We're going to read now before we sing again. We're gonna read the second half of this fantastic story in John chapter 9. And then after that, the band are gonna come up. We'll sing 2 more songs and then Garrett's gonna come up and preach preach to us. So we're gonna pick the story up.
John 9. Verse 24 through to the end of the chapter. 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. He replied, whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know.
1 thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see. Then they asked him, what did he do to you? How did he open your eyes? He answered I have told you already and you did not listen.
Why do you wanna hear it again? Do you wanna become his disciples too? Then they hurled insults at him and said, you are this fellow's disciple. We are disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from.
The man answered, now that is remarkable. You don't know where he comes from yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody's ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind, If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.
To this they replied, you were steeped in sin at birth. How dare you lecture us? And they threw him out. Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. And when he found him, he said, do you believe in the son of man?
Who is he, sir? The man asked. Tell me so that I may believe in him. Jesus said you have now seen him. In fact, he used the 1 speaking with you.
Then the man said, Lord, I believe, and he worshipped him. Jesus said for judgment I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind. Some pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, what? Are we blind to? Jesus said if you were blind, You would not be guilty of sin, but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
Good evening. My name is Karen Davis. To be honest, anything with a g with confidence will do, being welsh and living in Wales, living England, now you're fairly used to anything that comes your way. I was called garage the other week in a in a confident way, though, so -- Yeah. -- it's fine.
We're we're I'm really really excited to be opening up God's word to us, but we need God's help. So let's pray as we start now. Heavenly father, we We do praise you. We we thank you father that we have a a reason to come and to gather on a on a Sunday evening. Heavenly father, we praise you that that that reason is is exactly what we've just sung.
The fact that it it was finished upon the cross. Having father, we we praise you, we thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ. And holy spirit, would you would you be with us now as a as a family? You be with me as I as I open up God's word? Help us all to to come with hearts that are ready and wanting and expecting to hear from the living God, and pray father that that we would all leave this place looking at the lord Jesus Christ, amazed by him.
So father God, we pray these things for your glory. Omen. Excellent. So this passage, the passage that Daryl began opening up last week to us, It's about a man who was born blind. And I don't don't know about you, but sight It's something that I've thought about a lot this week given given the fact that this man has been born blind.
And it's an amazing thing, sight, It it really is an amazing thing and I think you probably appreciate it. The more it starts to deteriorate. The more that that it might be going, the more you think, oh, it's such an amazing thing. I remember my my brother came back from routine checkup at the eye doctor. And it came back and he had to have glasses.
He got his glasses. He turned around to me, he said, it's like living in HD. It's it's amazing. And it is of sight is an amazing thing, but this man here in this passage was was born blind. And some of us, some of us know know people who who are blind, some of us know people who who may have serious conditions with their eyes.
And my my dad, Dave, lives in South Wales. He's he's an amazing man. I I love him to bits, but he's recently been told that his eyes will deteriorate and deteriorate and deteriorate until eventually he he does become blind. It's likely to be in a 10, maybe 15 years or so. But that that's his diagnosis.
That it'll come upon with with Dave. It's blind. Dave upon hearing this news came into the lounge, sat on the couch with a carrot to which my mom said it's a bit late. It's a bit late for that. But but that's that's that's the case for Dave.
He's he realizes how useful his sight is, how to gift from God, now that he's he's starting to to lose it. So I want I want to do a little exercise. Before we really really delve into this, I want to consider what your life would be like if if you were blind, but not only if you were blind, if this whole world were blind. What would life be like? Because like I said, we do take our sight for granted because we have it.
So I'm gonna talk you through just imagining what life would be like being blind and just to the point waking up and making your breakfast. So if if you want, close your eyes, feel free, don't fall asleep. But alarm goes off You wake up. You know where it is. You know it's positioned in your room.
You turn around, you think. Hit hit the alarm. But you're at the same time, you're careful not to knock over the the glass of water or perhaps the bottle because you know, a glass water is perhaps too dangerous. And you sit at the side of your bed And if you can another day, I've I've got to grab my best friend. Gotta lean to my side, and grab my cane.
And you lean over to your bedside table, you grab your cane and you stand up and you lean forward with your cane in front of you, just tapping gently. And you're listening. You're listening as you as you walk your way towards the kitchen towards your your promised bowl of rice krispies, And you're and you're knocking for the door in the hope that you've left it open again, and you haven't shut it. And you walk walk through the door, and you find yourself in the kitchen. It's a smaller kitchen.
You're used to its environment. You you pop the cane to 1 side, You grab a you grab a bowl from the cupboards, grab the cereal. And with 1 hand on the bowl, and 1 hand on the cereal, you begin to pour. Begin to pour the cereal into the bowl. You have to use both hands for this so you know where to pour the cereal.
And once the the cereal is poured, put the cereal down. And still, with 1 hand on the bowl, you put your other hand on top of the the rice cray just to make sure you haven't overfilled it. It's the only way to know it's the only way to know that when the milk's poured in, it's not gonna overflow. So so then with confidence now, you go to the fridge and you open up the fridge, you grab the the milk bottle, take off the lid, once again, Hand on the bowl, milk bottle in 1 hand, pouring in milk, happy days, got your rice crispy. But can you see there the level of thought, the level of of slow, considered thought, that goes with waking up and making a bowl of cereal.
That's what life would be like if if we were blind. And this man here, in this passage, was born blind. He was a man of considered slow actions, routines, used to certain places used to certain routines, used to certain people, and used to, his best friend being his cane. That's the that's the man that we've got in our passage today. It is this man that last week with Daryl, we were told about the law how the lord Jesus Christ saw him spat on the ground, anointed the man's eyes, and then instructed him, go and wash, and come back in.
A man who'd been blind from birth, did not know what sight was. A man who'd been blind from birth. Listen to Jesus. He went and he washed and he came back seeing blindness was over. As he's splashing water into his eyes, in the pool at sent.
You see, this is amazing. You're seeing light for the first time. You're seeing his hand for the first time. It's an amazing amazing miracle. So what does he do?
Naturally, he he runs back. He runs back to the the scene of the miracle probably wanting to to find the person who'd anointed his eyes, wanting to find the person who told him to go and wash and to come back seeing. And upon seeing this, the townspeople, his neighbors are pretty confused, which is fair enough. You know, if someone's blind, then then they say they can see, it's fair enough that you're gonna ask questions of them. And then we see 3 sets of last week we saw 3 interviews.
Firstly, the neighbors ask him some questions, and then the pharisees they they sort of interrogate him a a little more. And after that, the the pharisees begin to interrogate his parents just to ensure that this man truly was born blind, that this man is what he said, he was. So so with that, today we're going to look at 2 conversations. The first conversation is the blind man and the pharisees. So look with me at verse 24 in your bibles.
A second time, they summoned him. They summoned the man who had been blind give glory to God by telling the truth, they said. We know that this man is a sinner. So that's what they say. They say to him, give glory to God.
We know that this Jesus this Jesus that you're saying that has saved you, that has that's opened your eyes, he's a sinner. Give glory to God. Tell us the truth how did it happen. How can you now see? It wasn't Jesus.
He's a sinner. Can't have been him. How did it happen? So the man's response for his 25. Whether he's a sinner or not, I I don't know.
1 thing that I do know, I was blind, but now I see So in other words, but it really says, I I don't know What about you know? But I do know what I know. I know that earlier on this day, I could not see. And now, After having my eyes ignited, after going and washing, I've come back seeing. That's all I know.
Hans up. I can't add any more to that. And that that's what that's what the man explains to them. And the pharisees, they don't like it. And in verse 26, if you look with me at verse 26, They asked him, what did he do to you?
How did he open your eyes? They are once again asking the exact same questions that they asked in verse 15. Asking the exact same questions, the exact same line of questioning to to this man. Now, I wonder why they're doing that. I don't know if anyone here is a is a fan of the or was a fan of the bill.
But you'd you'd get the you'd get in the bill every now and again. You'd get a man who's committed a crime or a woman. Oh, she? Who's committed a crime and you get the man into the room and it'd be that room, you know, the the double sided glass, whatever it is, a table in the room, tape recorder, it's always turned off, and then a chair and a chair You have the detective on 1 side, and you'd have the the suspect on the other side, and the detective would say, where were you on the night of the incident? I was so and so.
Okay. What were you wearing on the night at the end? Don't know why that's got to do with it, but I was wearing so and so. And the detective leaves the room, and the next scene comes back in, sits down. Same question.
Where were you on the night of the incident? Same answer. Okay. What were you wearing on the night? Same answer.
And detective leaves the room, comes back. Do you want a cigarette? Now, okay. Where were you on the night of the incident? What were you wearing?
It's the same same question, same line of questioning. We use it in teach I'm a primary school teacher. We use it in teaching as well, not not the cigarette. But we use the the the same thinking in in in primary school. When when there's been an incident on the playground, Harry comes in crying in the medical room.
So and so has bullied me. So and so has been really horrible to me. Okay. Can you can you explain to me what's happened, Harry? They they wouldn't let me play their game.
Okay. Okay. Well, then you get the other 2 in, you have a little chat with them. And often, What teachers do? They go, I'm just gonna leave it.
I'm gonna ask Harry again in the morning. I'll ask him, you know, what's what's happened? So you get hat morning, Harry? Can you can you just remind me, you know, why were you so upset after lunchtime yesterday? Oh, well, I was upset at lunchtime yesterday because Timmy and James were playing it, but I they wouldn't play my game.
They wouldn't play my game at all, and it was it was really quite mean of them. I wanted to play my game and they wouldn't play my game. So you can see with that then, the the teachers got to it. They they've they've tried to corroborate the story and Harry's story has has contradicted itself. And with that, that's that's that's maybe what the pharisees are doing here.
They keep asking. They keep asking. They keep asking the same line of questions. Because they're hoping perhaps to have an easy explanation. They're hoping that this man's story isn't true, that Jesus isn't the reason that this man was able to see.
That maybe that's what they're doing. But in verse 27, the man knowing what has happened because it's happened to him He answered. I've told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear us again? Do you want to come his become his disciples too?
So notice the slow progression of who this man thinks Jesus is. At the beginning, in verse 11, or actually even before that, At the very beginning of the story, in verse 1, this man may have had no idea who Jesus was. He wouldn't have even been able to see him as he's walking by. And then in verse 11, he calls him the man. So he knows he's a man.
He knows Jesus is a man. Verse 17, He claims that Jesus is the prophet. He is a prophet. And here now in verse 27, He recognizes that Jesus is the type of man that has disciples. So he's a prophet that has disciples.
He's gone from not knowing who Jesus is at all to knowing he's a man, to knowing he's a prophet, to knowing he's a prophet with disciples. You can see that with this man who's gone, who's washed, and who's come back seeing, is now slowly seeing the mud, the spiritual mud fall from his eyes. And he's slowly being able to see Jesus for who he truly is. The man has have has forced his accusers to play their hand. He's told them what what he thinks, and the accuses without anything else to do, what to do when you're absolutely stuck in an argument and and you've got no way else of winning, you you throw insults.
You just start to say that your mother dresses you poorly. And and your your hair is awful. And was that cut in lockdown? Yes, it was. And that that's exactly what they do.
Look at verse 28 and 29. Then they hurled insults at him. And said, you are this fellow's disciple. We are disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, We don't even know where he comes from.
You've got the contrast there. This this man who had been blind is getting to a point slowly, with the mud slowly falling off his eyes, spiritually, get into a point where you can say, this is man who has disciples who is a prophet. Contrasts that with what the pharisees are saying, this fellow over there. Is a sinner. That is what the pharisees claim him to be.
The man is saying in verse 30 then, that it's actually more of a miracle that they don't believe him than that he's got his eyesight back. He's saying that the fact that he's got his eyesight back in verse 30 is 1 thing. But the fact that they knew that he was blind, they've gone and asked his parents to corroborate the story, they're absolutely convinced that he had been blind and still don't believe This blind man, this man who had been blind, they're saying that's more of a miracle. That's more astounding than the fact that he can now see. The man goes on further pointing out in verse 31.
We know that God does not listen to sinners. Carrie on reading with me and look at look at the man's argument up to verse 33. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.
If this man were not from God, he could do nothing. Now, I feel the pharisees pain here. I feel the virus is pain here because what they've got is this man who's been blind from birth, who's in nobody in society, who is a beggar. He's not named in this story. They've got this man teaching them.
They're the teachers of the they're the theologians of the day. They are the Steve and Fry, the Richard They're the ones who know everything. I I I know what that's like. I'm a primary school teacher who's taught the lesson incorrectly, and I've got an 8 year old telling me that's not right. That says, addition, not subtraction.
No, it doesn't Oh, gosh. It's it's a horrible feeling. You just wanna you just wanna say, yeah, that was that was deliberate. How do I wangle my way out of that? But here, the the pharisees, they've they hate the fact They hate it that this man is now teaching them.
Faracies are furious. How dare you lecture us Don't you realize that we've gone to school for this? Don't you understand that we have the historical background of Judaism on our side? And you're some beggar? Gonna teach us?
You want some beggar gonna teach us? No. The beggar the blind man knows more than they do. Now a a someone who is saved who has been saved for moments knows more than Stephen Fry. Someone who has been saved and who has died instantly, the thief on the cross knows more than Richard Dorkings because they have known the Lord Jesus Christ.
It's it's it's an astonishing truth It's an astonishing truth. And this man here, this blind man, is in that same category, that he knows more truth more truth than half of the teachers in our in our world today. The challenge though of this truth gets under the skin of the pharisees And and now I say this, but I I I want you to know that I too am very, very challenged by this. I'm not saying this on any any pedestal here, I promise you, that we we shouldn't be surprised when our friends and neighbors want to throw us out, shouldn't be. But frankly, we should get thrown out a lot more.
Now, I don't. I never get canceled. I never get told you can't say that in in a in a teacher's meeting. I I teach in a in a CVV school. I wish I had I wish I was more represented by the boldness of this man, this blind beggar, than I am currently represented by the fear of his parents who say, Oh, we don't we don't know.
Go and ask him. I wish in the face of of questions I wasn't someone who said, I I don't know about that. I'm not so sure about that. Maybe you ask someone else about that. I wish I had the courage of of my convictions.
And I I pray that I I would and I pray that we would. So how dare you lecture us? They say, to the man and they throw him out. This man stands as a sign, doesn't he? He stands as a sign as what it means to be spiritually blind.
We we started the evening by thinking what it would look like if if the world were blind. Well, the world is blind. You know? That that doesn't mean to say, you know, you can shout at the referee in the England game today. Your blind breath or you can be excused for screaming at someone on the way home in in the car.
But the world is blind. The world is born, blind spiritually, not knowing who Jesus is. Some of us have had a similar encounter Like this man with the Lord Jesus Christ, some of us have known the glory of going to the pool and washing and coming back seeing. Now this pool, let's remember, this pool is called scent. John wants us to notice that he if if he were writing it on a computer here today, he put it in bold, he'd underline it, he'd put flashing red lights, he'd put animation on it.
He wants you to notice that this pull is called scent, because he puts right next to it, the translation. Right next to it, he wants you to notice it. Why does he want you to notice it? Because Jesus Christ is the sent 1. The sent 1 from the father.
So those of us who have known the scales falling from our eyes, as we see clearer and clearer who the Lord Jesus is, we've gone to the pool of scent. Jesus's pool we've been washed by the blood of the lamb, and we've come back seeing. But some of us today, though are are still spiritually blind. Some of us don't know who the lord Jesus is. Please know that there is no spiritual braille, there's no spiritual cane, There is no spiritual help outside of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And the only way for you to have your your mud removed, and for you to be able to see clearly is for you to go, to the pool, to wash in the blood of the lamb, and to come back seeing. And those of us those of us who do see, don't forget that we live in a world where people are blind. Now imagine we lived in a world where where people were physically blind. You'd have pity on them. You'd you'd walk past the the beggar in the street and and you'd think you'd have a bit of pity for him.
But we live in a world where everybody is born, spiritually blind. Don't walk past your friends, your neighbors, share your stories with them. Share how you were blind, how you had mud put on your eyes, how you went to the pool, you washed, and you you knew who the Lord Jesus Christ was. And don't go in the spirit of fear that that characterizes his parents, but go in the spirit of boldness Be willing, be ready, and desire to explain exactly how the scales fell off your eyes. And desire to be the 1 to take your blind friends or family member or colleague to the pool, show them the pool, show them how good it is.
Hold their hand as they walk towards the pool hold their hand by showing them John's gospel, hold their hand by by opening up God's word with them, hold their hand by asking questions of them about what they believe. Hold their hand by praying for them. Pray for your loved ones who are blind who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and hold their hand and take them to the pool and show them how good it is to wash yourselves in the in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, The the last thing that I want to look at today is is the is the the moment in the story where the the tension just lifts. And the reason that the tension lifts is because Jesus enters the scene.
And Jesus enters the scene in in verse 35. Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. And when he found him, he said, do you believe in the son of man? So the first part there, Jesus heard that they had thrown him out. So he's been thrown out.
He's gone He's washed, he's come back seeing, he's been interviewed, he's been interrogated, he's been thrown out and Jesus goes to find him. He's in need of a a a he's he's a sheep without a shepherd, and Jesus goes and he is the shepherd. He goes towards him. He goes to find him. And then what does he what does Jesus say?
Jesus says to the man, do you believe in the son of man? Do you believe in the son of man? Now, I want to point out 2 things about this question. And it's the question that I want to leave with you today. Do you believe in the son of man?
It's a it's a specific question, and it's an unavoidable question. It's a specific question because it it it doesn't ask, do you believe? Doesn't ask, do you believe? It doesn't ask, do you have faith? Faith in what?
Do you believe in the son of man? It's a specific question. Do you believe in the son of man? And what he's saying by saying son of man, he's not claiming to be a son of man. Do you believe in the son of man?
The son of man who has come down from heaven. His origin being divine, being unique coming from God, the sent 1. But he's also the son of man, who has calmed down and is connected with humanity. He doesn't speak to us from afar. Don't don't have this idea in your heads that that Jesus is is up here Jesus is amongst us.
Jesus was a man. Jesus when when Jesus lived, when he walked When he'd when he'd have a day with with his disciples walking around in ministering, he would ache He'd be he'd be sweating. His armpits would need washing. His fingernails would need washing. He he would have gotten dirty.
He would have gotten tired. Jesus was a man. Jesus knew sorrow. He knew what it felt to to to weep at the loss of his friend. Jesus knew that.
Jesus is the son of man. He knows sorrow and disappointment and pain. And first, And indeed in in Isaiah 53, he's depicted as being a man of sorrows and we see it. 1 who is acquainted with grief. It is for that reason that men and women who themselves are acquainted with grief who understand sorrow will find Jesus to be a wonderful person to seek out.
He's there. He's ready and he's willing. In fact, Jesus is the initiative taker. He's the 1 reaching out to people in their lostness. People in their sorrow.
Look at this man here. He's been thrown out by the pharisees. Verse 35. Jesus should that he had thrown him out. It wasn't the man seeking Jesus.
It wasn't you seeking Jesus. Jesus sought you when a stranger. Is is is Jesus Christ who seeks you? And the second thing I want to want to say about this question, Do you believe in the son of man? A specific question.
The second thing, it is an unavoidable question. An unavoidable question, a specific 1, and an unavoidable 1. Do you believe in the son of man? Now, The answer to that question, can either be yes or no? It can't be maybe.
Maybe I believe in the son of man. Maybe he's a no. Can't be I don't know. I don't really know. I haven't really thought about it enough yet.
That's a no. You don't believe in the son of man. It can't be Let me do a little bit more thinking about it. Let me live my life for 10 more years, and then and then I'll give you a definite yes or no. Can't be that.
It's an unavoidable question that needs a yes or no. If it's a maybe if it's I don't know, it's a no. If it's a yes, scream yes. And the reason that I say it is an unavoidable question is this. That although you may go through life, all of your life seeking to avoid the impact of this question, you will When God calls you before him, you will have to give an answer to this question.
Do you believe in the son of man? Bible says it is appointed and to and to man once to die. And after this, judgment. And the basis of this judgment is simply and essentially, have you believed in the son of man? Have you cast all your hope for forgiveness on him?
Have you been to the pool? Have you washed Have you come back seeing who the Lord Jesus Christ is? He say, hey, it's a wonderful conversation that that spurgeon has with with someone that he claims has questionable faith. Someone who would probably fall into the category of saying, yes, I'm a Christian, but, well, I don't really know if he's the son of man. And someone asks a man or Spigean asks a man, and and do you believe?
My person says, yes, I believe. Well, what is it that you believe? I believe what the church believes. What does the church believe? Church believes what I believe.
What's the so together, what do you and the church believe? We believe the same thing. Brilliant. But do you believe in the son of man? Don't come to church out of religion.
Don't come to church out of having friends here come to church. Because of the Lord Jesus Christ. Come and wash and go back seeing because Jesus is the son of man. So do you believe? Do you believe in the son of man?
Jesus is inviting the man to trust in the 1 who is the revelation of God. And in verse 36, it would appear that the man is quite eager to believe. Growing sense of confidence in the identity of Jesus by this man. So this man has has begun by saying, Jesus is a man. Not knowing who he was.
He's a man. He's a prophet. A prophet with disciples. Lord, I believe. You are the son of man.
That is what he believes. Now, the person in my life who I who I know sees the most sees the clearest, that's of everyone that I've met. Is my father Dave, the carrot eater. Dave sees so clearly And I will be able to say that in 5 years time. In 10 years time, in 15 years time, probably not 20 years' time.
Come on, Dave. But I will be able to say that because Dave sees the Lord Jesus Christ Dave is a man who has been, who has washed and who has come back seeing so clearly that Jesus Christ is the son of man. And that is my prayer for all of us today that we would see who the lord Jesus is, all the more. So do you believe in the son of man. Have you been to the pool?
Have you been, have you washed? Have you come back like this man, seeing, telling others. Others who are blind in this world of spiritual blindness. Do you believe in the son of man? Let's pray.
Have any father, we we praise you for this this story in your word. We praise you for this man's this man's testimony, his boldness in proclaiming who you are, and we thank you for for how you used him. And we pray father that as as many of us here today will will perhaps be grappling with that question of do you believe in the son of man? I pray father that all of us would take that seriously. And we would look we would look to the cross of the lord Jesus Christ, and we would be able to give an answer to that question.
Do you believe in the son of man? So heavenly father, we we pray these things for your glory, amen.