A man goes door-to-door selling vacuums and knocks on his first door. A big unkempt woman answers the door but before she can say anything he slips past her into the house. He immediately throws dog poop on the floor. She yells at him, “What are you doing?!”
He tells her, “If this vacuum doesn’t clean this up I’ll eat whatever’s left.”
She smiles and replies, “I’ll grab you a fork. I haven’t paid the electric bill in months.”
Today we are going to look at another miracle that Jesus performed. Again we will turn to John’s gospel.
Today’s text is found in John 9:1-38. I’m going to read the entire account because it’s so great and I also want you to get all the context. We will spend most of our time in the first 7 verses.
What is the origin of suffering?
Disciples ask Jesus a theological question dealing with the origin of suffering.
Who sinned? This man or his parents?
The implication is that the man must have sinned before he was born in order to be born with the terrible affliction of blindness.
The other possibility is that his parents or grandparents or great grandparents sinned greatly and the punishment is being passed on to the child who was born blind. That comes from Exodus 34:7b “He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”
Jews had a very simple understanding of suffering – it was all caused by sin. Everyone who suffers does so because of their sinful ways. They saw suffering is a direct result of sin.
As He always does, Jesus turned their understanding upside down.
Jesus saw this as a Ministry Opportunity
Jesus explained that it was neither the man or the parents who sinned, but his blindness was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Here is the sermon in a sentence.
The purpose of this miracle is to show the power of God in order to inspire this man to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Not only that, but it also inspired faith in others who witnessed it and heard about it.
The disciples were looking at it all wrong.
They were looking for a cause for suffering.
Jesus showed them an opportunity to observe the mercy and grace of God in action. God used a terrible circumstance to show His goodness and grace.
Urgency of the Work
Then Jesus talked to them about the urgency of the work that needs to be done for the kingdom of God.
He tells them, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” v.4
Then Jesus refers back to His original I am statement from John 8:12 “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
Two things are happening here.
Jesus is contrasting light and darkness.
He is the light, and light dispels the darkness.
I John is the best place in the Bible that talks about this.
Let’s look at a few verses
I John 1:5 “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
I John 2:9-10 “The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.”
Jesus is the Light of the world.
He shows it through this loving, compassionate act of healing this man who was born blind.
There is no darkness where the Light is.
He is urging the disciples to do the work God is calling them to do. It’s urgent work. That’s why He mentions that they must do it while it is still light.
Jesus knows He won’t be with His disciples forever, He understands that God has called him to go to the cross to redeem mankind. He wants them to begin the work so they can keep it up once He is gone to be with the Father.
Now, are y’all ready for the miracle?
This is one of the few times Jesus actually physically touches someone to perform a miracle.
There are a couple examples recorded in Mark where Jesus puts His hands on people and heals them.
One he spits on his eyes and laying His hands on him, healed him from his blindness. Another, He put His fingers in his ears, spits and then touches the man’s tongue so he could hear and speak.
Here we see Jesus spit in the dirt and make some clay and put it on his eye. Then He tells him to go wash in the pool at Siloam.
I want to make a point about the faith that was required of this blind man. He had been blind since birth. He has never seen anything. No mention is made of anyone going with him to the pool to wash, just that he was to go. Remember, he had a mud pie on his eye and he was blind. Sources say that it was a considerable distance from where they were to the pool he was told to go wash in.
We are going to talk more later about the faith of the man who was healed.
First, let’s discuss the meaning of the name Siloam.
My Bible says that in Hebrew it means sent.
Physically, water was sent through a channel from the spring at Gihon to the pool called Siloam.
Now, we know that Jesus was also sent from the Father into the world to do His works.
He does nothing on His own initiative, but only what the Father tells Him to do.
He can do only what He sees the Father doing.
The one who was sent is now sending this blind man to the pool to be healed.
He sent him with the power of God to be healed of his blindness.
Verse 7 says, he came back seeing.
Imagine how different the walk back from the pool was.
Have you ever seen one of those videos of people who can’t hear and they hear for the first time? It’s incredible.
I’m sure that’s how this man who was born blind felt as he saw for the first time.
Imagine the joy he experienced as he saw trees, water, animals, his family and friends! How incredible that must have been.
I want to make sure to return to something I mentioned earlier about the faith of the man born blind.
We see a sort of progression of his faith.
The man who is called Jesus
Notice in v. 11 he answered the neighbors question about who healed him by saying “the man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’”
Later on when questioned by the Pharisee, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?”
He said “He is a prophet”
Lord, I believe
Finally, after Jesus found him, He asked him what he thought about the Son of Man.
He said Lord, I believe. And worshiped Him.
His faith grew over time.
He experienced Jesus in a real way
It’s the same way with us.
Think about it this way.
When we are first saved we may tell people this man Jesus saved me from my sin.
But then as time goes by, we begin to surrender to His will for our life and allow Him to be the Lord of our life.
And the closer we draw to Him, the closer He draws to us and we truly know what it means to have a relationship with the savior of the world. We truly believe in Him and know Him.
As Paul writes to the Colossian church, “having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:7
Jesus told the man to go and wash in the pool at Siloam.
He sent him out and he returned with faith
Most of you in this room have already made the decision to follow Christ and received forgiveness of sin. So this is not about us going out to find salvation for ourselves.
Jesus in His last words recorded in Matthew’s gospel gives us our mission as believers.
He tells the disciples to go and make disciples. Tell them about Me! Share the good news with others.
Our application for this morning is two words:
God has sent us out.
He sent out His disciples 2 by 2
He sent out the 70 by twos
And he’s sending us into the world to spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We don’t all have to sign up to go overseas as missionaries, but we can support the ones who have done that through prayer and through giving.
We can go on short term mission trips to anywhere God is moving. If you want more information about what trips are available, please see me after the service.
You can be on mission right where God has placed you.
Your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers need to hear you talk about the one who saved you!
Will you live sent? Will you share your faith with someone this week?