Jesus is saying, they're incredulous because as far as they're concerned, they're the only ones who can actually see what's going on. But that's another truth about spiritual blindness. It results in arrogance, pride, a hardened heart. And then Jesus informs them of this kind of very unfortunate paradox they find themselves in because they are Jews. The one true God has revealed himself especially to them, and though they may be blind to their sin, they are not blind to the truth that God has revealed to them. He's given it to them. And then, their denial of the truth, they're guilt remains. They're guilt remains, and that's another spiritual truth about spiritual blindness, is that it results in eternal rejection. They're guilt remains. This is how the Gospel works. Just as Jesus sought out this blind beggar, so he calls out to you. So he seeks you out and he commands you to submit to him and obedient faith. Just like with this man and his his desires that you would see him not just as a man, not just as a prophet. His desires that you would confess him as Lord and Worship Him. His desire is for your testimony to be I was once blind, but now I see. I've referenced this before, but it reminds me of Lucy in one of those Narnia novels where she encounters as LN and she says, as LN, you're bigger. And it's not so much that Aslan is bigger, it's that Lucy's perception is changing and Aslan is growing as her perception grows. And it is very much like that in the Christian life. So let me ask you. Is Jesus more precious to you now then the hour you first believed? Do you see more of Jesus's beauty now, more of his glory now? Do you love him more now than when you first became a Christian? Because that ought to be true of you, believer. That's what healthy spiritual progression looks like, a growing perception and love and appreciation for Christ. I'm understanding more of who he is, I'm loving him more, I'm worshiping him more. And if that's not happening, then what you need to do is go back to the basics ask God to help you remember who Jesus is, what he's done and asked for the work of his spirit in restoring spiritual sight to your life. The more you see Jesus, the more clearly you perceive him, the more you grow in spiritual insight. The larger he becomes to you, the more that will affect you in every area of your life, areas of your life that you know need to change. When you see Jesus bigger, you'll be able to suffer better, you'll be able to resist temptation...

...more consistently, you'll be able to love other people more fully, you'll be able to worship God more truly. All of that flows from a larger vision of Jesus, from from seeing him more clearly, from this growing perception of who he is. And so what we need, even as believers, is our eyes to be continually open, to have the eyes of our hearts enlightened. Paul says, we need a vision of the glory of Jesus. We need a divine light that is imparted to our soul so that we can see who Jesus is. Has that happened to you this morning? I pray that it has, but but if it hasn't, if you're sitting here and you don't know what I'm talking about, I want to encourage you right now to simply admit acknowledge your spiritual blindness to God. You can do that right where you're sitting. You can talk to God right now and admit your spiritual blindness and then ask him to open your eyes so that, on the basis of Jesus's life, death and resurrection, you might turn from your sin and turn to Christ in faith, because only those who acknowledge they are blind beggars receive spiritual sight. Or maybe you're sitting there in your your skeptical, maybe you're even a little bit cynical. You've been here this morning and you're thinking, I mean it's Nice, I just don't see it. These people, they're singing, they're praying, they seem friendly. They're obviously getting something out of it, but I don't get it, and and you won't until you ask Jesus to open your eyes to the truth. And if you're a Christian and your eyes have been open to the light, it may be true that you've lost your first love, so that, when I ask you, is Jesus more precious to you now than the hour you first believed, there's this piercing conviction in your heart where you know that you've wandered. And if that's the case for you, dear brother or sister, ask for your eyes to be opened again, ask for God to restore your sight, to keep on seeing Christ for who he it is, because only those who know they are blind beggars receive spiritual sight, but the selfrighteous who think they can see, they're blinded by the light. So You keep asking. So, whether it's for the first time or once again, as Jesus draws near to you, stretch out your hand and find comfort as you are held in the strong arms of the one who has been sent to reveal all things and to love you. Let's pray God, so often our ears are dull, our eyes are heavy. Help us to see. Help us to see you rightly as the Holy God who created us, who owns us, who will judge us. Help us to see our sin. Help us to see our need of a savior. Help us to see your love for us in sending that Savior, Jesus Christ. Help us to see Jesus the God man who perfectly upheld your standards of righteousness without any sin. Help us to see the price that he paid for the forgiveness of our sins at the cross. Help us to see the vindication of your wrath in his resurrection from the dead. Help us to see the response that you require to place our trust in Jesus, to confess him as Lord, to turn from our sin into worship and obey him for ever. Would you do this for Your glory and for the sake of your son, who loves US and gave himself for us? Amen.

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