The Light of the World: The Manifestation of the Works of God in Men
The Light of the World: The Manifestation of the Works of God in Men
Text: John 9.1-7 – “I am the light of the world…”
Introduction: John 8.12 – “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Our text is intricately connected to this verse in chapter 8. There is a contrast established that is not only physical in nature, but spiritual. Darkness and light illustrates the contrast between the unbeliever and the believer, the lost and the saved, those dead and those alive.
This contrast is wonderfully manifested in the healing of this blind man. Here is a solitary human being who has never seen the face of his parents or friends. He has never known the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset. He is blind from birth. This is the spiritual state of all mankind. “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” And how could they? They are blind. Just like this man “blind from birth.”
I want to speak to you under the topic – “The Light of the World: The Manifestation of the Works of God in Men”.
I want us to observe that the works of God are manifested in mankind in three aspects of this healing: 1st – the Problem; 2nd – the Purpose and 3rd – the Power.
I. The Problem
“A man which was blind from his birth.”
A. Blind – As we said this is the state of men spiritually, the state we find this man in. Notice, the simplicity of John’s record of the event. “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.” This man doesn’t see Jesus at all. He isn’t running after Jesus saying, “Heal me! Heal me!” He is sitting there totally unaware of Jesus or who He is. This is the state of all mankind. Let me state it personally. This is your state if you do not know the Lord Jesus. And it isn’t any of us who seek God. God seeks us! We have no capacity to seek God. We are like this man – blind from birth. That is the natural state of all men. We are blind with no capacity to see God. We are incapacitated – stone blind – no sight at all. We cannot recognize God or truth.
B. From birth – When did this blindness start? “From birth”. It was always there. It really translates our capabilities. There are none. We were born without. I read that in the United State, someone goes blind every twenty minutes. I have a preacher friend of mine who is in his seventies and is going blind. In a few years, he will have no sight, completely blind. But what he does have is the memories of sight. He can remember having seen the trees, the blueberry bushes, his wife, his children and his grandchildren. This man has no memories. He never knew what it was like to see. This is the state of all men spiritually. This man was completely without any knowledge or understanding of Jesus.
Do you see the Problem? He is not just blind. He is blind from birth. He has no reference of God or truth. He is completely without capacity to seek God because He is absolutely blind and that from birth.
II. The Purpose
“That the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
A. The disciples ask the question of why this man is blind to begin with. “Is it because of his sin or his parents?” This is the interesting thing. I will only mention this without going into a lot of discussion about this. The rabbinical teaching at this time was that all suffering was directly attributed to acts of sin either by the individual or by his parents. This is probably why the disciples ask this question. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on the historical context of the rabbinical teachings at that time.
B. But, I do want to mention it for this purpose. We are not too far off in our own thinking. When something bad happens, we tend to immediately think, “What did I do wrong?” Now here is the problem: If we think that every bad thing that happens to us is because of something we have done wrong, then we will also think that every good thing that happens is because we did things right. But this is wrong thinking! And it has to do with the manifestation of the Works of God which deals with the purpose of this man’s blindness. Why is this man blind? Jesus answers, “Not because of the sin of this man or his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
C. “It just so happened.” A friend of man has this saying, “It just so happened.” He means it facetiously to draw attention to the fact that it is God’s purpose! “And we know,” Paul begins his great exhortation, “And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” How many things? ALL things! Nothing just happens!
D. God works with purpose. He initiates all things. Take Genesis account Genesis 1.1 – “In the beginning…” Who? “God” Let’s link the Genesis account and our text. Verse two gives the state of the earth – without form and void and notice the next thing – DARKNESS was upon the face of the deep. And now notice what happens: “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light: and … there was light.” I have a friend of mine who stated he believed in the Big Bang theory – God said, “Let there be light” and BANG! There was Light!
E. This is exactly what transpires with this blind man. He is absolutely blind and never has known what it is to see. Did not see Jesus coming. Did not know of Jesus. Jesus comes on the scene and this man blind from birth SEES!
F. Under what circumstances or timing do we expect to see an exhibition of the works of God? It is often in the midst of things going good. We tend to lose faith when things go bad and we get into that bad thinking that the circumstances are bad because of our sin. We are too discouraged and cannot work up a lick of faith. Here is the manifestation of the works of God: a sinner never has a lick of faith. God has to come along and give faith. Ephesians 2.8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith.” Notice, we are saved by grace. Yes, but it says through faith. Where did that faith come from? Paul sets the record straight: not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man boast.” Romans 10.17 – “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” God created the world exnihlo – out of nothing. He creates faith in men exnihlo – out of nothing!
We began with the Problem; men are completely blind from birth. Then we saw that God has a Purpose to manifest His works in men, demonstrating He gives sight by the spoken word – let there be light and men see. Finally, let’s look at the Power.
III. The Power
“When He had thus spoken…Go, wash in the pool of Siloam…”
A. Have you noticed that to this point, Jesus had not said anything to this blind man? The man is just sitting there. What happens? Jesus spits on the ground, makes some mud and puts it on the man’s eyes. The first sensibility this man has of Jesus is someone putting mud in his eyes. Incredible!
B. Why did He do this? There is much speculation and I think that all it can be is speculation. I don’t think the mud is of much importance because there is not enough said about it. But what comes next is important. Jesus says, “Go, wash in the pool of Σιλωάμ Siloam. And John gives commentary here (which is by interpretation, SENT). Why did Jesus send him to this pool Siloam?
C. The OT name for this pool is Shiloah. It was a pool built in the time of King Hezekiah. Hezekiah wanted a water supply in case they were under siege. The water ran down from under the Temple Mount into this pool. Of course, the symbolism here is amazing! The temple mount was a place where God was represented and here you have this water coming down, Sent down. During the Feast of Tabernacles in Jesus time, the Priest would get vessels of water from the pool of Σιλωάμ and poor it out on the altar and the people would shout Isaiah 12.3 “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Here is the reason we should take a text in its context in the book and the Bible.
D. In John 7.2, we are told that the Jews are celebrating the feast of tabernacles. It is on the last day of this feast, John 7.37, that Jesus stands up and says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Do you see the symbolism here? Jesus, the sent one of God sends this man to Sent! In other words, if a man ever wants to see in his soul, he will have to go to the True Σιλωάμ. He will have to go to Jesus. One word about the Power: Jesus sent him to the pool of Siloam. And what happens? He goes, washes and came seeing! Later, in verse 38, we find that he got more than just his physical sight!
Conclusion: The main lesson is this, have you met the true Siloam? He you met this Christ? The true light that light not only the eyes, but the soul.