Title: I can speak for myself
Text: John 9:1-41
Introduction: Over the years, I have been developing as an avid reader. I have learned to appreciate great stories of people’s lives from their humble beginnings, tragedies, successes and even their fall from grace. It is a true art form to tell somebody else’s story. I find it amazing how certain authors depict the lives of individuals in such a way that you are reliving their life’s story. However, no matter how I enjoy reading biographies, there is nothing like reading an autobiography of a person I find interesting. An autobiography is not an eyewitness account. It is not a historical profile of a personality. It is someone telling their own story from their personal experience of the life they live. In an autobiography, the person speaks for themselves. Nobody can tell it like they can tell it. You probably have people who know you like a book but they still can’t give your story justice the way you could. Our story today is about man who had to tell his story like it was not allowing others to persuade him on who it was that he encountered and what really happen to him. He had to speak up for himself on what the Lord did for him because nobody could tell it like the way he could tell it! Amen.
After Jesus was accused of blasphemy by the Jews who refused to believe who He was, he avoids being stoned and leaves the temple. As He was passing, he sees a man who has been blind from birth. His disciples raised a question about this man. They asked, “who sinned, this man or did his parents”? It was believed the blindness was caused by sin of an individual or it could have been generational. But in this man’s case neither was true. Jesus said “this man did not sin nor did his parents. He was born blind so the works of God can be manifest! This is good news this morning! The issue you have or the struggle you have been dealing with was not caused by anything foul you did. It is not a generational curse but you have been chosen by God as a test subject to show off His glory. (That should free somebody up) You had nothing to do with your situation but God is going to use you so people will know Him. This morning Jesus is passing by and He sees you in your spiritual blindness. He sees you in your dark situation and He is about to light up your life.
Jesus tells his disciples that “he must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day night cometh and no man can work.” He had a set time to get the job done. After he spoke these words, he spat on very the ground he created and that we are created from. Spitting was not necessarily a bad thing at that time. Saliva, in the Jewish culture was used for healing purposes. Just like your mother would wet a tissue with her spit and cleared out the crust out of your eye. But this was not the spit of an ordinary man. Jesus was fully God and fully man. Jesus took what was inside of Him and what this man was made out of rubbed it on this man’s eyes to heal him. Jesus then instructs this man to go and wash in a pool of water called Siloam. The text says that the man went and washed and came back seeing. But how did he get to the pool of Siloam? He was not only blind now but he had a mud pack over his eyes. But the text lets us know he got there by some how and some way. I don’t know but I can imagine how he made it. I can imagine him yelling out asking for directions, feeling his way. I can imagine somebody pointing in him which way to go. I can imagine him getting there and bending down washing his face in the pool. Regardless of his disability, this man was obedient and he made it there! The fact that this blind man made it to his destination tells me a couple of things when you are dealing with an issue or a struggle. First, your obedience to Christ supercedes whatever you are dealing with. You must follow His lead despite what is happening in your life. Second, when you are obedient, you will make it wherever you are going. Some of you may not be blind physically but spiritually you can’t see your way out but you have to go anyway. You might be lame but go anyway. Whatever you are dealing with go anyway. If you have crawl, go! If you have to scream getting there, go! If you have stumble to get there, go. Your obedience leads to your breakthrough. Because of his obedience to Christ this man came back being able to see.
Now look at the reaction to those who knew this blind man. The text tells us that his neighbors really were not sure if it was him or not when he can back seeing. They were used to this man being blind and doing what blind people do. It that cultured the blind would hang outside the temple and beg. But a change has occurred. This brother came back seeing and not begging. Pause. It’s hard for others to accept the fact that you changed. They will only know the old you. It is not a bad thing when people don’t recognize you after you had an experience with Jesus. They really shouldn’t. You can’t be the same when you have a real encounter with Jesus. But the fact that people will try to hold you in your past and are skeptical about who you have become, you have to tell them you are! This is why you have to speak for yourself.
Point #1: You have to speak for yourself so no one can control over you.
The man’s neighbors only knew him to be a blind beggar. But after he met Jesus he had a new identity. Some of you can identify with this man. People close to you only know you to be one way. They knew you when you were on drugs. They knew you when you were depressed. They knew you when bitter. They knew you when were acting crazy. But since you meet Jesus, they don’t you anymore. There are some people you don’t need to know anymore. But you still have to let people who you are! Who are you? You are chosen. You are anointed. You are justified. You are redeemed. You are sealed with the Holy Ghost. Don’t let people control you by your past behavior. So when people try to tell you what you were, tell them who you are in Christ! Not only do you have to speak for yourself about who you are…
Point #2: You have to speak for yourself on what Jesus has done for you.
After the man tells his neighbors who he was, he tells them what Jesus did for him. Look at verses 10-12. They asked him how was his eyes opened. He tells them exactly what Jesus did for him with the dirt and the spit. When people ask you how you were healed, set free etc., you have to tell them exactly what the Lord has done for you. But be ready to tell your story again and again. Look at happens next in the text. The neighbors brought the man to the Pharisees, the religious folk who stuck to law. They asked the man what happened and he now tells them. However, they questioned who it was that healed him. The text says that Jesus healed this man of the Sabbath. According to Jews laws no one who follows God does anything on the Sabbath. Therefore, Jesus was not from God according to the Pharisees. But the when the man was asked what he thought about Jesus, he said “He was a prophet” because God’s prophets performed miracles. Church, don’t let religion stop you from believing in the power of God. The Pharisee’s questioned the man’s healing because of who healed him and when he was healed. They were caught up in the method instead of the ministry of compassion that Jesus had. I’m so glad that Jesus does not operate by methods and traditions alone. He sees a need go and goes for it!
The doubting Pharisees then went to the man parents to see if this man was for real or not. His parents did testify that he was their son and he was born blind but they didn’t know what happen. They told them to ask him because he is old enough to speak for himself. But his parents were operating out of fear. They didn’t want to be put out of the temple for testifying about Jesus. This is why some of you have learned early to speak up for yourself early in life because you had nobody to do it for you when you needed it the most. You had parents that were more concerned about themselves than for you. They abandoned you emotionally in you time of need. But don’t worry because the Bible says that “when you mother and father forsake you the Lord will take you up! Speak up and God will take you up!
So the Pharisees called this man again to hear his story. The man again tells them and says in v. 25 “if he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. But one thing I do know, I was blind and now I see!” In verse 26 they still didn’t believe him and they asked him again. He replies, “you must want to be his disciples too?” They get mad and tell man “we are Moses disciples we don’t know where this man comes from who healed you”. But I like this man. Look how he challenges them in vv. 30-32. “How are you not going know where this man comes from who does such an amazing thing?... Never has there been any thing like this before.” This man speaks truth to power. When you know Jesus and what he has done for you, you can speak boldly to anybody who tries to tell you different. The Pharisees knew the law but they refuse the truth about Jesus. And this man told them.
Also, when you know Jesus, life becomes risky. People are not going to like what you have to say. But we have to say it anyway despite the cost. Look what happens to the man after he spoke for himself. Verse 34 says they put him out of the temple! Everybody can’t handle your testimony because they can’t handle your Jesus. That is why some of you are by yourself because you can’t deny what Jesus has done for you. But the problem is that many of us deny Jesus by going along with the crowd. You will do anything thing to stay in the clique. Even right here church. You will gossip, complain, murmur and have a bad attitude just to be in the crowd. But God is calling to come out from among them. Don’t deny Jesus and He won’t deny you. Now look what happens to the man. The text says that when Jesus heard that this man was thrown out, Jesus went and found him. I believe that Jesus was pleased when heard about this man’s faith and He went after him. You have to know that Jesus will find you when you lift up his name. When Jesus found him He asked this man a question, “do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man said to Jesus “where is he that I may believe?” Jesus then says to the man, “You are looking at him”. Now look at what this man does. The text says he said to him “Lord, I believe” and he worshipped him. This man had two different kindness of blindness. He was physically blind but Lord gave him his sight. Also, he was spiritually blind to who the Savior was and Jesus opened up his eyes. When his spiritual eyes were open, he worshipped Him as Lord.
Point #3: True worship requires you to speak to the Lord yourself!
Worship is speaking to the Lord in a personally way. You have to tell God the wonderful things in your heart about who He is. It is your time to love and adorn him as Lord.
But this man like many of you did not start out in worship calling Jesus Lord. It was a natural progression. Look how he progressed. In verse 11, he knew the Lord as a man called Jesus. In verse 17, Jesus was a prophet. In verse 33, He was from God. In verse 35, he was the Son of God. In verse 38, Jesus is Lord. I believe that this man thought about what happened to him and the more he thought his faith in Jesus grew. Just like you, when think about all that Jesus has done for you, you can’t help but to call him Lord. My brothers and my sisters, you got to tell Jesus for yourself the great things he has done for you. Tell Him that you believe! You got to speak for yourself when it comes to the Lord! I can’t tell it like you can tell it.
Close: You have to speak for yourself on how Jesus saw you when you were blind. Speak about how He touched you so you can see. Speak about how you were lost and how the Lord found you. He found you when people didn’t want you. He found you when you did not deny him. He found you when you put your trust in Him. But I can’t tell it like you can tell it! You got speak for yourself! You don’t know like I know. So I have to speak for myself. I don’t need my mother to tell it. I don’t daddy to tell it. I don’t choir to tell it. I don’t need the deacon to tell it. I don’t need the preacher to tell it. I can speak for myself! I can praise him for myself. I can dance for myself. I can shout for myself.