Now I Can See Series
Contributed by William Baeta on Mar 17, 2023 (message contributor)
Summary: “They called the man who had been blind and said to him, ‘Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.’ He answered, ‘whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see’”. (John 9:24-25)
The theme for today’s sermon is “Now I can see”. Man is “fearfully and wonderfully made”. (Psalm 139:14) Man is a spirit being, he possesses a soul and lives in a body. The body relates to its physical surroundings through the five senses which include the sense of hearing and the sense of sight while the spirit relates to the spiritual realm through spiritual senses. In the beginning the spiritual senses and the physical senses were in harmony till Adam disobeyed God and sin entered the world. Once man’s spirit became separated from God, his spiritual senses, which included hearing and seeing, died and his physical senses, without his spiritual senses, became corrupted. It is this corruption that entertains the sinful life and we can all identify with it although we prefer to relate it to other people. We can all learn from the experience of a man who was born to a godly mother. She died when he was only a child and he was brought up by his sea captain father and taken to sea when he was just eleven. He grew up and earned a reputation for drinking, debauchery and foul language. He was involved in every sin imaginable and ended up trading in slaves. One day during a storm, when everything appeared hopeless, he desperately called out to God for forgiveness and deliverance. God answered his prayer and he emerged from that ship a completely changed person. He later became the chaplain of the English parliament. His name was John Newton and in gratitude to God wrote the song with the words ‘Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.’
Step One: Healing physical blindness
a) Jesus is the healer
The blind beggar in today’s gospel reading was born blind. He had never seen anything in his life. He had never seen his parents or seen his surroundings. When Jesus approached him, he could not see him but could clearly hear Him. “All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”. Jesus, was the only one who could heal and restore his sight.
a) Restoring the sight of the beggar
Jesus mixed his saliva with clay and anointed his eyes and then told him to go and wash at the pool of Siloam. When he obeyed and washed the mud from his face, he had eyes that could see for the very first time in his life.
The restoration of the beggar’s sight began when Jesus came to him, applied clay mixed with His saliva to his eyes and sent him to wash off the mud at the pool of Siloam. His witness set off a chain of reactions that would eventually lead to the restoration of spiritual sight. We all need physical and spiritual sight to walk according to the truth of God’s Word. When God sent Samuel to anoint a new king to replace Saul, all that he was told was that God had chosen a son of Jesse to replace Saul. He needed physical sight to bring him to his destination and more importantly spiritual sight to reveal how to discern who the Lord had chosen and how to carry out his mission without endangering his life. Relying on his physical sight he looked at the physical appearance of Jesse’s sons and hoped to out the Lord’s chosen new king. He could only discover the Lord’s choice through revelation since God looks at the heart and not at outward appearances.
We need physical sight but we also need spiritual sight. We are often led to believe that physical sight is all that we need and that we can be effective in our life without spiritual sight.
Step Two: The response to his healing
a) The neighbours doubted he was the same person
Jesus Christ used the witness of the beggar and the response to his healing to increase his faith. When asked how he was healed he replied that a man named Jesus had healed him. But those who had known him were so used to seeing him as a beggar that they doubted whether he was the same person. But the beggar knew he was the same man.
b) The Pharisees rejected Jesus as the healer
The people sought an explanation from their religious leaders, the Pharisees. They, however, rejected the testimony of his parents and also rejected Jesus as the healer. They did not believe He was God but an imposter who did not observe their Sabbath rules. They were more concerned about Jesus breaking the Sabbath rules that they had instituted than about the healing of the blind beggar.