"LOSING SIGHT:A MIRACLE IN REVERSE"
(A Series on Jesus)
C.R.5/3/87p.m. John 9:13-41
PROPOSITION: Jesus came to earth as a judge between
righteousness and wickedness, separating those who are blind but want to see from those who think they see but are blind.
- LAST Sunday night we studied the miracle of Jesus healing the man born blind in John 9.......Jesus said that he was blind so that the power of God may be demonstrated.
- WE agreed that God still wants to demonstrate His power in His church today.
- I LIKE preaching those kinds of sermons....because I believe that the demonstration of the power of God is part of the process of revival that we are going to see soon in the true church of Jesus.
- AND I can get excited thinking about that day coming. I believe it is coming. I believe that we have to have that day come....because this world is too callous, too complacent, too gone to respond to anything else than a demonstration of power.
- I ALSO believe that it is coming because that is the way God has worked in the Book of Acts in His church and in every revival down through the centuries....He has revealed Himself in a demonstration of power.
- BUT there is also something else coming when God begins to demonstrate Himself in power....and it is also found in John 9.....in the aftermath of the miracle.
- WHAT comes with the demonstration of power in revival? Jesus comes to judge.
- HERE'S how it all happened;
* News of the healing of the blind man spread fast through the religious establishment......pretty soon the blind man is dragged before the pharisees for questioning.
* "How were you healed?" they jabbed at him. "This man put mud on my eyes and told me to go to the pool and wash."
* And for the next several hours they argued over whether a righteous man could heal on the sabbath.
* "We know this man's a sinner!" they scream to the healed man.
* "I don't know about that," replies the healed man, "all I know is that once I was blind but now I see."
* "You were steeped in sin when you were born." they shout in reply and, verse 28 says that they hurled insults at him and threw him out.
- WHAT a terrible fuss over something good, over a demonstration of the power of God!
- WHY was there such emotional violence in the very air after Jesus performed such a wonderful miracle?
- YOU would expect shouting and praising and worship....not a fight and insults being hurled around.
- WHAT'S the problem?
- IN VERSE 39 Jesus answers the problem for us;
"For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind."
- THE reason for the turmoil, accompanying the miracle, is that Jesus came and comes in judgment when He comes in the demonstration of power.
- IN John 8:15 Jesus said that He passes judgment on no one.
- WHAT does He mean here in 9:38 that He has come for judgment?
- 8:15 refers to the final judgment of the world, which will not come yet.
- 9:38 speaks of Jesus dropping the plumbline, where He is revealed in power, and measuring the heart of men and women by His absolute standard.
- THE JUDGMENT of 9:38 is not punishment but measurement of truth in the hearts of men.
- IN some it produces peace in others it produces anger.....and that's why a fight broke out among the pharisees in John 9.
- YOU see, I rejoice when Jesus comes to drop the plumbline of truth and measure us.
* Not because I think He will find me perfect in His measurement.
* But because we need Him to be consistent in measuring sin by His truth...and showing it up for what it is.
* Because if He is not consistent in the way He measures and judges sin, then who is to say that He will be consistent when it comes to measuring my salvation and hope of eternal life.
* You and I need Him to come in judgment on sin when He comes in power....it is the guarantee of our salvation.
II.COME TO JUDGE
- "FOR judgment I have come into this world...." said Jesus.
- THAT is the process of dropping the plumbline into our lives....and every corner is measured by the plumbline of truth that He drops when He comes.
* Every thought, every ambition, every desire, every secret moment is measured by the plumbline....nothing escapes measurement.
- HE measured the pharisees and found them self-righteous, self-important, arrogant, haters of God....He dropped the plumbline and it made them mad.
- IN the book of Amos the prophet, God speaks of His patience with His people for 400 years while they rebelled against Him.
- THEN He moved into their lives in power and discipline and in 7:7&8 God says to Amos;
"What do you see, Amos?"
"A plumbline." Amos replied.
Then the Lord said, "Look, I am setting a plumbline among My people Israel; I will spare them no longer."
- WHEN Jesus comes in power, He brings His plumbline to measure the hearts of His people and judge them....and it always seems that a separation takes place when He comes.
* The pharisees seperate from the disciples...and the healed man is thrown out in anger.
* But that is not uncommon in the revelation of scripture when the plumbline is dropped.
* In Matthew 25:32, when Jesus comes in His glory, to sit on His throne, He will seperate sheep from the goats.....the sheep being the bride and the goats those who posed as sheep but were not.
* In Matthew 13 Jesus teaches the parable of the weeds and speaks of the weeds that grow up in the wheat field and are allowed to grow there until He comes and seperates the wheat from the weeds in judgment.
* In Luke 17 Jesus said that in the last days two will be in the field...one will be taken, the other left. Two will be in bed, one will be taken, the other left. Two will be grinding grain, one will be taken, the other left.
- IT should not surprise us at all. Whenever Jesus comes and drops the plumbline of truth to measure our hearts....a seperation takes place.
- WHENEVER He drops the plumbline there are always two opposite reactions.....some get mad and storm and rant and rave in self-defense and cover-up....others rejoice because righteousness is revealed.
- WE wouldn't want Him to overlook sin....because if He did...then for all we know He may also overlook salvation.
- SO the redeemed say, "Come in judgment Jesus! Drop your plumbline in my heart. I only trust in your blood and your righteousness worked out through me."
- BUT know that with the power comes the plumbline....and it is not always fun.
III.COME TO GIVE SIGHT
- IN John 9:39, Jesus provides us with a description of this ministry of the plumbline that will shed even more light on how it works.
- HE says that when he comes in judgment, "....the blind will see..."
- IF that's the case then we all ought to cry, "Come, Lord Jesus and drop your plumbline in me!"
- THE blind see!
- AT this point Jesus is no longer referring to physical healing, He is using the healing of the blind man as a spring board to teach a deeper truth.
- WHEN He comes to judge, the blind see.
- THE blind are those who are stumbling through life tripping over boulders, cut and bleeding from the limbs that stick out, without knowing where they are going, what the future holds, helpless and without hope.
- THE blind are those who don't know where they are going...they are lost and can't find their way.
* They are the businessmen who have made their fortune but are still unsatisfied....and don't know where to turn.
* They are the prostitutes and the sexually immoral who are at the bottom of the pit of life and can't see up.
* They are the drug addicts and alcoholics who are blinded by the control of a chemical substance.
* They are the dishonest, who cheat on their taxes and lie and steal.
* They are the weak and the blind and the crippled and the hurting of our city....who have realized that they cannot see. (That is the key, right there.)
* They are also believers who used to be all the things I have just listed....and have received their sight....but know that without the daily grace of God in their lives they would be blind all over again.
- THE blind are the people that God refers to in Isaiah 66:2....they are the ones He wants to live in;
* Humble.......nothing without Jesus. Not one good thing of their own. ALL His grace.
* Contrite in spirit.....broken at the thought of grieving Him through sin in your life.
* Trembles at My word......looks at the Word and says, "Phew, I can't please Him in my own strength. The standards are too high. I need help."
- JESUS says, "That's the kind of person I have come to give sight."
- IF you know you are blind, when He comes in judgment, you will be given sight.
IV.COME TO BLIND THE SIGHTED
- THEN verse 39 takes an interesting twist. Jesus says, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that.........those who see will become blind."
- HERE is a miracle in reverse. Those who see will become blind.
- THIS is one of the hard sayings of Jesus.
- WHEN HE comes, those who see will be made blind.
- WELL, here is another example of the seperation that happens when Jesus comes to judge and drops the plumbline.
- THERE are those in every crowd who think that they see.
* These are the people who are infatuated with their own righteousness.
* They are full of their own knowledge of the Word....they know it all and can quote it at the drop of a hat.
* They have been around the things of God and even have feelings and emotions when He passes by.
* They are convinced of their rightness...in their lifestyle and their spirit.
* They are unteachable and entrenched in their own views.
* They are slain in their own spirit.
* They see themselves as being in need of nothing......especially in the way of repentance and forgiveness and brokenness.
- THE pharisees are the ones who think they are sighted, and don't even know that they are blind in this passage.
- AND I would like you to see some things about their behaviour in this passage, that are characteristic of spiritually blind people...who think they see;
* They twist the Word of God, being deceived themselves, to cover up their own need for the Lord.
* In verse 16 they say, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath."
* They knew the verses to quote but they didn't know the Christ who wrote the verses in the first place.
* They were using scripture to cover up their own sense of guilt.
* They use reasoning and logic to try and understand the things of God who can only be known in the spiritual realm.
* In verses 16-19 they reason among themselves that a good man wouldn't heal on the Sabbath....but, on the other hand, a sinner couldn't perform a miracle, could he?
* So they bring in the witnesses to try and discern the thing by asking questions from the people who were there.
* God cannot be known through reasoning and logic.
* They are afraid of the opinion of others
* In verse 22 they were afraid of what the crowd would do if they allowed Jesus to go unchecked.
* They were very concerned about their image...keeping the right posture before the people was uppermost in their minds.
* It is how blind people stay blind.
* They are decieved about the truth and do not even know it.
* In verses 24 and 29 they say about Jesus, "He is a sinner....and we do not even know where He came from."
* They were blind and didn't even know it.
* They are deaf to the evidence. In verse 27 the blind man had told them once about the healing and they were asking him again, the same question. Kind of ticked the ex-blind man.
* They were angry (28), vindictive (34), defensive (28).....and, worst of all, their guilt remained with them.
- THIS is the seperation that takes place when Jesus comes in power to judge.
- WHICH side are you going to be on when He comes.
- WHEN He drops the plumbline of truth in your heart, where will you be? Which side will you be on.
- WILL you be willing to admit your blindness....and ask for sight.
- OR are you so convinced of your sight that HE will do a reverse miracle in your life and leave you blind?
- THE secret to it is in your heart.
- HE is dropping the plumbline right now. Chose your side.
HOLY GOD, MAKE ME HOLY