Sermon – Can you see? (John 9:1 – 9:23) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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John 2021

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The Book of John was authored by one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, John, who features in the gospel. John makes his mission for writing the book plain in 20:31; “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He details the many words and claims of Jesus, as well as the various responses from those listening; in either faith, amazement, caution or rejection. Listen as Cornerstone preachers unpack the narrative and invite us to reflect on our own response to Jesus.

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Sermon 32 of 58

Can you see?

Darryl Betts, John 9:1 - 9:23, 24 July 2022

Darryl continues our series in John’s gospel, preaching to us from John 9:1-23. In this passage we see Jesus’ interaction with a man born blind, the reaction of the crowds, the man’s parents and the religious leaders, and what it all means for us today. What does it mean to ‘see’?

John 9:1 - 9:23

9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Chapter 9 verse 1. As he went along, he saw a blind man from birth. His disciples asked him rabbi, who sinned? This man or his parents that he was born blind.

Neither this man nor his parents sin said Jesus. But this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no 1 can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

After saying this, he spat on the ground made some mud with the saliva and put it on the man's eyes. Go, he told him, wash in the pool of siloam. This word means scent. So the man went and washed and came home seeing his neighbors and and those who had formerly seen him begging asked isn't this isn't this the same man who used to sit and beg? Some claimed that he was.

Others said no. He only looks like him, but he himself insisted. I am the man. How then were your eyes open? They asked.

He replied the man they called Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to go to salome and wash. So I went and washed and then I could see. Where is this man they asked him? I don't know he said.

They brought to the pharisees, the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a sabbath. Therefore the pharisees also asked him how he how he had received his sight. He put mud on my eyes, the man replied and I washed and now I see. Some of the pharise he 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. 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.

They still do not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man's parents. Is this your son they asked? Is this the 1 you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see? We know that he is our son, the parents answered.

And we know he was born blind but how he can now see or who opened his eyes We don't know. Ask him. He is of age. He will speak for himself. 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.

That was why his parents said he is of age. Ask him. Let's pray and then Daryl's gonna come. Father God, we thank you again for your word. We thank you that this is the word of the king.

The 1 who is ruling. The 1 who who is sovereign overall. Lord, please help us to listen to this word. Lord, there there are many kings in this world but they will all bow the need to to king Jesus in the end. And so please lord help us bow tonight.

Open our eyes, lord. And help us to listen. Open our eyes We want to see Jesus, amen. And please do leave that passage open in front of you because we are gonna be referring to it quite a bit tonight. I'm gonna start by asking you 1 question.

Can you see Can you see? Yeah. Great. I've always been blessed with reasonably good eyesight. So I'm 43 years old.

I've never really needed a pair of glasses even for reading. But in the last few years, I have noticed that thing that you do where the books are getting, it was it further and further and further away from your eyes. And apparently, that's perfectly normal. Apparently, that's called age related long sightedness, and Eventually, it gets to the point, doesn't it? Where your book is so far away from your eyes in order to focus it that you your arms aren't long enough anymore to do that, and then you have to admit defeat and go to see an optician.

Now Marie used to work for Boots opticians, other opticians are available. And she used to help people to learn how to put their contact lenses And that might be perfectly normal for you if you wear contact lenses, but for me, that's like my worst nightmare. I'm sure Marie could tell you some really good horror stories about her time at boots opticians. But don't tell anyone this, despite all of our experiences there, I've never had an eye test. And that's because I've never needed 1 because I can I wake up in the morning and I can still read?

Don't be like me. Do go to the opticians, do get yourself booked in for anitis. I might do that 1 day. But some people have really bad trauma. Don't they with their eyes?

Some people have had really big operation, not at me if you've ever had something big like laser eye surgery or a cataract removal operation or something like that. Has anyone got laser eye surgery booked in for tomorrow? Good. Then I'll speak freely. If you have ever had something like Well done.

You are brave. You have earned my respect. For me, that is you know, something that would make me quite squeamish would put me off my breakfast. I've got 1 friend who had laser eye surgery. And and she said, she could smell her eye burning as as they had it done.

So sorry to anyone out there who is having laser eye surgery tomorrow. Let's move on. This man was blind from birth. And that's something that's very difficult for us to understand or empathize with unless you have been blind from birth. And yet, it's quite the simple story, isn't it?

It's a story of a man who cannot see, and he has an encounter with Jesus, and then he can see And so it's quite a simple story on 1 hand, but on the other hand, it's more than that, isn't it? It's more than just a story of a man with physical sight. It comes in the context of a whole discussion about what the what the idea of spiritual blindness means. That's what's been going on in the previous few chapters. And I think spiritual blindness is an inability to see Jesus clearly for who he really is.

Jesus really is sent from God the Father, to be the savior of the world. And if you can see that, then that's great. And if you can't see that, that's what we refer to as spiritual blindness. That's the big idea of these couple of chapters. And we've just been looking at chapter 8 last week where there is this big distinction between those who can see clearly who Jesus is and those who cannot see clearly who Jesus is.

Israel are blind to the truth of who Jesus is in the previous chapter. It's 1 of the most intense conversations in the whole bible. So you've got more than just this story of a man who's born blind going on here. You've got the deeper truth that there's spiritual blindness everywhere. Some people can recognize who Jesus really is, some people cannot.

So it's a simple but deep story. Can you see can you see the truth of who Jesus really is. Have a look at verse 1. As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. Now, this man is born physically blind.

But the thing that we have in common with him is that all of us are born spiritually blind. A baby is born into the world, not being able to recognize who Jesus truly really is, that he really is sent from God, the father. That's why we have an amazing Sunday school. That's why we have to teach people that Jesus really is the the Christ, the Messiah, the the sent 1. To be the savior of of the world.

That's something that all of us who believe have to discover at some point in our lives. Last week, we heard from 3 of our young people who were baptized, and they as they gave their testimony, they told us about the times that they came to believe who Jesus really was. They weren't all converted on the same day. It happened to them at different times in their life. And that wasn't something in them that was really great that they suddenly discovered who God was.

It was a work of God. It was a miracle of God. It was the same miracle that we see here with this blind man today. I think it's most clearly seen. In the life of the apostle Paul.

The apostle Paul was a man who was a Phar, He hated Jesus. He used to go around arresting Christians, but Jesus Christ arrested him. He stopped him dead in his tracks, and there was a blinding light that surrounded Paul or saw. And he couldn't see physically for 3 days. He had to be led by the hand into Damascus, And when he got there, a believer was there who prayed for him and something like scales fell from his eyes.

And after that, Paul was able to see again physically, but he'd also changed It wasn't just a physical healing. There was a spiritual blindness healing that happened there as well. He moved. He moved his position from being someone who hated Jesus and could not see how he could be the the Christ, to being someone who loved Jesus and wanted to spend his whole life serving him. And I think the same thing happens with every Christian who is converted.

Last week, Ben, telling us about his magic eye pictures, and we were all enjoying how much Ben was enjoying telling us about his magic eye pictures. But what happens with the magic eye Kai pictures, is you look at it at first, you cannot see it. Something changes, and then you can see what it really is. And it's the same with everyone who becomes a Christian, isn't it? It's the same with the Apostle Paul.

And with all of us, we cannot see who Jesus is, God does this miracle in our lives, opens blind eyes, and then we can see who Jesus is. So keeping all of that in mind, let's get into this story. Firstly, Jesus can make the blind see. Jesus can make the blind see. Have a look at verse too.

His disciples asked him rabbi. Who sinned? This man or his parents. That he was born blind. Neither this man nor his parents sinned, Jesus said.

But this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. The disciples naturally assume that it's somebody's fault. It's got to be somebody's fault that this guy was born blind. It was either his parents fault, something they did, and they're being punished in some way by their son being born blind. Or perhaps it was something that he did.

Maybe he sinned in the womb. Is that even possible? Now, as some of you know, Marie is very heavily pregnant at the moment. There's only 12 days to go. And right now, she's being attacked from the inside by our little kickboxer.

And we've tried talking to him about it. We've tried saying, boy. This is your father speaking. Stop that right now. And he ignores us.

He just carries on punching mommy in the tummy, which technically is breaking the fifth commandment, and which is technically sin in the womb. But nobody ever thinks about it like that, today. They didn't they didn't think it's sin in the womb even if it is. They asked Jesus this question. He says, neither.

It's neither this man's sin nor his parents' sin. Now I'm sure they were sinners. He's not saying they were sinlessly perfect. He's just saying This suffering is not a direct consequence of anyone's sin in in their life. Now why do the disciples naturally assume this?

They're a bit like job's miserable friends, aren't they? They just naturally assume you must have done something. You must have done something to deserve that. Quite cruel actually, but they assume that because sometimes it's true, isn't it? If I take my iPhone and I smash it against the wall in a fit of sinful anger and rage, and then suffer all the following week, the inability to make phone calls or send messages or anything like that, then my suffering is, as a direct result of my angry outburst and sitting, isn't it?

And and so sometimes that is true. But in this case, Jesus says, no. It's not anything like that. It's general. It's not specific.

It's the general fallenness of our broken world. That causes suffering for all of us in lots of different ways. And we need to be quite careful with this, don't we? We need to ask ourself, is it me? Or is it not?

When we try to draw these lines, these connections between our sin and our suffering, it could be, but it might not be. We need to ask ourselves tough questions. Am I doing something? That is causing harm either to myself or to other people. That if I stopped doing it, would stop the harm either to myself or to other people.

And if that's true, then I might stop what I'm doing, but it might not be the case. It might be like it is here. Neither this man nor his parents' sin, said Jesus. But this happened, so that the works of God might be displayed in him. So what are the works of God?

Have a look at verse 4. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no 1 can work. While I'm in the world, I am the light of the world. Now, what does this mean?

Jesus is using lots of words, day and night and light, and work, and scent, and things like that, but he's speaking metaphorically. He's not actually talking about daytime and nighttime. Daytime, I think, is while Jesus is in the world. While he's alive, he's doing signs, he's doing miracles, like this 1 here in this that we're reading about tonight. Nighttime is coming is the cross, where Jesus is gonna die, and he's gonna be taken away from them.

And then he can't do these kinds of works. Now, he's not saying that no 1 is ever gonna do any good works ever again. Clearly, there's gonna be the resurrection. There's gonna be the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the church have been doing loads of great works over the last 2000 years. What he's talking about here is the kind of works the signs, the miracles that he is gonna be doing while he's on his earthly ministry.

And in this case, today's sign, today's miracle is 1 of opening the eyes of the blind. Yes, physically. But what he's doing is he's always opening the eyes of those who are spiritually blind so that they can see who Jesus really is, that he really is sent from God the father to be the Savior of the world. Says in John 6, doesn't it? The work of God is this, to believe in the 1.

He has sent. So he's the light of the world. He's come to shed light on those who live in darkness, those who cannot see. He's come to give sight to the blind. And this story in front of us is a good example of this work.

Have a look at verse 6. After saying this, he spat on the ground. He made some mud with the saliva and put it on the man's eyes. Go. He told him.

Wash in the pool of Siloaham. This word means scent. So the man went and washed and came home, seeing. Now recently, at Wimbledon, a man called Nick Kurgios spat at 1 of the fans. And he was fined 10000 dollars for unsportsmanlike behavior.

And and people were outraged because spitting at someone is disgusting, isn't it? If you wanna show contempt for someone, you spit in their face. And if you've ever seen a baby or a toddler dribbling on your most valuable or important things, then you know how disgusting that can be. But Jesus spit heals blind eyes. He uses his saliva to mate some mud paste, puts it on the man's eyes, and he says to him, go and wash.

In the nineties, we used to have this 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner called wash and go. Do you remember that? Well, Jesus says, go and wash. And that's something we all need to do, isn't it? We all need to wash ourselves clean from our sin.

But Jesus is the only 1 who can do this. He's the only 1 who can wash us clean. And he sends this man to a place called the Paul of Siloam, and then we are deliberately told what that means. This word means sent. And I think that's the key, the interpretive key to unlock the whole of this story.

Jesus is the 1 who's really from God, who's been sent from God. This is about this discussion tonight is about whether he really has been sent from God to open eyes spiritual blindness to solve spiritual blindness and physical blindness or not. Now, this man, He obeys Jesus' word. He actually does what Jesus says. It's a bit strange, but he goes, he washes, and he comes back seeing.

I bet he didn't see that coming. But imagine that he didn't obey. Imagine that he didn't obey. Imagine he did what seems perfectly reasonable that Jesus does this bit in a mud thing, and he goes, get off me. What are you doing?

That's disgusting. I feel violated. I think I've been abused. That's what people would do these days, isn't it? You try to spit in their eyes to help them to see Jesus more clearly, and they call the police on you, or something like that.

That's what people today do. But not this man. This man actually does what Jesus says. Are we like this man? Can you see?

Can you see the truth of who Jesus really is? That he really is the 1 that God the father has sent into the world to be the savior. If you can see that, Jesus Christ has done a miracle in your life, he's opened your blind eyes to see the truth of who he really is. If you cannot see tonight. No amount of laser eye surgery.

No eye trauma correction procedure is going to be able to help you to see that. Only Jesus can open your eyes. We need to go and wash. We need to hear and obey Jesus commands, and we need to ask him to do this miracle in our lives. If we can't see who he really is, We need to ask him to do this miracle that he's done for this man for us.

And if that has happened to you, Praise the Lord. He's done a miracle in your life. Secondly, Can the neighbors see? Can the neighbors see? Sounds like sort of thing.

You might say if you were getting changed behind the curtain, doesn't it? Can the neighbors see? Can the neighbors see? Neighbors. Everybody needs good neighbors.

With a little understanding. That show's been running for 37 years, and it ends this week. The the big final episode is is this week, Neighbors. Why am I telling you Because there's a change of scene here. He washes.

He goes washes. He comes back home seeing. Verse 8, his neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging us, isn't this the same man? He used to sit and beg. And they're confused because it looks like him.

Really looks like him. There's something different about him. Oh, yeah. He's not blind anymore. And he's not sitting.

And he's not begging. And they're like, it really, really looks like that guy. He used to be blind. He used to sit. He used to bed.

Can it be him and they're divided? Aren't they? In their opinion about what they think about him, says in verse 9. Some claimed but he was. Others said, nah.

Only looks like him. But he himself insisted, I am the man. And so some of them are convinced, and some of them are not convinced. And so those who aren't convinced, they're desperately scratching around looking for a natural explanation to work out what might have happened here, thinking, does he have a twin brother? But if he has a twin brother, why have we never met his twin brother before?

And where's the blind man gone? Who used to sit there and beg? And why has no 1 ever seen them in the same room together at the same time? And they're wrestling with this difficult problem just the same as you would if something impossible had happened in front of your own eyes, and to their credit, they begin a really careful investigation, trying to work out what has just happened here. Has he been healed?

But some is that even a thing? And then they think, I know. Let's ask him. And he says, yes. I am the man and you'd love to think that that would be enough, but it's not.

Is it? Because first 10, they go, well, how then? How then were your eyes opened they ask? And to the credit, they are asking the right questions, aren't they? They're wrestling with it.

They're trying to weigh up all of the evidence that they're seeing, they're not just gonna take it on blind faith. First 11, he replied, the man they call Jesus. Made some mud, and he put it on my eyes. He told me to go to siloam and wash so I went and I washed, and then I could see. Now throughout this chapter, the man's understanding of who Jesus is, is growing.

Here he calls him the man they call Jesus. But as as you go through the chapter, he's growing and growing and growing in his realization of what has happened to him and who Jesus really is. First 12, they said, where is this man? We wanna talk to him. And he goes, I I don't know.

He said, of course, he doesn't know. He was blind when Jesus did this to him and then he went away. He doesn't know where Jesus is. But the neighbors, they wanna check They wanna find Jesus. There's another person out there who can corroborate this story.

What happened? They're desperate to know. Are we like that We like the neighbors. These are great journalistic investigative questions. We like them.

Have we carefully investigated the big idea. Is Jesus really the 1 who is sent from God to be the savior of the world. And they're not the only ones who are confused, Thirdly, can the leaders see? Can the Pharisees see? Now, the neighbors take the man to the Pharisees.

Why do they take him to the Pharisees? It's not because he's in trouble It's because they genuinely wanna know how to make sense of what has happened to the guy. Now, the pharisees that experts in the law are the spiritual interpreters of the day. So when something crazy like this happens, you go to them and they can think about it. They can read the scriptures, and they can give you their interpretation of how you should understand it.

And that's what the neighbors desperately want. They wanna know what's going on. First 13, they brought to the pharisees, the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a sabbath. Therefore, the pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight.

He put mud on my eyes. The man replied, I washed, and now I see. To their credit, this is a good start. The pharisees are asking the guy questions. They wanna what's all this about?

Tell us what's happened. And it's not long though. They start thinking about it, but they end up just like the neighbors. Divided and confused. Have a look at verse 16.

Some of the pharisees said, this man's not from God. He doesn't keep the sabbath. But others asked, how can a sinner perform such signs so they were divided? And we know all about division, don't we amongst our leaders? We've had a great week of seeing division amongst our politicians in the race to become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom, and now we're down to the last 2.

It's getting exciting. We've got Rishi Sunak and Liz Trust. Both here. It's not just in the conservative party, where we see division, is it? We see division in the Bank of England, where every couple of months, the people get together to ask themselves this question Shall we raise the interest rates on Daryl's mortgage, if it meant another hundred pounds to find every month.

And they vote for it, don't they? There's 9 of them. They vote for it 6 of them vote for, 3 of them vote against them, so it goes through and we will have to spend more money. You see it again recently in the US Supreme Court. There's 9 judges they're voting on with overturned the abortion law, and they vote to overturn the abortion law 5 to 4.

There's division amongst the leaders. Here, that's exactly what you've got. You've got division amongst the leaders. Some of them are saying, this man's not from God. Why?

Because he doesn't keep the seventh. That is the way they interpret Sabbath keeping being the experts in the law, and they think Jesus has not kept it. Now remember their pharisees they're gonna go the extra mile to not break any sabbath laws. Not even look like they're breaking some sabbath laws. But they think that Jesus has done something, maybe it's the healing, which they consider a work on the Sabbath.

Maybe it's the making of mud that they consider to be work on the Sabbath, or maybe they're just disgusted that he's spat in the guy's eyes. Like, that he did what that's gross. He can't be from God. Whatever it is, some of the pharisees arrive at the conclusion that this man cannot be from God because he doesn't Sabbath. But not all of them, they're divided.

Some of them are not sure. And their thing king, well, had you explained the man standing right in front of us thing? We've got to do something with that. We've got a guy here who says he was born blind, Now he's not blind, and he says it was Jesus. How can a sinner perform such signs?

If he's a sabbath breaker, Then he's a law breaker, then he's a sinner. How can a sinner perform such signs? So they turn again. To the blind man. And they say, what have you to say about him?

It was your eyes he opened, and the man replies, he's a prophet. Notice the way the man is growing in his faith and his understanding of who Jesus is. He's gone from being the man they call Jesus to the prophet. And this is a great hypothesis, by the way. He's reading his bible.

He's thinking, the old testament, you had Moses and you had Elijah, and they were doing these great miracles, and a great miracle has just happened here. So Jesus, he's like Moses, and Elijah. He's like he's like 1 of the prophets. It's a brilliant hypothesis. It fits all the data.

You'd think the pharisees would be impressed. But they're not. It's a problem, isn't there? The problem with that is that would mean that Jesus really is sent from God. And they don't like that.

I would love to tell you that the Faracies were impartial in their careful investigation about who Jesus is, and this man, who is in front of them, testifying to them. But they're not, are they? They're biased. They've got plenty of previous against Jesus. And if the next the next slide is a quote from chapter 5, where Jesus does a very similar miracle on the Sabbath.

Let me read to you from chapter 5 verse 16. So Because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In this defense, Jesus said to them, my father is always at his work to this very day, and I too and working. For this reason, they tried all the more to kill him. Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God, his own father making himself equal with God.

Notice they tried to persecute him, they tried to kill him. This interview just became a courtroom, and they're not gonna give Jesus. A fair trial. The judges are biased. They cannot see how it's possible that Jesus is the Christ the Messiah, the 1 who is really sent from God the father to be the savior of the world.

The context of this case, is a case of blindness. But look at the spiritual work that's happening here. The man who was blunt is growing in his faith. He's gradually seeing more and more clearly who Jesus is as he wrestles with the same questions that everyone else is wrestling with. But the pharisees are hard hearted.

They cannot see these things. And isn't our world just as divided? You have Christians who through the eyes of faith do see who Jesus really is, but the world is full of unbelievers. Who cannot see how it is possible that Jesus Christ really is the 1 sent from God to save the world. And if that's you tonight, you can ask Jesus to do this miracle for you in your life, and you must.

For that's the only way to see this. If you'll like the leaders, to the extent that you cannot see how it's possible that Jesus has come from God. Can we at least agree with 1 another? Not to be like these leaders in the sense that they've already prejudged the outcome of the trial. Can we agree with 1 another that let's investigate this carefully?

Let's give Jesus a fair trial, fourthly, Can the parents see? Can the parents see verse 18? They, that is the leaders, Still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man's parents This's your son, they asked. Is this the 1 you say was born blind? Has it that he can now see then?

I was a secondary school teacher for 5 years before I came to work for insight, and Most days, praise the lord ended peacefully. But you knew it was a bad day when you had to phone the parents. When you had to call the parents, It's even worse if it's the head teacher who has to call the parents. And parents don't like to be called in to the head teacher's office, Because it's embarrassing. You feel like you're the 1 who's being told off is something that your kid might have done, but it could be worse.

It could be the police calling you in. So this your son, we caught him dot dot dot. Nobody wants to be called into a courtroom to give evidence about something that their son has done or said. But as far as the pharisees are concerned, they've gotta check this out. Just as you've got a man standing for you, says he was born blind and he's been healed and it was Jesus, doesn't necessarily mean that it's true, does it?

And so is he lying? We need to know whether or not he's lying. Get the parents in here. Let's cross check what he's saying, see if anyone can back it up. The use of the word until here in verse 18 is probably the best use of the word until in the history of the world.

The leaders don't believe that he'd been blind and had received his sight until they checked with the parents. Presumably then once he was confirmed, they did believe that the guy had been born blind, but they still don't like it. Do they? Verse 20, the parents say, We know he is our son. We know that he was born blind, but how he can see now or who opened his eyes, we don't know.

Ask him. He's of age, he'll speak for himself. Parents give 4 answers to the Faracy's 3 questions. And, again, to be fair to the pharisees, it's reasonably good investigation. But you get the feeling, don't you?

That they were hoping the details wouldn't match. And if the details don't match, then we can just throw this case out on a technicality, and we don't even have to answer it. Oh, no. It was just It was that the statements didn't match. But it does match.

Doesn't it? The details match. He was blind. He was born blind. We've checked.

He can see. It was Jesus. At the moment, it's looking really good for the best explanation to this. He's that Jesus really is the 1 that God sent into the world to be the Savior of the world. It's an amazing sign It's an amazing notable miracle, and it's just been verified that the details match by the parents.

But the Pharisees don't like it. Of course, they don't like it. Jesus doesn't match any of their expectations about what the Christ messiah is gonna be like. They've got false assumptions about the Sabbath, about what it means to break the Sabbath law. But are they humble enough to reassess their expectations and challenge their assumptions?

No. They've already decided the outcome of the trial And that makes it a sham trial, doesn't it? Last couple of verses, verse 22, his parents said this, because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Who'd already decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah were be. Put out of the synagogue.

That was why his parents said. He's of age. Ask him. The pharisees have already decided. They've already made up their minds.

Now here's the challenge. Have you done that? If you have, let's let's be honest that we have done that. Let's give Jesus a fair trial. Let's reassess the evidence before us, the testimony of the witnesses that's before us in a fair way.

Now they say that if you acknowledge Jesus is the Messiah that you get put out of the synagogue. And the man hasn't done that yet. He could do. And if he does, then he'll be put out the synagogue. Now his parents don't want that.

And so they put some distance between what he is saying and what they are saying. And it's easy for us to judge them and think that was weak, that was faithless of them. But let's just imagine that it's you for a second. Imagine it's you standing before a council of church elders. And they have told you in no uncertain terms that if you don't stop believing a certain thing or teaching a certain thing, that it's contrary to what they believe or teach, that they will kick you out of the church.

It would be embarrassing. It would be humiliating. You would lose loads friends. Nobody wants to be kicked out of their church, do they? And so now we've walked a mile in their shoes.

Let's go back to the story. Why did they say this? We're told. They were afraid. They had a choice to make.

Who are they gonna fear more? Jesus, the 1 who is powerful enough to open the eyes of their son's blindness, or the pharisees, they're religious leaders, and they choose what is clearly the wrong thing. They choose to fear their leaders. The right thing to do would probably have been to say, praise the lord, our son has received his sight. He was born blind.

Do you know who's born blind, but he's received his sight. Let's find Jesus. Let's thank Jesus. Jesus thank you for restoring. For giving our son his sight and please tell us more about you so that we can trust you like our son is beginning to trust you, but they don't.

They remain silent, because they don't wanna be kicked out of the synagogue. Now, like I say, it's easy for us to judge them, but we're honest, most of us have a fear of man problem too. I know I do. It just affects us all in different ways, doesn't it? Books are written about this kind of thing.

I think 1 of the best ways to see our fear of man problem is probably in our lack of personal evangelism in speaking about Jesus at work, we don't want any trouble at work. We don't want people to think that we're weird or that we're strange. It's not necessarily that we're embarrassed about, Jesus, but we might be embarrassed about our church or some of our friends. We might not wanna bring people here just in case they think we're a bit strange or a bit weird. And yet, at the same time we know, don't we?

That if you sat us down to do a Christianity doctrine exam and question 1 was, what's more important? Your work colleague's eternal spiritual journey or what they think about you. Then we probably all tick the eternal spiritual, whatever, wouldn't we? But we when we see it like that, we we feel how hard it is for us, to do something like that. And it was hard for these parents to do something like that as well.

But in this story, we can see clearly that it's not right. That they fear their leaders more than Jesus. And if we're honest, we know it's not right that we fear what people think of us more than Jesus. They have a choice to fear God or to fear man. So do we?

Can the parents see? Can they see Jesus clearly? Not that clearly. Can we see can we see Jesus clearly? This morning, because Pete was taking us through revelation.

We were seeing into heaven itself to see Jesus sat on the throne with the 24 elders surrounding him, bowing down with all of creation singing worthy, worthy worthy is the lamb. Can we see who Jesus really is clearly? If we think Jesus is just the guy before us, then we're not gonna fear him more than the big scary council of elders. But when we see that heavenly sight in revelation, we can see, can't we? The it's right to fear him more than man.

Let's bring all of this together. Can you see the truth? That Jesus really is the 1 who is sent from God the father to be the Savior of the world. Who are you most like in this story? You like the neighbors who are a bit confused.

Some of you are convinced. Some of you are not. Some of you are divided. Are you genuinely seeking the answer though? Do you want to know how this thing happened and what it means?

Are you like the neighbors? Or are you like the leaders, the pharisees? Have you investigated carefully? Have you listened to the testimony of the witnesses? Are you biased?

In your thinking about Jesus? Have you given him a fair trial? Are you like the parents? Do you fear man more than fear God? Or he like the blind man?

Can you see? If you can see Jesus's foot, who he really is, the sent 1 from God, then a miracle has been performed by Jesus Christ in your life, praise the Lord. If you can't see that tonight, but you're interested and you want to know more about Jesus. Isn't it amazing that this is a story about a man who could not see, and Jesus has the power to make the blind see. Let me pray for us now that we would all see Jesus more clearly.

Let's pray. Lord, Jesus, you are the only 1 who can open the eyes of the blind. Help us to see you more clearly. Help us to believe that you really are the Christ. The 1 who is sent from God the father.

To be the savior of the world. And help us not to put our trust in men, but in you, amen.

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