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Got Any Blind Spots? - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
September 24, 2023 6:00 am

Got Any Blind Spots? - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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September 24, 2023 6:00 am

When you drive, you encounter "blind spots"—it could be part of your own car or it could be a tree that hides traffic on the other side. Those blind spots hinder both progress and ultimately, safety. When Jesus healed a blind man in Jerusalem, the same man was also healed of his spiritual blindness. But others who thought their spiritual perception was keen were as blind as a bat! As we consider this story, can you think of any blind spots in your spiritual journey?

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You'll never see until you take that step of faith in the Savior. And what happens is you go, oh, now I get it.

Now I understand. I bet everyone here who's come to Christ has had that experience. You believe and then you see.

Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. We all know that blind spots are dangerous when driving a car, but they are just as dangerous, if not more so in our lives as well. Now, you may be a bit confused about that. What exactly is a blind spot in life? Well, that's what we're going to find out today with Skip Heitzig. We'll learn not only what those blind spots in life might be, but also how they can be dangerous and hinder us in our relationship with God and with others.

Now, before we get to that, though, here's what we have for you this month at connectwithskip.com. Skip Heitzig has some straight talk about hell. The lake of fire is name of a place of eternal torment. You might call it the final hell.

The Bible calls it the second death. So hell is an actual place. There's a second fact I want you to notice, and that is hell is an intentional place. This is critical information about the future of those who reject salvation through Jesus.

But that does not need to be the destiny of any man or woman on earth. That's why we've assembled a special resource called the eternity package to give you confidence in your eternal home and an urgency to share Christ with those who don't believe. God created hell for a very specific reason. Verse 41, He will say to those on the left hand, depart from me, you cursed into the everlasting fire. Here it is, prepared for the devil and his angels.

God did not create hell as a place to punish people. The eternity package comes with seven of Pastor Skip's most powerful messages about eternity, covering topics like the truth about hell, what most people don't know about heaven, the second coming of Christ, and much more. You'll also receive his booklet, Hell, No, Don't Go, about the glory of heaven and the torment of hell. This powerful new resource is our thanks for your gift of $50 or more to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig. So get your copy of the eternity package on CD or as a digital download today when you give a gift of $50 or more.

Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. We're going to start today in verse 35 of John chapter nine. So turn there in your Bibles and we'll join Skip Heitzig as he explains why it's so necessary to be able to see where you're going. It almost goes without saying that you can't navigate or go anywhere unless you can see where you're going. Sight is imperative to navigation. The problem with going somewhere is being able to see all the things you need to see and not have any blind spots. According to the United States Department of Transportation, every single year 413,000 auto accidents result from problems with blind spots.

People not being able to see the whole picture. 413,000 accidents. 160,000 people every year are either injured or killed because they didn't see what was around the blind spot. Some of you have had experiences with that.

I know I have. I'll never forget going at a normal freeway speed on the freeway. I always look before I change lanes because I was told that that's one of the big causes of accidents is people who don't do that. So I always look and I always refer to my rear view mirrors. But this time when I looked, I didn't see the car that was right there because of the part of my automobile that obscured it. I didn't see it until I was pulling into the lane and I narrowly missed it by about an inch or two. It could have been a horrible accident. By God's grace, it wasn't.

You know that some people can live their whole life. The most obvious thing is right under their nose, but they don't see the whole picture. We're dealing with that in the text. In John 9, there's something very obvious that has happened. A blind man can now see. Everybody in the neighborhood can figure that out. But there's this group of hard-hearted Pharisees, these religious leaders.

The evidence is there. They can see physically. They're blind as a bat spiritually. They refuse to believe the man has been healed.

They refuse to understand the spiritual implications of that mighty miracle. On the other hand, there's the man who is blind. Not only can he see physically, but in our paragraph, we'll notice Jesus will be able to make him see spiritually because here he comes to faith in Jesus Christ.

We begin in chapter 9, verse 35, and we'll finish the chapter down to verse 41. I want you to think though for a moment what it was like for this blind man blind since birth, never able to see anything, what it was like for him to suddenly, instantly, and totally have vision. For the first time, he could see the faces of all of the people he had known only by voice. He saw his parents. He had heard their voices growing up his whole life. He heard the voices of people walking by him as he begged on the streets. Now he can see them. He can see the winding streets of Jerusalem and the throngs of people who have gathered together at the great festival and are now leaving because the feast is over.

And the best part, he is going to come face to face and be able to see with his own two eyes the face of Christ. Some of you have heard the name Frances Jane Crosby. She was known as Fanny Crosby. She was known as Fanny Crosby years ago. She was blind at six weeks of age. What's notable about her for Christians is she wrote over 8,000 Christian hymns.

She's the most prolific songwriter I think ever. Blinded at six weeks of age, never was she bitter about her blindness. At an unguarded moment, one of her friends said to her, Miss Crosby, it's a terrible shame that you're blind. God has given you so many wonderful gifts. If only he would have given you the gift of sight. Miss Crosby leaned into her and said, I want to tell you something.

I want you to listen to me very carefully. If I had but one petition to ask of God in life, it would be that I would be born blind. Because it means when I get to heaven, the first face that will ever gladden my sight will be that of my savior. Imagine this man, one of the first sights he sees after being interrogated by those Pharisees, is to see Jesus Christ face to face. This is the last paragraph of the chapter. And this last paragraph shows the journey, the steps of the journey from darkness to light. Jesus removes all the blind spots. But it's not just a journey of a man being able to see physically, but being able to see, as I said, spiritually.

And this provides a wonderful little biography, if you will. Four stages to everyone's spiritual biography. These are the stages anyone and everyone who comes to Christ will take as they leave spiritual darkness and walk into the light. Have you heard the old adage, seeing is believing? That's a saying that simply means you can't trust anything that you haven't personally experienced. Now that might be true generally in many cases, but do you know that that's not true spiritually?

In fact, just the opposite is true spiritually. You see, spiritually, believing is seeing. You'll never see until you take that step of faith in the savior. You'll never see until you take that step of faith in the savior. And what happens is you go, oh, now I get it.

Now I understand. And I bet everyone here who's come to Christ has had that experience. You believe, and then you see.

And that's what is going to happen here. As we look at these four stages, the first is the most humbling reality, the most humbling reality. And that is that God is the one who finds us. God is the one who looks for us. Let's read from verse 35 on down, and then we'll go back over verse by verse. Jesus heard that they cast him out. And when he found him, he said to him, do you believe in the son of God? He answered and said to him, who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him? Jesus said to him, you both seen him, and it is he who is talking with you.

And then he said, I believe, and he worshiped him. And Jesus said, for judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind. And some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these words and said to him, are we blind also? And Jesus said to them, if you were blind, you would have no sin, but now you say we see, therefore your sin remains. It says the man has been cast out.

That's the previous verse, verse 34. He was kicked out of the synagogue. And we discovered that everyone's big fear in those days was to be kicked out of the synagogue.

If you were here for last week's study, we talked a little bit about that. Because to be kicked out of the synagogue wasn't just to be kicked out of religious life, and it wasn't like, well, I'm kicked out of this synagogue, so I'll go to the other synagogue. You are out of Jewish life altogether, spiritually and socially. And that was the parents of this blind man's great fear.

But this blind man's now healed, this blind man's worst fear has become a reality. He's kicked out, and it notes that. Jesus heard that they had cast him out. To help your understanding, there were three levels of being excommunicated from the synagogue.

Level number one was called Netziphah in Hebrew, Netziphah. And that was when you said something bad about one of the rulers or one of the prominent figures in Judaism. You would be kicked out of the synagogue, told to go to your house for one week, sort of the adult equivalent of being sent to your room. For one week, you'd live in your house, you couldn't go to work, and nobody could visit you.

You were ostracized for a week, you had to think about what you did. That's level one. Level number two is called the Nidui. And at level number two, you have now done something so bad that publicly in the synagogue, three different times, you would be publicly reprimanded.

And for seven to 30 days, you would be sent home or ostracized from the community. The third level was the worst. It was called the harem level.

At that level, it was indefinite. For life, you were cast away. No one could help you.

No one could work for you. You were virtually an outcast from Judaism. Now, I'll just say this. Here's a man that is cast out presumably given the third of those three levels. You're out of here.

We want nothing to do with you, which would now ostracize him not only from the Jewish community, but from his parents. And can I just say, what a privilege to be kicked out of some places. Whether it's a synagogue or a church that doesn't really believe in Christ, and you really believe in Christ, and for that reason, you get ostracized, sign me up.

That's an honor. Martin Luther was excommunicated in 1521 from his church because he believed in the Bible. John Calvin excommunicated from his church because he believed in the Bible. I wasn't quite to that extreme, but I sort of share their experience. When I became a Christian and I went back to one of the churches in my diocese, I'll never forget the evening was over.

We were sharing with young people about a personal relationship with Christ and carrying my Bible and how to be saved. And I was told by the leader as he closed the door, leave and never come back. This man was cast out. He was excommunicated.

Here's the best part. Verse 35, Jesus heard that they cast him out. And when he had found him, found him, Jesus found him. Now you know the story. As soon as our Lord healed this blind man, he disappears from the narrative.

And if you remember last week's message, that entire long narrative, there were no red words in it. It was all the blind man, the parents, the Pharisees, and the neighbors having a conversation. Now Jesus hears about it, and now Jesus goes to search for him.

And I just want you to note that that's Jesus style. Kicked out of the temple, now the Lord of the temple finds him. Rejected by man's religions, now the Son of God from heaven finds him and accepts him. There's a great story I've always loved about Alexander McLaren. He's also one of my favorite preachers along side of Charles Spurgeon.

This is a century ago. He was a Scottish expositor. Early on in his ministry experience, he was candidating for a church position as their pastor. He was unprepared. It didn't go very well, and he failed the interview. Well, he walks home very, very downcast. He said it was the lowest day in his life.

He goes to the telegraph office and sends a message to his dad with one word on the message. Rejected. Rejected.

His father immediately telegraphed him back with these words. Rejected on earth, accepted in heaven. You might feel really bad that you're rejected, but son, you're not rejected. God has a plan for your life. This man cast out of the synagogue, and Jesus finds him.

You know why? Because Jesus made a promise. Whoever comes to me, I will by no means cast out. They might cast you out, but I will never cast you out. Now, this is a beautiful picture of the searching heart of Christ.

You remember what he said? He said the Son of Man has come to seek and to save those who are lost. Here we find him seeking that he might save. Just as he took the initiative in noticing the blind man, Jesus now takes the initiative in finding the man who was once blind and helping him see spiritually. That's his style.

Even if it's one person, that's his style. I've always loved the parable. You've loved it too, where Jesus told the story of the man who had 100 sheep, and he left the 99 for the sake of one wandering sheep. What do you care about one wandering sheep? You got 99 left.

Be happy with that. No, there's a lost sheep. I've got to find him. I'm going to go look for him. I wonder if Jesus hasn't been looking for some of you for a long time, and if you're wondering, why are all the things happening in my life, maybe he's just trying to get your attention.

He loves you so much, he wants to bring you home, bring you to him. This is the searching, seeking Christ. When Jesus found him, I meet people all the time who said, I found God.

Life is really great lately. I found God. I always say, well, that's wonderful, but I think what you meant to say is, God found you. See, God isn't lost. Oh, I found God. You were lost. God was there all along. He got a hold of your life. This man was found by him. So that's the most humbling reality. God searches for us.

Now look at the most important priority. Verse 35, notice the very first words out of Jesus' mouth are a question. He said to him, do you believe in the Son of God? He answered and said, who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him? Jesus said, you've both seen him, and it is he who is talking with you. Now, there is a construction in the original language, in the Greek language, with the use of the personal pronoun, you.

And the way it's constructed, it would be better translated this way. You, do you believe in the Son of God? To arrest his attention and focus his need and emphasize his spiritual need.

You, do you believe in the Son of God? Why would he ask that? Of all the things Jesus could say to him, why ask that? Why didn't he say, hey, congratulations, you're healed. I'm so happy for you. How does it feel to see?

Or I'm so sorry you've been kicked out of the synagogue. The first thing he says to him, you, do you believe in the Son of God? You know why he asked that question? Because that's the most important question in life. You believe in the Son of God. Because that's the most important question in life.

That's down to brass tacks. That's the irreducible minimum. That's the highest priority. Do you believe in the Son of God? Understand that the healing of this blind man was only to get to the saving of this blind man. Jesus wasn't just a roving hospital walking around Israel going, I think I'm going to heal three people today. You, you look like a good guy to heal, I'll heal you.

It was never that way. He wasn't some kind of a clinic walking around Israel. He was very specifically targeting individuals that he would choose so that he might be glorified and that others might believe in him. So the healing was to get to the saving. I've told you before, it bears repeating, your faith is much more valuable than your health. I don't think that comes across any clearer than in this verse in Matthew 18, Jesus is speaking. He said, it is better for you to enter into life maimed or lame rather than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into everlasting fire.

It doesn't get any clearer than that. Your faith in Christ is the most important thing. That's why the book was written. That's why we've called the series Believe 879.

There's 879 verses. The big theme of the book is belief. And when John closes the book, he basically says, look, Jesus did so many miracles and signs and I didn't write about all of them, but the ones I wrote about were so that you might believe that Jesus is the son of God and that by believing you might have life in his name.

That's the purpose of the book, not to give you a Bible as literature course but to promote faith. And so he asks him simple question, you, do you believe in the son of God? Look at his answer. Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?

Is this guy ready or what? I mean, that reply reveals his willingness to believe. He's like a little ball of faith waiting for a wall to stick on to show me what to believe and where to believe. Who is he, Lord, that I might believe?

You got to understand something. This guy's primed. He's ready. I don't know if you've ever met somebody who is just ready to be saved.

Every now and then it's a beautiful exception to that rule and I find somebody who is. But he's been waiting for Messiah his whole life. He and all of those in Jerusalem have been waiting for the coming of the son of God, their Messiah.

And so it's like, well, just point him out. I'm convinced this guy would have, if Jesus would have said that guy, he would have gone to that guy or if he said that guy, he would have gone to that guy. He was ready to believe. Who is he, Lord, that I might believe? The greatest priority for you in your life, the very highest priority you could ever have, is that you believe in Jesus Christ.

If you know only one verse in the Bible, it's John 3 16, and it tells you that same message. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. Understand, the word believe doesn't mean to acknowledge with your brain, yes, I acknowledge God exists. I believe in God, always have, always will.

That's wonderful. But how does it show in your life? Because the idea of believe in the original means to commit to, rely on, adhere to, rely on, adhere to, lay all your weight upon, put all your eggs in that basket. Have you done that with Christ? Do you believe in him? And as we've said all along in this series, the whole point of the Gospel of John and indeed of Jesus' ministry was to get people to believe in him, to save them from an eternity in hell, and that's still what he's all about. We need to share what we know of Jesus so that others might also believe in him. And if you're someone who's been on the fence about that but have also been stirred by something in today's message, we'd like to talk with you some more about what it means to believe in Jesus and accept him as Savior. Just give us a call at 1-800-922-1888.

We'll tell you all about it. And remember, if you'd like a copy of today's teaching, you can find it at connectwithskip.com, or you can call us and order one on CD for just four dollars plus shipping. We'll continue through our series Believe 879 with more from the Gospel of John next time, so I hope you can join us right here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast your burdens on his word, make a connection, a connection, a connection. Connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-26 21:21:24 / 2023-10-26 21:30:30 / 9

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