Today, from Chuck Swindoll on Insight for Living. When Jesus heals, it is more often than not an instant healing. No phony healing here. No healing line.
No exchange of money. No crowd gathering event to make him look great. He's not a man needing a public image. He's a savior.
He's the master. Most of us will never know what it's like to be blind. For those without sight, even the most routine functions in life become challenging like walking through a room without bumping into obstacles or knowing when to safely cross a busy intersection. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll invites us to follow along in Matthew chapter 20 as we examine a tender moment between Jesus and two blind men. Jesus took compassion on their plight and as a result changed their lives forever. Chuck titled today's message, Seeing Ourselves Through Blind Eyes. Make this time of special significance for all of us, our Father. May we be brought from the first century into the 21st and may the bridge between that century and this one be a clear statement made possible by the application of what you have written. For whatever has been written has been written for our learning that we, through patience and comfort from the Scriptures, might have hope.
Give us that sense of hope. Give us the realization of life as it really is, not as we have wished it to be, not as we have imagined it is, but as it is in raw reality. And then in light of that, Lord, bring us to our knees where we acknowledge our own blindness and darkness without Christ. May it become evident to all of us and may we also realize that unless you touch us spiritually, as we turn to you by faith, there is really no hope of deliverance and no possibility of change. So thank you in advance for ministering through your Word today. Take away all interrupting thoughts, all things that would distract so that we might focus fully on these few verses and realize the power of your Word as it is set forth. Thank you for the privilege of giving to your work. Be pleased, I pray, in the giver, the motive, and the way these monies are handled. May they be done, may that be done with integrity and for your greater glory. Touch many lives that we could not otherwise reach personally through our gifts and we give them with gratitude and in generosity. In the name of Jesus, we pray and we give.
Everyone said, amen. You're listening to Insight for Living. To study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scripture studies by going to insightworld.org slash studies. And now the message from Chuck that he titled, Seeing Ourselves Through Blind Eyes. We read in verse 29 of a large crowd following behind Jesus. And what they're saying often includes names, in this case, the name of Jesus. And these two blind men, when they heard the name Jesus, they heard hope. This is their only chance to connect with the one who can transform their physical condition.
So they began to shout, Son of David, have mercy on us. Until you enter into a story like this, it's just another story and it's just another couple of blind men. How tragic that we would ever get that cynical. And all of this is preserved for us to learn from something about our lives.
We have an opportunity to see ourselves through blind eyes if we'll just pay attention. I love it that when Jesus heard them. Remember, he's in the tail end of his ministry.
He's been dealing with people for months and months and months and months. He could have just as easily walked on, not Jesus, not in this situation. He heard them and he stopped. They didn't know he stopped. They're still yelling. And then he called. They could hear, what do you want me to do for you?
Now, before I go further, he could see they were blind. Doesn't that seem a little unusual question to ask? I'm not trying to add humor here. I just think it's an unusual question until I've thought about it.
It's not unusual at all. He wanted to hear them acknowledge their condition. I mean, there were a lot of things he could have done for them. He could have provided for their needs from here on. He could have given them strength that was far ahead of their age.
He could solve any of their physical needs. What is it you want me to do for you? He wanted them to acknowledge their need and without hesitation is exactly what they did. Lord, we want to see we're blind.
We want to see. Verse 34 is a marvelous verse. It begins with the great Greek word that takes you down to the base of the abdomen, where it's believed that the passions, the feelings are at the this is the seat of emotion. And down deep inside of him, he felt for them.
You've had those feelings. We often say I feel deeply for this person, or I felt a deep sense of grief or deep sorrow. Here his sympathy goes to the bottomless depths of his being. He cares about them. Being moved with compassion over their situation, he makes his way to them. Otherwise, he couldn't have touched them. So he fights through the crowd, comes back to them.
This is a great moment. He touches the very area of their greatest need, their eyes. Instantly, just as quickly as you lifted your eyelids earlier, they could see. In fact, you missed something in the English because the Greek says they could see again, telling us that they once saw but had somehow lost their sight. They regained their sight, which makes their blindness all the more painful because they realize what they're missing. Having seen earlier in their lives, they now are no longer able to see what they once saw, like my Marine friend. He lost his sight, no doubt in combat, maybe from a bomb, explosion, something.
But he remembers what it was like once to see. And instantly, I love it, when Jesus heals, it is more often than not, not always, but more often than not, an instant healing. No phony healing here. No healing line. No exchange of money. No crowd-gathering event to make him look great.
He's not a man needing a public image. He's a savior. He's the master. And with no loss of power, he reaches over and he touches their eyes. And instantly, they could see again, and we read, then they followed him. Of course.
Wouldn't you? I love the little piece, who but we, Lord, but thee? Soul thirst to satisfy. Exhaustless spring, the water's free.
All other springs are dry. We have no one else to follow. None of this crowd touched our eyes. You did.
We follow you. God's word preserves stories like this, as I said earlier, not to fill spaces. He wasn't looking for something to fill in between verse 28 and 29 of chapter 20 and verse 1 of 21, chapter 21.
He has an interlude where he wants you and me to pause. Take a deep breath. Let the wonder in so that we can see ourselves through blind eyes. A major lesson I see from this is it is important for each one of us to realize our actual condition. Some of you have reached this age in life, and you have systematically worked on ways to keep from facing the truth.
And I'm going to tell you the truth. You are at the core of your being a sinner. A sinner by birth, a sinner by choice, and a sinner by nature. You're as bad off as you can possibly be. Apart from Christ, your world is a world of spiritual darkness called in the Scriptures death. Death.
Doesn't get darker than death. That's your condition. It makes all the sense in the world that they would cry for mercy. That's your cry. I don't come before you Lord in this condition with my hands full of money. You don't need my money. I don't come with a lot of possessions to promise I'll give you when I die. You don't need any possessions. I come just as I am without anything else.
I come a sinful woman, a sinful man. And I'll tell you when you realize your human condition, it will frighten you. You're an adult now, so you're able to face it.
You couldn't face it as a child, but you can as an adult. All of this came home to me when I was reading through Chuck Colson's fine book, Who Speaks for God. It's one of those books Chuck wrote that didn't get a lot of national press or publicity.
And I came across a segment of the book that tells a very moving story. Chuck writes of watching a segment of television 60 minutes where Mike Wallace back then interviewed Auschwitz survivor Yael Dineur. Dineur was a principal witness in the Nuremberg war crime trials.
Stay with me. During the interview, Chuck writes, there's a film clip from Adolf Eichmann's 1961 trial, which showed Dineur entering the courtroom. Remember, he was a principal witness having been an Auschwitz victim. It showed Dineur entering the courtroom and coming face to face with Eichmann for the first time since being sent to Auschwitz almost 20 years earlier.
Imagine it. He shot cold in the courtroom, Dineur did. Began to sob uncontrollably and then faded right to the floor.
The judge began to pound his gavel to gain order in the court. Colson asks, was Dineur overcome by hatred? Of fear?
Horrid memories? Chuck then answers no. It was none of these. Rather, as Dineur explained to Mike Wallace all at once, he realized Eichmann was not this high ranking army officer among the Nazis who had sent so many to their deaths. Eichmann was just a man sitting in that cage. And Dineur says, I was afraid about myself. I saw that I'm capable to do this. I am exactly like he is. What made the man suddenly collapse was the terrible discovery that there is an Eichmann in all of us.
You don't want to hear that. I felt a chill go up my back when I read it on the page of that book. Without Christ, you and I are capable of the most heinous of crimes. Without Christ, we have nothing worthwhile to bring to God. When will we ever acknowledge that? That's why I appreciate the blind man. Just give us sight. We are blind.
Answering in the 21st century, just save my soul. I am dark and dead and lost without Christ. You're looking at a walking murderer, a thief, a coarse, wicked man.
Unless you think I'm a little hard on us. Look at Romans chapter three. It's not a pretty picture Paul paints.
When I preached on Romans three, I called it Cinerama in Panorama. It says it's straight and you'll never hear it from the Supreme Court. You'll never hear about it in public arenas. You'll hear about it in the word of God.
This is humanity in the raw. Romans three, verse 10. No one is righteous, not even one. No one is truly wise.
No one is seeking God. Look at the no ones and the alls. All have turned away.
All have become useless. No one does good, not a single one. Their talk is foul like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.
Snake venom drips from their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don't know where to find peace. They have no fear of God at all. That is humanity without Christ.
And you will never hear it except in a place like this where truth is told and you're left to come to terms with it. These blind beggars weren't simply feeling sorry for themselves. They were calling out to one who could transform their condition. Just as I would wish Danneur would know of the Savior and could save him from such misery. He need not live all his life fearing that the Eichmann within him will begin to act out. Only Christ can stop it. Never doubt it. The blind needed one thing, the touch of Jesus.
No other person in the crowd could change their eyesight. Just as my marine friend that I never met will never get a healing from our doctors. They do exams. They do surgery.
They dispense medicine. They don't heal. They don't cure. Jesus heals. Jesus changes conditions. The very best psychologist cannot reach into my system and change my nature. Only Jesus. Because I am deep within to the core of my being, lost in the darkness of my blind sinfulness. Here's a question for you.
Are you aware of your actual condition? Don't tell me how often you come to church. I mean it's a better place to be than any other place I can think of, but it doesn't change you. Don't tell me of your Christian friends.
Christian friends cannot transform you on the inside. I want to know about you and the cross of Christ. You and the Savior, Jesus. You acknowledge before him that you are blind and naked and dark and dying and undone and without him you have no hope. And so you come.
You come. John Newton did this way back in 18th century. What a rebel. Lied about his age. They took him into the Royal Navy. Made a mess of things in the Navy. Ultimately had a battle of wills with the skipper, thrown in the hold of the ship, left to die.
Big gaping hole in his side having been harpooned. To get him back on board they leave him down there bleeding, broken, realizing my mother was right. The teaching I heard from my mother before I went to the streets and lived like a fool.
That's the teaching I should embrace now. He took Christ. And he later gave us a song that we to this day still sing. It is one of our favorites.
Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Don't change the word wretch.
It's a great word. John Newton was a wretch. We're all wretches that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found. T'was what? I was blind but now I see.
Now I see. Please bow your heads. I speak to every one of you today and because I do not know all of you I speak to all of you the same. Without Christ you have zero hope. Without Christ it's all going to rely on positive thinking which will get very thin on your death bed.
Without Christ you are not ready for eternity. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe in him. Call out to him.
Tell him of your condition. Acknowledge it. Lord I fully acknowledge I live in a world of death. My motives are evil and my words are often coarse and my thoughts are wicked and my plans are selfish. My ways are wrong. So I come to Christ and I ask him to touch me and save me.
I have no one else to turn to. Give me what I'm not able to find in anyone else. Give me eternal life by your grace. Amen. Yes amazing grace. I once was lost but because of Jesus I now am found. I was blind but now I see. Thank you for listening to the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. He titled today's study in Matthew chapter 20, Seeing Ourselves Through Blind Eyes. And to learn more about Chuck Swindoll and this ministry, please visit us online at insightworld.org. At Insight for Living, we're always on the lookout for resources and materials that will help you see the world through the lens of scripture.
And today we're especially pleased to point you toward a book Chuck's recommending. It's written by a fellow pastor who has keen insight on cultural issues over time. Vody Baucom has written a thought-provoking book titled Fault Lines that helps Christians understand the nuances of the social justice movement and in particular the implications of critical race theory. Like a fault line, these matters threaten to divide us. And whether you're a lay person who's trying to engage in grace-filled conversations on race or a pastor who wants to address these important topics with the compassion of Jesus, you want to read fault lines.
You can purchase a copy right now by going to insight.org slash offer. Let me add that when you give a donation to Insight for Living, your gift is channeled directly toward reaching other people with Chuck's Bible teaching so they can benefit from life lessons just as you have. And your gifts are truly making a difference. One of your fellow listeners left this comment that said, I've been going through a particularly difficult time and find myself encouraged and strengthened as I listen.
Bless you for your faithfulness and for making this ministry available. Well, these moments are sponsored by all those who give donations and to contribute right now, here's the number to call. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or give online at insight.org.
That's insight.org. Travelers who want to take a tour to Israel have lots of choices, but few measure up to the thoughtful journey prepared by Insight for Living Ministries. With a proper mix of historical information and biblical context, we provide ample opportunities to pause and let the wonder in.
Our goal is to create special moments when you deepen your love for the Bible and draw closer to your Lord. Experience an unforgettable 12-day tour to Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries, March 6 through 17, 2022. To help you grasp the significance of each site, you'll be accompanied by hand-picked Israeli guides, and we choose the best, along with seminary-trained pastors and professors to enhance your spiritual journey. No organization I know of offers this level of exceptional, in-depth instruction and personal care for Holy Land travelers.
To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. Just imagine walking along sacred sites and watching the Bible come to life. Make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to insight.org slash events. Insight for Living Ministries Tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. Now for my friend Dave Spiker, I'm Wayne Shepard, urging you to join us again Friday when Chuck Swindoll describes a pivotal moment in our study of Matthew's Gospel on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Seeing Ourselves Through Blind Eyes, was copyrighted in 2017 and 2021, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles Parse-Windoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited. This is a violation of applicable laws and should not be a violation of applicable laws.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-02 09:47:35 / 2023-09-02 09:55:47 / 8