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Changes: Blindness and Healing

Changes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:37
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The problem of suffering… If God is so good and loving, how can there be such suffering in our world?
Another of Jesus’s signs… Pointing beyond what happened to something bigger. Boy born blind… but now a man. Parents can no longer care for him so his only option is to go out and beg.
I want us to notice here, first, blindness is a common reality in Jesus’ world yet nowhere in the OT and in only one place in NT did anyone heal blindness; yet there are multiple healings of Jesus for the blind…probably why the bible connects it to ignorance and Jesus bringing light.
The man didn’t ask for help. He wasn’t a believer. He was living totally on the generosity of others. He was intelligent and well spoken. Sadly, he was a stranger to his neighbors because, living in the shadows, they hadn’t taken time to know him.
John 9:1–5 NIV
1 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.”

Why is there suffering?

Jesus saw him
Disciples questioned
Option 1: General vs specific sin and suffering
Option: All suffering is caused by sin Genesis 3,
Romans 8:19–23 NIV
19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
Option: Some specific suffering is caused by specific sins: Acts 5:1-10,
1 Corinthians 10:6–10 NIV
6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
1 Corinthians 11:30 NIV
30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
Option: Preach a sermon
Option: keep going, not wanting to draw attention
Option: Why is there suffering in this world?
He explained instead that this is an opportunity to show what God can do… This suffering exists for the work of God to be seen.
Our Wesleyan roots tell us that yes suffering happens, but instead of dwelling on why; our focus is to focus on how… how it can become an opportunity to display the love and power of God.
John 9:6–9 NIV
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.”

Jesus displays healing power

He went on to explain it to them exactly what happened...
Theologians have offered many reasons to explain why Jesus healed as he did, Making it darker - dust of creation - but the point is, the man was blind and Jesus healed him.
God’s purpose of healing:
John 9:3 NIV
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Our desire for understanding why won’t prevent us from suffering, but it might prevent us from seeing what to do.
There is a purpose of non-healing:
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
We tend to get focused on how God healed, but instead we should look at the healing is… a display of God’s love.

Sickness and suffering are opportunities for us to show the love and compassion of God

At camp this week… seeing kids who were desperate for connection…

John 9:13-34

The blind response

John 9:13–17 NIV
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided. 17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
Are you open to God doing something in your life he hasn’t done before? or do you need Jesus to stick to the script that you are familiar with?
They are so focused on their religion, on their pursuit of Jesus, they miss out on the opportunity to celebrate a miraculous healing...
They got so offended by the healed man’s testimony that they threw him out.
Church today not receiving those God is working in their life because
if we aren’t willing to take the healer out into our community, what does that say about me?
I’m blind…i’m wrong

John 9:35–38 NIV
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

Total healing only found in Jesus

He probably thought sitting there, if only I could see, my problems would be solved… but it actually brought on a whole other set of problems. His healing led to his isolation spiritually… then Jesus steps in.
I remember when I had this realization. It was November of 1996. I remember praying, God if you would just fix my marriage.... But Jesus stepped in and said, I would but that would solve your real problem…Gary your real problem is a spiritual problem… you aren’t blind, but you have closed your eyes to what i’m trying to do in your life.
I had become blind.
John 9:39–41 NIV
39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Seeing yet blind spiritually

Man was blind physically and spiritually, but invited Jesus in
Pharisees were blind spiritually but not physically, they refused to invite Jesus in
Was invited by Terri M to come to Camp Fairlee on Friday night to help lead a worship service for the camp staff who can’t get to church on Sunday’s…it was great
We shared how the kids who come to camp there are so responsive to caring adults
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