Encounters with Jesus (The Blind Man)
Jason White

In John 9, a blind man encounters Jesus, and Jesus heals him. As a result, he worships Jesus. When we encounter Jesus, we are transformed to be used by Him to worship Him and bring glory and honor to His name.

John 9:35-38…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.





Sermon Audio Transcript
So Friday was my daughter’s birthday, and she had several friends over and they had a great time hanging out, eating cake, and opening presents… it was a fun night. But it got me kind of thinking about the progression that has occurred over the years with our kids’ birthdays. I mean, early on, they had no clue what is going on… we were just trying to get them to notice their cake and trying to teach them how to open a present and half the time they might have even been crying at their own party. But then as they got a few years older, they of course started to figure out what’s going on and they couldn’t wait to dive into that cake and they couldn’t wait to tear open their presents.But it’s not just that…there was also this progression of what their party themes were all about & what they do at these parties. I mean it went from like Paw Patrol or My Little Pony to super hero parties & then eventually like, “Can I just have a few friends over & you guys mainly try to stay away?” I mean there’s just this progression that takes place with our kid’s and their birthday parties, right?But really that’s just kind of how life works in general too. There is this progression from kid to teenager to young adult to middle aged adult to senior citizen, it just happens….There’s this progression of our personalities and things like our talents and careers and hopefully our maturity. It’s just kind of the way life works…And we know this of course to be true just kind of in general, but one of the areas of life that I want to point out that this is true in as well is our spiritual life as far as understanding of who Jesus really is.And this morning as we continue our Encounter message series, we are going to look at an encounter that a blind man had with Jesus and what I want you to watch for as we go through this passage is the progression that takes place in this man’s understanding of who Jesus is and how that leads him to eventually respond…John 9:1As 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?” Okay…so we already have a really interesting question come up here in our passage. The disciples assume like a lot of people did in their day that sin & suffering are connected, & so they want to know which one of them sinned and caused this blindness. Now, in a way they are correct. In a very generalized way, all of suffering in the human race was a result of sin entering our world through Adam and Eve, but this is not what they are talking about. They are talking about the suffering of an individual. And there is certainly some truth to this line of thinking too though. I mean, it is possible for a parent to sin while pregnant (such as abusing alcohol or drugs or something of that nature) and as a result a baby is born with several problems that are a result of his or her parent’s sin. But it brings up another question associated and that is, “Could a parent’s sin in another area cause their baby to be born w/defects?” Are sin and suffering intimately connected? The disciples assume this is the way it works and ask Jesus about it…let’s see what Jesus says.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.” Okay, so Jesus doesn’t deny the generalizing connection between sin and suffering, but he insists that neither this man nor his parents sinned and caused his blindness. Jesus says rather that it is so that the works of God might be displayed in his life. Now, formally, this clause in v. 3 could be taken as either a result clause or as a purpose clause. If it is a purpose clause, then it’s “this man was born this way on purpose b/c God was going to show his works through it in some wayIf it is a result clause then it’s “this man was born blind and as a result of being born this way God is going to use even something that originally entered the world through sin for His good.” Here’s the deal: Either way, what we see is that God will use suffering for good. And He does here in this case…vs. 66 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. Incredible! I mean this man encounters Jesus as a blind man, and he walks away able to see! What an encounter…what a miracle!Now, there is some question as to why he did the miracle in this way and if these different things symbolize or mean anything significant, but we don’t really know for sure. What we do know is that it wasn’t the mud, and it wasn’t the water that healed the man. Jesus healed him, and that begins to raise some questions about him as we see next…v.88 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.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” 12 “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said.Okay, so Jesus has really gotten things stirred up among those who knew this guy. I mean they knew he had been blind and now he could see, so obviously they want to know more about how this happened. We all would! … Just out of our curiosity…& also b/c if He can help this guy then maybe he could help us! So they want to know more, but they aren’t getting anywhere w/him…so instead of keeping their attention on him, they turn to the religious experts of their day to investigate it further & to see if they can get to the bottom of it…that’s what Jn tells us next…v. 13 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. Okay, so now Jesus not only has this man’s neighbors stirred up, he’s got the religious leaders of the day stirred up too! They are divided… some think he must be from God b/c, how could someone do this kind of thing if they weren’t? So this groups’ starting point when looking at the evidence here is with the miracle that occurred. But the other group had a different starting point when looking at the evidence…and their starting point was with the breaking of the Sabbath rules.Now here’s the deal with that…one of the 10 commandments that God had given Moses in the Old Covenant that He had with His people was that the Sabbath day was to be a day of rest. Well, the Pharisees over time had taken that and spelled out through what was known as the oral law what all that meant you could do and what you couldn’t do. Well one of the things they had said was that healing was prohibited on the Sabbath except for cases where a life was in danger…and well, this man’s life wasn’t in danger b/c he had been born blind – he’d always been this way. So this is one way that Jesus according to them had broken the Sabbath rules, but also there was another rule that said you can’t make mud from spit b/c that was considered work too, & well, Jesus had done that…so he broke that rule too. And so in their mind, they could not reason that with this evidence that Jesus could be from God b/c someone from God would never break these rules. So they are divided from this other group who said, “Yeah, but someone who isn’t from God couldn’t do this kind of miracle.” So now they turned their attn BACK to the man.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.” Okay, so notice the progression that I said I was wanting you to look for earlier. When this guy was asked about how he was healed by his neighbors, he had FIRST referred to Jesus in v.11 as, “The man they call Jesus…” But here he has progressed after this discussion to calling him a prophet. And in doing so, he is acknowledging that Jesus was someone from God. Now they turn attn to parents…V. 1818 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” 20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” So they had hoped to bring the parents into the situation and find out that this was all a hoax. That he hadn’t really been blind and this was just some hoax that this man was pulling over on everyone. But of course they find out that he had in fact been blind…but the parents don’t want to get involved b/c they know these are powerful influencers in their day and don’t want to get kicked out of the synagogue. So they point them back to their son. V. 2424 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” So now things aren’t really going their way when looking at the evidence and so they start getting a little bit more intense and forceful here now… “We DEMAND that you tell the truth. We know he (Jesus) is a sinner…so acknowledge it so we can move on. In other words, one of the things we are starting to see here is how UNWILLING these religious leaders are to have an OPEN MIND about where the evidence is leading. They have all of this evidence, but they have their firmly held prejudices about who Jesus really is and since the evidence is not lining up in their favor, instead of becoming open to Jesus being someone different than they thought he was, they remain closed off and start getting louder, “We demand that you acknowledge Jesus is a sinner!” But the man healed won’t go there. V. 2525 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” I’m not 100% sure if this was sarcasm or not, but it sure feels like it, right? But here is what I want you to see…b/c we see another step in this man’s progression as to who he understood Jesus to be. To suggest he has disciples means he understands Jesus to be from God and worthy of following and learning from…One deserving of allegiance from others. But boy, this sets the Pharisees off! They are raving mad now. V. 2828 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” So notice the way he acknowledges who Jesus is here now. He specifically calls him out as one “from God.” I mean that is partly what he might have been saying through acknowledging him as a prophet but he has changed his language to being very direct and makes it clear if we weren’t sure what he meant by calling him a prophet, that he believes he is “from God” now. And listen, the other thing worth noting quickly here again is how he says, “Now that is remarkable that you don’t know where He came from.” In other words, the evidence is right in front of your face and you won’t open your minds to where it is leading b/c of your preconceived ideas about who Jesus is. And I say this is worth noting b/c of how many people still miss Jesus for the same reasons today…the evidence is there but people still miss Him b/c of their own preconceived ideas about who Jesus is and it is really sad. V3434 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. 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. Wow, what a progression we’ve seen…• He is a prophet• He’s one worthy of allegiance• He is from God…and now,• He’s Lord…MY Lord actually… He receives Jesus as His Lord and Savior through faith…through belief/trust that Jesus is who He says He is. Not a blind belief/faith as we see here, but b/c that is where the evidence leads to…and what the Pharisees were unwilling to follow…the evidence… But I want you to notice the man’s response after declaring Him to be His Lord. John tells us here that he worshiped him. The word that John uses here in the original Greek is Proskyneo which means to prostrate oneself before or to show submission to. After this man came to see Jesus for who He really was through this encounter with him, it caused him to lay face down on the ground before Jesus and show submission to him…he worshiped. And quite frankly, it is the response that Jesus initiates in all of us when we encounter Him. He is Lord and is worthy of our worship!So the question, I guess I am wanting you to consider is, “How is Jesus leading you to worship him this morning…this week?” Let’s be looking for it b/c it is what He is initiating in all of us. Okay let’s see how this finishes up.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.In other words, what Jesus is saying here is what we have been noticing all throughout this encounter. That if we approach seeking out who Jesus is from a place of blindness (getting rid of our preconceived ideas of who He is) then He will reveal Himself to us…we will see Him for who He really is, but if we come into it claiming to already “see,” that we know exactly who Jesus is based on our preconceived ideas then we’ll never come to see Him for who He really is and will stand guilty before God one day. Which is so sad, b/c Jesus died for all of us so that none of us would have to die in our sin and be separated from God…but a lot of us are unwilling to go there with Him and write Him off as someone very different…or claim there is no evidence to prove this…when there is so much but we are unwilling to have an open mind to it.Okay, so this was a long encounter here and I don’t have much time to really dive into applications for us in detail…although I think we have seen them along the way. But let me quickly point out several things that I think we see in this encounter that may apply to where you are today and what Jesus brought you here to see and respond to today…#1, Salvation is available to you today. Just like this man received Jesus as Lord if you have come to that place of understanding today, the response from you is to accept Him as your Lord and Savior by putting your faith and trust in Him for the forgiveness of your sin and to become a new creation in Christ.#2, Be open to who Jesus really is. If you still aren’t quite sure about Jesus yet, acknowledge that you have preconceived ideas about who Jesus is and put them aside and read the Bible for yourself to see for yourself who He really is. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will do it.#3, God uses suffering. God is not absent from suffering in our lives. No matter whether it was caused by us or someone else or just happened, God enters into it with us and uses it for His good and His glory. Maybe this is where you are at today, and the response He is asking from you is to trust that He wants to use that suffering that you brought on yourself or that someone brought into your life or that just happened for His glory and your good. So be looking for how and what He is doing in your suffering.#4, Jesus can heal. Another reminder that Jesus is a healer. If you need healing, ask Him for it…have faith that He can heal you…and then leave it in His hands and leave the results up to Him. But combine this with #3… also be asking what God is doing through this no matter what His answer to the healing is.#5, Worship Jesus. Again, this man’s response was to worship Jesus after encountering Him as Lord. Ask the question, “How is Jesus leading me to respond to Him in worship this week?” As a matter of fact, let’s give you the chance to do that right now in this moment…This is why we changed the order of service for today…to give you and I the opportunity as we encounter Jesus to fall prostrate before Him this morning, to declare Him Lord and to submit to Him and worship Him with all of our heart…all of our minds…and all of our strength as He leads us and empowers us to do so.Let’s pray and the let’s participate in WORSHIP TOGETHER!