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Sunday, April 28th, 2019 - AM - One Thing I Know (Jn. 9:1-7)

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Breaking Bread with Barnabas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:52
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Behold, as Jesus punches more holes in the darkness!

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Pre-Introduction:
At this time, we invite any children who desire to join my dear wife for a children’s service to follow her where you can hear a wonderful bible lesson and sing some uplifting songs about Jesus.
For those joining us by other means, you’re listening to the Services of the Broomfield Baptist Church. This is the Pastor bringing the Sunday Morning message entitled "One Thing I Know.” We invite you to follow along with us in your Bible in the Book of John, chapter 9.

Introduction:

John 9:25 KJV 1900
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.
[Start Low]
Illustration-
As a boy Robert Louis Stevenson was intrigued by the work of the old lamplighter who went about with a ladder and a torch, setting the street lights ablaze for the night. One evening in Edinburgh, Scotland, as young Robert stood watching with childish fascination, his parents heard him exclaim, “Look, look! There is a man out there punching holes in the darkness!”
With one statement of childish wonder, Robert Louis Stevenson summed up the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus came into this world and accomplished many great and miraculous wonders, yet His primary purpose was to punch great gaping holes in the spiritual darkness that shrouded this world. He came to be The Light Of The World, v. 5.
In this passage detailing the healing and salvation of a poor, blind man is shining brightly. While we have the opportunity today, let’s take some time and look at Jesus: The Light Of The World. If you find that your are in darkness this morning, I am here to tell you that Jesus can and will lead you into the light if you will respond to Him call and come to Him by faith. [Carr, Alan. “Jesus: The Light of the World (John 9:1–11).” In The Sermon Notebook: New Testament, 1677. Lenoir, NC: Alan Carr, 2015.]
Main Thought: Jesus both saved this blind man through his personal faith while simultaneously condemning these Pharisees through their own personal unbelief showing that it eternally matters what one decides about who Jesus really is.
Sub-introduction: Illustrate how John is giving us signs for Jesus’ Deity with His miracles with the signs scattered through KS about a giant prairie dog… somewhere...
Literary Context
In this pericope the narrative transitions from a formal courtroom scene in the temple (8:12–59) to a more informal scene of a preliminary hearing. Here an expert witness, one who has personal experience (and therefore expertise) of the defendant (Jesus) and the particular crime of which he is being accused (healing on the Sabbath) is examined by legal officials.1 The conflict initiated in the previous pericope has made one thing clear to “the Jews”: Jesus is a threat. Questions surrounding him no longer concern his identity; they now entirely focus on his extermination. Even though Jesus’s presence only frames the pericope, the dialogical exchange between several different characters serves to highlight his person and work. The reader is being guided to “see” the meaning and significance of the mission of the Son of Man and to believe in him. [Klink, Edward W., III. John. Edited by Clinton E. Arnold. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016.]
This miracle is also significant in that it demonstrates Jesus’ authority not only to grant life to those who believe but also to judge those who reject Him (cf. John 5:22). [Kim, Stephen S. “The Significance of Jesus’ Healing the Blind Man in John 9.” Bibliotheca Sacra 167 (2010): 317.]
Jesus used this miracle as the basis for a short sermon on spiritual blindness (John 9:39–41) and a longer sermon on true and false shepherds (John 10:1–18). [Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996.]
Body:

I. Jesus Visits in Our Misery (John 9:1-7)

[Go Slow]
First Dialogue: Jesus Heals an Unnamed Man Who Was Blind from Birth
Note - Compare this man with the woman of 8 (unnamed), and Martha of 11 (…Believest thou?)

A. Jesus Sees the Blind Man & The Disciples Inquire, "Master, Who Sinned?" (Jn. 9:1-2)

John 9:1–2 KJV 1900
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
I am told that in the United States somebody goes blind every twenty minutes. The man we meet in this chapter was born blind; he had never seen the beauty of God’s creation or the faces of his loved ones. When Jesus arrived on the scene, everything changed, and the man was made to see. However, the greatest miracle was not the opening of his eyes but the opening of his heart to the Saviour. It cost him everything to confess Jesus as the Son of God, but he was willing to do it. [Wiersbe]
Application-
A CURIOSITY
We have a tendency not to “see” those who are disabled or to treat them in ways that emphasize or trivialize their disadvantage. For instance, blind people are often treated as if they can’t hear either, which is exactly what the disciples did on this occasion.
People appreciate being genuinely cared for, but resent being treated as a “case,” “problem,” or “curiosity.” When dealing with people who are suffering or disabled, we must try to empathize with them. We should always strive to treat others in the way we would want to be treated, were our situations reversed (see Matthew 7:12). [Barton, Bruce B. John. Life Application Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993.]

B. Jesus Explains This Man's Blindness in Light of "The Works of God" (Jn. 9:3-5)

John 9:3–5 KJV 1900
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
HOME BEFORE DARK
The night cometh, when no man can work. John 9:4.
When I was a boy growing up in the hills, it was a law of the Medes and Persians that I should be home before dark. That was understood and there were no exceptions. Night is settling on the world today and the time is short. We must work the works of God while it is day. We Christians are not of the night nor of darkness. God is going to gather His children home before the final storm breaks. I want to get home before darkness settles on my little day. But the darkness precedes the dawn even as it follows the day. I want to get home where it is never dark for there is no night there. [Havner, Vance. All the Days. Vance Havner Bundle. Baker Publishing Group, 1976.]
Note - Consider Dr. McGee’s insights on verse 5-
God has His own wise reasons for permitting sickness, disease, suffering, and trouble. When I went to the hospital for surgery, I received letters from hundreds of people. Out of those letters, there were several who proposed to tell me why God let this happen to me. The only trouble was, I don’t think that any one of them knew. God doesn’t always reveal to us why He permits things. I believe this:
God never does, nor suffers to be done
But what we would ourselves,
Could we but see through all events of things
As well as He.
God has His way, and He doesn’t propose to tell us all His reasons. He does ask us to walk with Him by faith through the dark times of our lives. [McGee, J. Vernon. Thru the Bible Commentary: The Gospels (John 1-10). Electronic ed. Vol. 38. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991.]
Application-
GOD MAY USE OUR SUFFERING
How can God be at work in a desperate situation? There may be times when we have done everything possible to solve a problem. After we have explored the options, exhausted our resources, probed our motives, asked for advice, and done what was suggested, we may have found that nothing seems to have changed. We may have persisted in prayer and asked others to pray for us, and yet perceive no answer. The truth is, the solution, resolution, or answer may not ever come in this life. But it is also true that regardless of our difficulty and whether or not our burden is removed, God is still at work.
•God may use our experience to help advise and encourage others who pass through the same trials.
•God may use our suffering to break through the hardness of another person and bring about change in them.
•God may use our unresolved need to motivate others to keep searching for a solution from which others will benefit.
•God may use our endurance in suffering rather than the suffering itself to be an encouraging example to other believers. [Barton]
‘We can “make sense” of a dark world only by believing in the one who came to be the “light of the world”.’ [Milne, Bruce. The Message of John: Here Is Your King!: With Study Guide. The Bible Speaks Today. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.]

C. Jesus Heals the Blind Man Who Simply Obeys His Word (Jn. 9:6-7)

John 9:6–7 KJV 1900
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, 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.
Note - describe the situation of Siloam and bring its historical bearing to the passage
Application:
‘The waters of Siloam disappear in the living water of Christ.’ [Milne]
Transition: Jesus’ visit in our misery...

II. Persecution Brings Opportunity for Testimony (John 9:8-34)

[Climb Higher]
Second Dialogue: Jesus Is Judged By the Pharisees in His Absence for Healing on the Sabbath

A. First Interrogation: The Neighbors & the Healed Man (Jn. 9:8-12)

John 9:8–12 KJV 1900
The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 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. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
Note - Describe how it must have been for these to be debating about who this man is now that he has been healed.

B. Second Interrogation: The Pharisees & the Healed Man, Round One (Jn. 9:13-17)

John 9:13–17 KJV 1900
They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 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. 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. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
Illustration - From the Talmud on the Sabbath:
7:2 A The generative categories of acts of labor [prohibited on the Sabbath] are forty less one:
B (1) he who sews, (2) ploughs, (3) reaps, (4) binds sheaves, (5) threshes, (6) winnows, (7) selects [fit from unfit produce or crops], (8) grinds, (9) sifts, (10) kneads, (11) bakes;
C (12) he who shears wool, (13) washes it, (14) beats it, (15) dyes it;
D (16) spins, (17) weaves,
E (18) makes two loops, (19) weaves two threads, (20) separates two threads;
F (21) ties, (22) unties,
G (23) sews two stitches, (24) tears in order to sew two stitches;
H (25) he who traps a deer, (26) slaughters it, (27) flays it, (28) salts it, (29) cures its hide, (30) scrapes it, and (31) cuts it up;
I (32) he who writes two letters, (33) erases two letters in order to write two letters;
J (34) he who builds, (35) tears down;
K (36) he who puts out a fire, (37) kindles a fire;
L (38) he who hits with a hammer; (39) he who transports an object from one domain to another—
M lo, these are the forty generative acts of labor less one.
[Jacob Neusner, The Mishnah : A New Translation (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988), 187–188.]

C. Third Interrogation: The Pharisees & the Healed Man's Parents (Jn. 9:18-23)

John 9:18–23 KJV 1900
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. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth 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 seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 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. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
Application -
LOOKING FOR A LOOPHOLE
In reviewing the facts of the case, the Pharisees had no intention of believing or following the one who had performed the healing. They wanted to disqualify Jesus. They avoided the truth in their quest for a loophole.
Occasionally we will meet people who only want to argue and debate the merits and claims of Jesus without ever deciding to follow him. They mask their rejection under a thin cover of inquiry. Perhaps, like the Pharisees, they have too much to lose. Prestige, power, and personal independence are hard to give up. It is easier to keep the argument on intellectual grounds than to face our spiritual and moral shortcomings. Sometimes, people have worked hard to get to their comfortable place in life and are unwilling to consider change. We must help them see that Christ gives both the power and the desire to change. [Barton]

D. Fourth Interrogation: The Pharisees & the Healed Man, Round Two (Jn. 9:24-34)

John 9:24–34 KJV 1900
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. 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. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? 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? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 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. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
No-one can ponder the tragedy of the Pharisees without asking deep and disturbing questions. Here were men who revered the Scriptures and were zealots for pious behaviour and practices, such as prayer and fasting. They were frequently in worship and gave most sacrificially to God’s work. Yet they were among the principal instruments in the hands of Satan in having Jesus destroyed. The Pharisees are not an extinct breed. Whenever we find ourselves valuing the letter of God’s law above its spirit; whenever we find ourselves unable to rejoice in the saving and renewing of lives simply because the instrument used was not someone who dots all the i’s and crosses all the t’s of our theological group; whenever we lose the daily, hourly sense of joy in the grace of God by which alone we know him and live before him, then we need to beware. ‘Lord, is it I?’ The only security against Pharisaism is grace, which is perhaps the reason the Lord may from time to time permit us to stumble in our Christian walk so that we may have opportunity to rediscover it. [Milne]
Application:
Again, the leaders reviled the man and told him he was born in sin. However, he would not die in his sins (see John 8:21, 24); because before this chapter ends, the beggar will come to faith in Jesus Christ. All of us are born in sin (Ps. 51:5), but we need not live in sin (Col. 3:6–7) or die in our sins. Faith in Jesus Christ redeems us from sin and gives us a life of joyful liberty. [Wiersbe]
Transition: Jesus’ Visit in our misery; persecution an opportunity for testimony...

III. Jesus Invites to Faith & Fellowship with Him (John 9:35-41)

[Take Fire]
Third Dialogue: Jesus Invites the Healed Man to Faith & Condemns the Pharisees' Unbelief

A. The Invitation: Jesus Finds the Healed, Excommunicated Man (Jn. 9:35-38)

John 9:35–38 KJV 1900
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? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
Excommunication
The Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.
According to the Talmud, there were three grades of excommunication among the Jews. The first was called niddin, and those on whom it was pronounced were not permitted for thirty days to have any communication with any person unless at a distance over four cubits (about 6 feet). They were not prohibited from attending public worship, though they could not, during the thirty days, enter the temple by the ordinary gate. They were not allowed to shave during that time, and were required to wear garments of mourning.
The second was called cherem, and was pronounced on those who remained openly disobedient under the first. It was of greater severity than the other, and required the presence of at least ten members of the congregation to make it valid. The offender was formally cursed, was excluded from all intercourse with other people, and was prohibited from entering the temple or synagogue.
The third was shammatha, and was inflicted on those who persisted in their stubborn resistance to authority. By this they were cut off from all connection with the Jewish people, and were consigned to utter perdition.
The Talmud assigns as the two general causes for excommunication, money and epicurism. The first refers to those who refused to pay the moneys that the court directed them to pay; the second refers to those who despised the Word of God or of the scribes—both being put on an equal basis.
Excommunication is alluded to in Matthew 18:17; John 9:34; 12:42; 16:2. Some think Jesus in Luke 6:22 refers to the several grades of excommunication noted: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake” (KJV). [Freeman, James M., and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998.]

B. The Condemnation: Jesus Judges the Pharisees (Jn. 9:39-41)

John 9:39–41 KJV 1900
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. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
John 9:39 does not contradict John 3:16–17. The reason for our Lord’s coming was salvation, but the result of His coming was condemnation of those who would not believe. The same sun that brings beauty out of the seeds also exposes the vermin hiding under the rocks. [Wiersbe]
Charles Spurgeon said: “It is not our littleness that hinders Christ; but our bigness. It is not our weakness that hinders Christ; it is our strength. It is not our darkness that hinders Christ; it is our supposed light that holds back his hand.” [Hughes, R. Kent. John: That You May Believe. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1999.]

Conclusion:

A. Call to Act/Summary of Message/Application:
Call/Summarize/Apply-
The story expresses the division which the coming of Jesus produces (39). To those who respond by coming to the light (3:20–21), casting themselves upon the mercy of Christ, his light shines savingly and renewingly. But those are judged who refuse to come to the light, stubbornly clinging to the light that they claim is already in them. They go out into the darkness in which no light will ever shine.
Light of the world, for ever, ever shining,
There is no change in thee.
True light of life, all joy and health enshrining,
Thou canst not fade nor flee.
Light of the world, undimming and unsetting,
O shine each mist away!
Banish the fear, the falsehood and the fretting;
Be our unchanging day.
Horatius Bonar
Jesus both saved this blind man through his personal faith while simultaneously condemning these Pharisees through their own personal unbelief showing that it eternally matters what one decides about who Jesus really is.
B. Gospel Invitation:
Friend, God loves you, but it's not okay for you to leave here today remaining in your sins if you have never believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Why don't you change your mind toward Him? His love sent Jesus Christ, God's only Son, to die on the cross for all your sins. Won't you come and ask Jesus to come into your life and save you?
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