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Got Any Blind Spots? - Part B

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October 1, 2023 6:00 am

Got Any Blind Spots? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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October 1, 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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Skip Heitzig

Spiritual sight only comes to those who claim, I can't see. I want to see, but I can't open my eyes. I confess my blindness.

I confess my need. Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. Horses wear blinders to help them stay focused on what's ahead and to keep them from being easily startled, which is a good thing.

However, blinders can also prevent us from seeing what's necessary, and that's when they go from being a help to staying focused to becoming dangerous blind spots. Well, today in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, Skip Heitzig helps us avoid having blind spots in our lives, especially when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. We resume today in John chapter 9.

So as you find that spot, let's join Skip Heitzig. 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. Just 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 had 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, lay all your weight upon, put all your eggs in that basket. Have you done that with Christ?

Do you believe in Him? See, it's one thing to acknowledge the greatness of a parachute. It's still another thing to strap that baby on your back and jump out of a plane. There's a wonderful parachute. I've always believed and known that this is a great parachute.

Really? Is it that good? Will you entrust your life to it?

Will you jump out of the plane and completely trust in the greatness of that parachute? Charles Haddon Spurgeon said something that I never knew he said till this week when I was reading. Of course, this was a century ago, and Spurgeon said, 98% of all the people I have ever met, even those prisoners that I visit in jail, will tell me that they believe that the Bible is true. Of course, now that's 100 years ago in England.

Things have changed. He said, 98% of the people I meet tell me that they believe the Bible is true. And yet, said Spurgeon, they have never made a personal life-changing commitment to the Savior. Which led him to this conclusion. For them, believe is not an active verb.

It's a passive verb. Spurgeon comments, and he says, I would recommend you either believe in God up to the hilt, or else don't believe him at all. Believe this book of God, every letter of it, or reject it, for there is no logical standing place in between the two. Be satisfied with nothing less than a faith that swims in the deeps of divine revelation, not a faith that paddles about the edge of the water, for that is a poor faith, at best, and not good for much. His message is clear. Either believe it all, and believe by really believing, or don't do anything, don't believe anything.

Make it real, or not. That's the most important priority. And so we asked him the question, do you believe in the Son of God? Take you now to verse 38 for the third stage, and that is the most obvious certainty, the proof that he indeed believes after he makes the statement. Verse 38, then he said, Lord, I believe. Notice that, without any hesitation.

Not, well, let me think about this. He's not going to say that, because his eyes have been opened by this guy. He's been kicked out of the synagogue.

There's talk about him. He says, Lord, I believe. Without any hesitation, he affirms his faith, and this is where it all begins. This is where his journey of faith begins here. And now notice the next part of that verse. Now he acts like a believer. He said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him. Now that little phrase gives us insight into how far, how quickly this man's faith has progressed.

I want you to notice something. Go back to verse 11 for a moment. Verse 11, here's the man talking. The Pharisees are questioning him. What happened to you? Verse 11, he answered and said, A man called Jesus, made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.

So I went and washed and received my sight. In that verse, what was Jesus to this guy? A man. Just a guy.

Just a man. But as they keep talking about it, and as he further processes it, look at verse 17. They, those are the Pharisees, said to the blind man, What do you say about him?

Because he opened your eyes. He said, He's a prophet. So he goes from just a man to being a prophet. And now Jesus says, Do you believe in the Son of God? Show me that guy, he says, and I'll believe in him. Jesus said, I'm the guy, and he said, I believe.

So it goes from you're a man to you're a prophet to you're the Son of God. And he worshiped him. He worshiped him. That's the natural progression of saving faith. You're called by God. You believe in him. You worship him. That's your lifestyle. And a worshiper of God is a believer in Christ.

But I want you to notice something even more particular than that. You see the word worshiped? Worshipped. It's a word in the Greek language that John uses in his book a few times, but it's very narrow in its meaning. There's a lot of different words the Bible uses for worship. This word is the Greek word proskuneo, proskuneo. It was used in John chapter 4 when Jesus meets that gal from Samaria.

You know the story. And Jesus says to her, Woman, the day is coming, and now is, when men will neither worship in this mountain nor in Jerusalem, but they will worship proskuneo, the Father in spirit and in truth. For God is seeking such to proskuneo, worship him. It's a word John reserves for the worship exclusively of God. Fast forward, John chapter 12. It's now Passover.

People from all over the world are swarming into Jerusalem, including Greeks. And it says they came to the feast to worship God, proskuneo, worship God. John now wants you to know that this man who believes in Jesus worshiped Jesus in that narrow sense. First he was a man, then he was a prophet, then he was the Son of God. Now he worships him as the God who made him see. It's a very, very powerful transition. And imagine the sheer delight for this guy. First of all, he was blind.

Now everything's really colorful. I can see things. Not only that, I'm face to face with the one my people and I have longed for for generations.

This is the guy. This is God in human flesh, the Son of God. And the appropriate response is to worship. I'm drawing your attention to this because this is, as I began with, the natural progression of anyone making a spiritual journey. First you were blind. You couldn't see. You were blind to spiritual truth. You were sinners and you didn't even know that you had this blind condition. You're just sort of moping around your life and life is good. You're blinded. You don't even know your condition.

You can't see. Then one day Jesus opens your eyes and reveals himself to you and reveals your need to yourself. Your eyes are opened and you believe.

And then that leads to the third. You enter into a life of purposeful worship. The idea of abandoning yourself to Jesus to Jesus Christ. That's how we all start and that's how we all progress.

But there's a problem. The problem with many of us Christians over time is that our faith begins to sort of wear old to some of us. We believe. We come to church. We sing the songs. We buy the Bible.

We go to the small groups. But the passion, the passion, the thankfulness of being saved sort of gets lost in the mix of time. To put it in Jesus' own words to the church at Revelation, he said, you have left your first love.

You don't love me like you did at first. At one time we were just so thankful. I'm thankful I'm saved. I'm thankful I'm not going to hell. I'm thankful I left the darkness. I'm in the light.

This is awesome. But then we leave that and as time wears on, some of us stop thanking him for what he did for us and our posture is, what are you going to do for me now? And then he blesses you now.

What else are you going to do for me now? The focus all becomes about us. It's all about us. A. W. Tozer, always a powerful writer, said, are we losing our O?

Now I'll say it the way it was meant to be said. Are we losing our O? That response you have when you come to God. Oh, are we losing our O?

He asks. When the heart on its knees moves into the awesome presence of God and hears with fear and wonder things not lawful to utter, the mind falls flat and words previously its faithful servants become weak and totally incapable of telling what the heart hears and sees. In that awesome moment, the worshiper can only cry O. It's a good question.

Have you lost your O? And it's far more than crying O. It's living obediently to him.

Because here's the way it works. Believing in Jesus is proof that he called you and found you. Worshipping Jesus is proof that you believe. Obeying Jesus, conforming to Jesus, proves that you've truly been worshipping him.

It's all part and parcel of the same progress. He calls you. You believe in him. You worship him. And the fourth stage is you find yourself confronted with a whole group of people who claim that they see and know everything who are blind as a bat and you're trying to get them to see as much as you have seen.

And that takes us here to the fourth. That is the most obvious mystery. That is the blind see and the seeing can't. Look at verse 39. Jesus said, this is very sobering, for judgment I have come into this world. That those who do not see may see. That those who see may be made blind. Now the leaders who are sort of tagging along Jesus at this point, when they hear this, it's a little ambiguous the way it's worded, but they kind of pick up on it. They figure it out. They figure out, he must be talking about us.

He must be meaning not physically but spiritually. I've come to open blind eyes, but people who think they can see make them see their blindness. And so they pick up on it and they say, are we blind also? Verse 40, some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these words and said, are we blind also?

Now if I'd have been there, I'd have said, yes. Jesus says so much, but much more craftily and deftly than I could ever do. He says to them, if you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say we see, therefore your sin remains.

Now I'm going to add a couple words to that to help round out the meaning. If you admitted that you were blind, if you confess your own blindness, it would prove that you're not living in sin. You're not in that condition. But because you claim that you can see just fine, it proves that you're remaining in it. Your sin remains.

He's saying two things. Number one, spiritual sight only comes to those who claim, I can't see. I want to see, but I can't. Open my eyes. I confess my blindness.

I confess my need. He says, number two, blindness is the condition of those who arrogantly claim they can see just fine without Christ. I can see just fine.

I know just everything I need to know. Jesus said, really? You won't admit that you're blind, therefore your sin remains. Now you probably already know, but the Bible's filled with filled with this metaphor of light and darkness.

We've seen it already in John, but it's all over the Bible. That blindness in the Bible is either the unwillingness or the inability to understand, grasp spiritual truth. So in Isaiah 48, God says his people claim that they can see, but they're really blind. That's why Jesus says, you are blind guides to these leaders. You are blind leaders of the blind and both fall into the ditch. It's why Paul says, you were once in darkness, but now you are in the light of the Lord. You can see you're not blind anymore. The only cure for spiritual blindness is faith in Jesus Christ.

It is the only cure. I know some of you are thinking, that is the most narrow-minded statement I've ever heard. Exactly. It is the most narrow-minded statement you've ever heard. Well, that must mean Jesus is the most narrow-minded person exactly. If you really read his words in the New Testament, that is an inevitable, inescapable reality.

He said, I'm the only way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me. That's pretty narrow. It's funny, truth does that. Truth can afford to be narrow. I mean, two plus two doesn't equal three, never equaled six or eight or 13 and a half.

It always equals four. That's the nature of truth. Jesus speaks the truth and that's the premise of the whole chapter. He says in verse five, I'm the light of the world. As long as I am in the world, I'm the light of the world.

Spiritual sight comes through believing in him. But this group, these leaders, are arrogantly asserting that they have spiritual knowledge. You can't tell me anything. I know all things. We are Pharisees.

We know everything. Comes with the job. They are blind. There was a Marine who had two stents of active duty in the Middle East, one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. He was in between those assignments and his next assignment. He decided to take some college courses to better himself. One of his college professors was an avowed atheist, very, very arrogant, cocky. One day during class, the professor in front of the class put his head back and said, God, if you're real, I command you to strike me dead within exactly 15 minutes. The class fell silent. You could have heard a pin drop. The professor waited, smiling, smirking, smiling. Ten minutes went by. He said, God, are you listening? Are you real?

Are you up there? Come on. He just kept mouthing off. Very.

That's an example of this kind of arrogant refusal to acknowledge that you're in the dark about anything. Well, as I said, the Marine was in class. He listened to this. At about minute 13 or 14, about one or two minutes left, he walks up to the platform, doubles up his fist, and cold cocks the professor right in the head, knocking him out on the floor. Knocked him off the platform.

Just bam. Knocked him out. Well, the Marine quietly goes back to his seat, and the class is stunned. I mean, they've never had a day like this in school, like the best day of their life, never seen anything like this. The professor wakes up and says, what on earth just happened?

Why did you do that? And the Marine said to him, well, God was too busy today protecting American soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff, so he sent me. I don't recommend that in school, but I do want you to understand that Jesus virtually does the same thing verbally. With this statement, he's dividing them and consigning them to the judgment they thought they had escaped by being Pharisees, by saying you remain in the state of sin or darkness, because they wouldn't admit their spiritual blindness, their sin remains. I opened up the message talking about Fanny Crosby, Frances Jane Crosby, who said, the first face that will gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.

Can't wait for that. I want to close this message by what another blind woman said, Helen Keller, an American author. She was also asked the question, it's a shame, isn't it, that you can't see? Helen Keller responded, well, it's better to be blind and see with your heart than to have two good eyes and see nothing. These Pharisees had two great eyes. They could see everything physically. They were blind as a bat spiritually. This man who was blind could now see physically, and now he believes in Jesus Christ and is a worshiper of Christ. You can see it all, because the most important thing happened that day, and that was the healing of the heart. Well, now, hopefully, you understand what's meant by saying believing is seeing. Belief in Jesus has to happen in our hearts before we start seeing the world as it truly is and our own desperate need of a Savior.

And that's just about all the time we have for today. But before we go, let's find out more about this month's Connect with Skip resource offer. Listen to what the message version of the Bible says about the necessity of a clear vision for the future. If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves.

But when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed. Vision for your life. That's the theme of our resource package that features five excellent full length messages by Skip, including Six Things That Will Surprise You About Heaven and God's Purpose for People. Now, here's a comment from Skip Heitzig on the topic of purpose. God has a desire. God has a purpose for you. And one of His purposes for you is that you know Him, that He walk with you, that you do life together with Him. Do you walk with God?

Is that a concern of yours? Is that a stated goal in your head, in your heart? I want to walk with God. I want to live to please God.

I want to know God. Clear vision for your life. That's the theme of our vision resource package that features five excellent full length messages by Skip, including Six Things That Will Surprise You About Heaven and God's Purpose for People. You'll want to order our vision resource package for this month, which also features a full color magazine about the vision that drives Skip's ministry. You'll also receive an audio copy of Skip clearly outlining his philosophy of ministry in the past, present and future. Receive your vision package when you make a donation of $50 or more to connect with Skip. Give your gift by calling 1-800-922-1888 or online at connectwithskip.com. That's 1-800-922-1888 or connectwithskip.com. Now, if you'd like a copy of today's teaching, it's available on CD for just $4 plus shipping when you contact us at 1-800-922-1888 or when you visit connectwithskip.com. Well, next time we'll learn a little bit about shepherds, sheep and ourselves. So be sure to set aside some time to join us right here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-01 06:08:02 / 2023-10-01 06:17:06 / 9

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