Blind Sight

Gospel of John #25: An exposition of John 9:1-42. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, May 29, 2011.

Blind since birth, he spent his days begging for alms in the marketplace or wherever a crowd might gather.  His days were spent in darkness and discouragement.  He had never known the beauty of a flower, the brilliance of a sunset or the tenderness of a smile.  Life was hard, hopeless and bitter.  But one day everything changed in an instant.  From darkness to light.  From despair to joy.  From hopelessness to optimism.  It happened all because of grace.  His story is found in the 9th chapter of John’s Gospel.

Text: John 9:1-42

Jesus has been teaching and preaching in Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths.  He had boldly declared himself the “water of life” and the “light of the world.”  He has confronted the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.  In chapter 8 he warned of the devastating consequences of unbelief.  As a result of His words many “believed.”  He then confronted those who believed with what it meant to truly believe.  His sermon caused them to pick up stones to kill Him!  That brings us to chapter 9 where we witness our Lord’s love and compassion for the disenfranchised and the calloused, hardened unbelief of the religious establishment.

Storm clouds continue to gather that will erupt at Calvary.

Ever since that day in Capernaum when Jesus healed that cripple man and declared his sins had been forgiven the religious crowd in Jerusalem have despised Him.  They have conspired, planned and orchestrated His destruction.  It has all be for nothing up to this point because His time had not yet come.  But that is about to change as our Lord has sent His face as a flint and begun his march to the cross.

The Context:
The Feast of Tabernacle (September or October) (chapter 8) is over and the Feast of Dedication (November or December) (chapter 10) is about to begin.  We are not given a time reference for this particular encounter but it is sometime between these two events and serves to further establish the contrast between Jesus and the establishment.

As we work our way through this chapter the message becomes clear…

Thesis: Our God sovereignly, graciously gives light and life to those trapped in darkness while assigning the “enlightened” to eternal darkness.

In this passage the blind see and the seeing are blind.

I want you to notice three things from this text.

  1. An act of sovereign, overwhelming grace.  (9:1-12)
  2. A demonstration of defiant, stubborn blindness.  (9:13-34)
  3. A simple, sobering truth.  (9:35-41)
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