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I Once Was Blind (Part 2)

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The Power of a Changed Life

"You," said the doctor to the patient, "are in terrible shape. You've got to do something about it. First, tell your wife to cook more nutritious meals. Stop working like a dog. Also, inform your wife you're going to make a budget, and she has to stick to it. And have her keep the kids off your back so you can relax. Unless there are some changes like that in your life, you'll probably be dead in a month." 
"Doc," the patient said, "this would sound more official coming from you. Could you please call my wife and give her those instructions?" 
When the fellow got home, his wife rushed to him. "I talked to your doctor," she wailed. "Poor man, you've only got thirty days to live."
Change is not something that most people like - But one of the only constants in the world that we live in is change. Nothing ever stays the same as we continue to march on through the years.
But it is through change that God can get our attention.
Last time we discussed the Miracle of Jesus Healing the Blind Man in .
This was a huge change for this man - and it confused those around him. It didn’t make since so they began to ask questions - to try to make sense out of what was going on.
Questioning the Source
This morning as we continue our study - we are going to consider some of these questions. And in doing so - I believe that the answers are going to lead us to the same place that Christ was leading this man - who once was blind - but he was beginning to see what God was doing in his life.

The Question of How

Questioning the
John 9:8–12 KJV 1900
8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
John 9:8–12 KJV 1900
8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
John 9:8-
John 9:
As we begin to make sense of what has happened, we usually ask how. The people were asking, “How did this happen.” They were confused because they remember this man begging and now he is there among them, SEEING!
As we begin to make sence of what has happened, we usually ask how. The peopel were asking, “How did this happen.” They were confused because they remember this man begging and now he is there among them, SEEING!
They were asking how. What happened? How can you be seeing? Never had this sort of thing been done before and now they are having trouble reconciling the man the knew - to the man that stood before him now.
They said, This just can’t be the same man - In modern terms we would say that these people were in denial. Denial happens when we just cant come to terms with what we are seeing, so we explain it away.
They said, There must be a rational explanation for this! Did he fall and bump his head? Was there some new method of medicine that had been discovered to cure blindness? We we attempt to understand things without taking into account the power and Grace of God, we are forced to attempt to explain it something we can wrap our mind around.
When we are brought to an end of ourselves and start looking outside for answers, God begins to open our eyes to things we have never seen before. Imagine what it must have been like for the man to see things for the very first time. Everything he was seeing was through different eyes, Literally!
As God opens our eyes and we begin to see things through the truth of His Word a change begins with us. No longer can we be the same person that we were before. Where there was darkness, now we can see dimly the light up ahead. As God draws us and we respond to His Call, we begin to understand our condition. Like a patient sitting across from a doctor as he reveals the diagnosis and we start putting pieces together, God reveals to us the truth, and we start to see that that means in our lives.

The Question of Why

John 9:13–34 KJV 1900
13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? 28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
John 9:
We try to understand. We try to take what we are seeing and explain it in terms that we understand, something that fits into our world view so that we can continue on with our lives unchanged.
John tells us that this miracle happened on the Sabbath day, which definitely does not fit into the world of these Pharisees.
Why would Jesus heal this man on the Sabbath. Doesn’t he know that is not the way things are done around here. Jesus could have waited one more day, what would that have changed in the life of the Blind Man. He had spent his entire life not seeing, did not expect to be healed on this day - So Jesus could have waited until a more convenient Day right?
Paul saw this in his interactions with Festus and King Agrippa. Before Festus he gave his defence from the charges speaking of his faith in the truth of God’s word and the resurrection of Christ. To King Agrippa he gave his testimony. Both turned from the truth because it was not convenient - it did not fit into their lives, their plans, there way of thinking.
The attempted to explain away Christ since he did not fit into their world. If he were of God - He would Fit in. He would not place himself in opposition to the religious rulers.
After all - Doing certain things on the Sabbath Day was not allowed!
There were 39 different things that were not to be done on the sabbath day:
Sowing, Plowing, Reaping, Binding sheaves, Threshing, Winnowing, Selecting,Grinding,Sifting,Kneading,Baking,Shearing wool,Washing wool
Plowing
Reaping
Binding sheaves
Threshing
Winnowing
Selecting
Grinding
Sifting
Kneading
Baking
Shearing wool
Washing wool
Beating wool, Dyeing wool,Spinning,Weaving,Making two loops,Weaving two threads,Separating two threads,Tying,Untying,Sewing stitches,Tearing,Trapping,Slaughtering
Beating wool
Dyeing wool
Spinning
Weaving
Making two loops
Weaving two threads
Separating two threads
Tying
Untying
Sewing stitches
Tearing
Trapping
Slaughtering
Flaying, Tanning, Scraping hide, Marking hides, Cutting hide to shape, Writing two or more letters, Erasing two or more letters, Building, Demolishing, Extinguishing a fire, Kindling a fire, Putting the finishing touch on an object, Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.
Flaying
Tanning
Scraping hide
Jesus had “Violated” this rule by kneading when he made clay from his spittle and placed it on the mans eyes.
Marking hides
Exodus 20:8–11 KJV 1900
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
The Purpose of the Sabbath Day was rest. To 1 day out of the week to recoup and focus on God. He was the pattern, Set in when God rested on the 7th Day after he had finish his work of Creation.
In order to keep this commandment and make good and sure that they did not violate it - they made rules to keep. These rules were not found in scripture, but since they were what the religious rulers had to say - then it was just as important.
Cutting hide to shape
Writing two or more letters
Erasing two or more letters
Wouldn’t Jesus have recieved a better reception if he just fit in? Followed all of the rules are the regulations that the religious rulers had instituted to ensure God’s Law was kept.
Building
Demolishing
Extinguishing a fire
The Problem was, what they were doing was no what God had planned. The Law had a purpose. To show our need for a savior. Jesus Came, not to fit in, but to show the world God’s Mercy and Love.
Kindling a fire
The Answer to Why? So that they who are blind might see. I believe that Jesus healed this man on the sabbath day to teach a much needed lesson. It contrasted the unmoving false righteousness of the Pharisees and the Grace of God. One was calloused, an unmerciful , the other was loving and compassionate.
Putting the finishing touch on an object
Did Jesus break the law to heal this blind man? No - He did however, break one of the rules of the pharisees which set him at odds with them
Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.
They questioned the man on the methods that Jesus used to heal him, and being convinced that this was an act of sin, they concluded that he could not be of God! They called the miracle into question trying to reconcile this, to explain it away. They called his parents in, but they were afraid of being put out of the synagogue so they told them to ask their son since he was of age.
They continued to question him, trying to get him to say something, anything that they could use to fit into their pharisaical world.
When God begins to work in our lives, not only is it not the way we would have done it, it is also not on our terms. As a life is transformed before a watching world, It may be dismissed for a time, saying that this is a phase they are going through, they have found religious - but it wont last long. They have turned over a new leaf - attempting to better themselves - Anything but admit the Jesus is working in and through that person to bring him to God and transform him in to a new creature!

The Question of Who

John 9:
John 9:35–41 KJV 1900
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
As the interrogation continued you see a progression, as God is revealing himself to him.
First in Verse 11 he sees Jesus as a Man
Then in Verse 17 he says he is a prophet
They continue to badger him and question him and he gives what he knows
John 9:25 KJV 1900
25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
John 9 KJV 1900
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. 10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. 13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. 17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? 20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? 28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
But he refused to cave to the demands of the pharisees and is cast out of the Synagogue.
Place yourself in the mans shoes for just a moment. You have been blind from birth - living a life of poverty, begging for a living! Then a man named Jesus steps into your world, and you can see again! This should be a time of wonder and celebration as you are seeing for the first time - both physically and spiritually! As you take it all in - the world comes at you denying the power that you have just witnessed - the so called religious people - Rather than glory in their God - questions you and tries to convince you that what you experienced could not have what you think it was because it does not fit into their world-view. You refuse to change your story and the next thing you know - you are cast out of the synagogue. To be cast out means to be and outcast - cut off from the society of the jews - treated like a gentile! The World didn’t want him - the Jews didn’t want him - what was he to do!
I can see him sitting on the steps - mind reeling thinking what in the world just happened. What am I going to do. What should have been the greatest day of his life had turned into a disaster and now he was alone - totally at the end of himself. As a beggar, at least he had something. Now he had nothing.
The he hears that voice. Remember, he had not seen Jesus since he had to wash in the pool to receive his sight. But that voice was unmistakable - it was the one that he heard discussing his plight with the disciples - then told him to go and wash.
Now he asks a question “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” Isn’t it comforting to know that when we find ourselves at the end of ourselves - Jesus is there.
A simple question - Your friends have forsaken you, your family has forsaken you, your religion has forsaken you. You have nothing left - But then....
In desperation he says “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?” Show him to me - I have nothing left, nowhere to turn - I am at the end of me!
Notice what Jesus says “Thou hast both seen him” emphasizing the work that God had done in his life to bring him the salvation “and it is he that talketh with thee”
Jesus says - Its me. Place your faith in me. And he said “Lord, I Believe: and he worshipped Him.
The last question is Who. Who was Jesus. Was he simply a good man who healed the blind man. A prophet, on par with Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel? Or is he the very Son of God!
When the man found himself at the end of his world - He found Jesus. Maybe not the Jesus that he expected, definitely not the ones the religious rulers expected. But the Son of God, Full of Grace and Truth - showing God’s mercy to a world who desperately needs it!
‘Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good folk?” he cried.
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar ... now two ... only two ...
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three” ... but no!
From the room far back a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow.
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As sweet as an angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
As he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars ... and who’ll make it two?
Two...two thousand, and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once and three thousand twice ...
Three thousand and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some exclaimed
“We do not quite understand ...
What changed it’s worth?” and the answer came:
“Twas the touch of the master’s hand.”
And many a man with soul out of tune
And battered and scarred by sin
Is auctioned cheap by the thoughtless crowd
Just like the old violin.
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul, and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
O Master! I am the tuneless one
Lay, lay Thy hand on me,
Transform me now, put a song in my heart
Of melody, Lord, to Thee!—Myra Brooks Welch
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