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Camp Firwood 2017 1/4

Camp Firwood 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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My name is Fred.
I am from Bellingham, WA.
I have been married for 3 years.

We’re Going to Read the Same Story Four Times

John chapter 9:1-12
Every night that we read it, we will try to experience it from a different perspective of someone in the story. I hope that will help us ask questions and lead us in to what Jesus has for us this week.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was.

Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said.

A few things to know about this story:

In Jesus’ day, there weren’t ways to diagnose or treat most illnesses or problems
To be blind, or to have a chronic disease, etc. would be a lifetime curse
That explains the disciples’ question. They weren’t trying to trap him, they probably wanted to know
So this man
Jesus could have chosen any way he wanted to give the blind man his sight
He chose mud and spit, and we’ll come back to that later, because it’s really important
But ultimately, the big picture is this: Jesus finds the man born blind, and gives him sight

Tonight, Let’s Focus on the Disciples

Disciples of Jesus get described differently depending on who you talk to, and which story you’re looking at

In this particular story:
They’re only a few years older than you
The disciples in this story are still getting to know Jesus
The disciples have been following Jesus around and are probably still trying to figure out what they think about him
Can anyone here relate to that? Maybe you’ve been raised in church, or maybe not, but you’ve got to have heard of Jesus, and you’re trying to figure out what you think of him?
So the disciples are with Jesus, he’s just got done making a lot of pretty wild claims—like that he is the only way to God, because he himelf is God

And they come across this blind man

They’ve probably seen hundreds of blind men or other beggars even in their very short time with Jesus
So when they point him out to Jesus, they probably have no expectation that Jesus is going to do anything but what he’s done before: keep walking by
And then they ask him a question of their curiosity—haven’t you ever wanted to just ask Jesus something? “Is heaven real? Why didn’t you give humans wings? Why did you make zits?” These guys got to.
But the answer was not what they expected at all
They asked the question based out of their religious experience and their assumptions
And Jesus blew their minds. He completely surprised them with his answer
“So that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Jesus knew that whatever is going on with us isn’t from a curse from God
He surprised the disciples by showing them that no matter what anybody has going on in their life, it’s there so that Jesus can change it, heal it, make it new, so that the works of God might be displayed in us.
Whatever the disciples thought they knew about Jesus and religion all changed in that totally random, unexpected moment

And I point that out from the perspective of the disciples in this story because I believe you, me, your counselors, everyone in your cabin, we were all brought here by Jesus this week because he wants to totally surprise us and change us.

Maybe you came to Firwood this week because you’ve been before and you know it’s going to be the most fun week of your Summer
Maybe you came because you wanted to see your friends or make new friends
Maybe your family made you come because you’ve been super obnoxious all Summer and they needed a week off from you
No matter what: like Jesus’ disciples, I think we’re all here because Jesus brought us here. And I hope that as we kick off this week, we can see from the disciples that if we keep our eyes open with Jesus, we get curious and ask questions, we might just see Jesus totally surprise us and change everything.

Jesus Wants You to Expect to be Surprised

How many people here know that the best part of having the flu is staying home from school, laying on the couch, watching bad TV shows all day?
When I was in middle school, the highlight of my sick days at home were from 10AM-11AM, when I would turn my TV to channel 7, and watch a man named Bob Barker host a show called The Price is Right.
On the Price is Right, there was an announcer named Rod Roddy who would call out the names of the audience member who were chosen to be contestants on the show.
“________, come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price is Right.”
And sometimes it would be the name of a very nice middle-aged man with a slightly-receding hairline, khaki shorts, and a pastel polo shirt, who would pump his fist, high-five his wife, walk calmly down the aisle, and stand behind his podium and wait for the game to begin.
This is a man who may or may not be excited to play, but he doesn’t not exactly exude excitement and expectation.
Now on the other hand, another thing the Price is Right was known for (that was my personal highlight) was when Rod Roddy would call a name… (“_______ come on down! You’re the next contestant on the Price is Right!”) and it would be this huge, loud, lunatic lady whose lifelong dream was to be on The Price is Right, and she jumps out of her seat, screaming, jumping up and down, hugging her family, kissing strangers, running down the aisle, screaming, crying, so happy—hasn’t won a dime! But she’s so excited she can’t contain herself because she expects something amazing to happen as soon as she gets down to the front.
Now what is the point of this, Fred? It is to give a picture of our options when it comes to showing up and expecting God to do something great this week. We can wander down like it’s any other day, or any other week, or we can go through this week like we already know what’s going to happen, and so anxious to see it! Either way, Jesus will show up—but I encourage all of you and invite all of you:
Get excited—get your hopes up—dream big—pray big—the Bible says in that God is able to immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine—so imagine big, and expect big.

As we finish our time down here tonight, I hope you’ll go back up to your cabins tonight and just get to know each other a little bit. Maybe share a little about what you know about Jesus or God, and maybe even what you believe about him. It might feel a little weird if you don’t know a lot of people, but that’s okay. You’re going to get to know them fast, and this is part of it.

I can’t wait to be back here with you tomorrow and look at this story in again with you. I expect God to show up and do big things in your lives this week.
Let me pray before we close.
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