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December 19, 2019 1:00 am
Not long ago I read a story about George Shearing. Now for those of you who do not know the name George Shearing was a very prominent British American jazz pianist. He was born blind and often whenever he crosses a busy intersection in New York City with big dark glasses and white cane. He could always count on somebody will come along and taken by the hand and help them cross the road but one time while he was waiting to cross a very busy intersection of the rush hour New York City somebody tapped him on the shoulder.
Is it excuse me sir, I'm blind. Can you help me across the street and George reached out and felt for his arm and grabbed him by the arm. Is it absolutely yes any kind of perked his ear and try to decipher when the traffic had subsided, and then he said okay let's go and they both cross the busy intersection that Georgia question here horn honking and yelling and screaming and butting. Another was for him or not. He kept crossing anyway. Once across on the other side. The man thanked him for his help did not know who he was with another was black and went on his way.
Few days later George Shearing was sharing this with his close friends on the band and he told them what happened and that were flabbergasted residual. Why did you do such a dangerous thing. Why did you do that the endangered both of your lives.
George said he and I just could not resist the irony of it all in the blind leading the blind thing I just couldn't resist. And then he continued, he said you know that was the biggest thrill of my life. It might've been the biggest thrill for George Shearing but it sure endangered the lives but sadly today in every aspect of life we seeing this happening over and over again so many blind leading the blind in every aspect of life and yet the word of God tells us very clearly without equivocation that every human being that is born everyone. Everyone of us were born spiritually blind everyone of us. You know when a baby is born.
Parens all, is he not count the toes in the fingers and make sure the baby is okay, but the one thing they can be sure about is that baby is born with an internal set of eyes. As CS Lewis calls him the spiritualize. You know, there is an axiom that is often used sometimes glibly sometimes accurately.
And it goes like this, seeing is believing right. And yet Jesus disproves this axiom. He turns this axiom on its head and he is saying. Believing is seeing. When you, and you put your faith in Jesus Christ as your only Savior and Lord. He will open those internal set of eyes. He will open those blind spiritualize and so you're able to see things with clarity in opening the eyes of the man was born blind in the Gospel of John chapter 9 Jesus was trying to answer one of the oldest and the most pressing question that is ever been asked by all of humanity. All of us at some point or another in our lives have asked that question. What is that question. The question is simply this, why would a all loving and all-powerful God allow people to suffer. It is a question that is used by the enemy of your soul in order to keep you away from coming to the God who loves you so dearly. And the reason I'm telling you this is because I know I fell for that question. I believe Satan's question to me and I spent the worst 18 months of my life away and running away from God because I believe that question how can a loving God allow this is no easy answer to this question.
But while there are no easy answers yet. If Jesus is saying anything to us about this incredible act of opening the eyes of the man who was born blind.
He is saying to us the following listen carefully, he is saying that God has an eternal purpose, even in your unexplainable suffering that God has a longer view of life, even in the painful events of your life that God has a wide angle lens when it comes to the difficult circumstances in your life that God has a higher aim, especially in those inexplicable situations, and that is why when the disciples asked Jesus when they saw this man, blind, and they said, who sinned, that this man sin over this parent sin. As a result of which he now is born blind. Not Jesus did not avoid the question is one thing about the Lord.
He never avoid never skirted the tough questions you see in the Jewish culture of the day they believed that all suffering, all of all the suffering is a result of personal sin. Watch carefully what Jesus did not say how can we listen to something he did not say I'm going to tell you what he did not say watch what he did not say Jesus did not say Boris you all wrong about this boys you are all wet on this one. Not but rather he answered the specific question for that specific situation and he says in this particular case, neither he nor his parents have sin, so that he was born blind. What is Jesus saying listen carefully, Jesus is saying that that is not always a connection between sin and suffering is not that simple.
Why because as a result of Adam's sin in the garden.
We now inherited that sin and therefore we live in a fallen world we live in an imperfect world we live in a fragmented world and many times sin and sinners appear to be going unpunished, while some others who suffer unjustly and you want to talk about suffering unjustly right at this very moment. As we sit in this beautiful sanctuary. There are 100 million Christian believers around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.
In the 21st century see today the world is shaking on its access the world, which was created flawlessly justly, perfectly, is now dysfunctional. This planet is filled with misery and natural disasters and diseases and sin and death. But God did not create it that way soon corrupted.
It seemed deformed, since solid in the Bible makes it very clear that all of humanity has been affected by that sin.
Every one of us have been born with that sin. Someone said when you look at the most beautiful person in the strongest athlete of all you are looking at the ruins of item the finest in physical and mental and emotional specimens in the home are is second-best to humanity as God created it. Our bodies are designed to function perfectly.
They don't, our emotions were created to give us joy now that become source of pain. But Jesus makes it very clear verse three of chapter 9 the gospel of John 93 is saying.
Suffering is not always directly traceable to a personal sin. But Jesus uses the opportunity of altering the eyes of this man born blind to teachers. The most important lesson of life.
What is it there. It is where all born with spiritual blindness and you might be the most beautiful woman in the world you might be the strongest athlete in the work you might be the most intellectual genius in the whole world and yet the Bible said your internal spiritualize a blind one of those blindness you are spiritually blind until Jesus comes in an open those spiritualize and you begin to see everything and see reality. This is the very reason why Jesus left heaven and came to earth on the cross and rose again so that he might open this creditor lives of everyone who would come to him and ask him when you come to him today when you come to him today when you come to him and be assured of eternity. He promised that when you do come to him. He will never reject you will never reject blindness is not always a physical blindness. In fact, the real blindness is a spiritual blindness, not the physical one. I will never forget when I was about eight years old and I was sitting next to my mother in church and the preachers that day was a blind man and that he was courting the Scripture so freely. Now his fingers were not on the braille's really well. She was escorting long passage of Scripture. I've always been curious even as a little boy and I kept nudging my mother how can he do this, how can he do this. Finally she turned around she sits on real blindness is a blindness of the heart.
I have never forgotten that it's real blindness of the heart. Now there are even some people who are physically blind, who have an enormous sense of humor. A friend of mine who lived in Florida was a motivational speaker. I said I was speaking in Florida. I was bragging about what a good golfer.
I am, and he was giving the scores he and I shot 85.
In this pleasantly shot 8900. At the end of his talk, a blind man walks up to him and he said to him, I challenge you for a game of golf. Now my friend says you know I'm a fast talker and he really is and he said I never really shorten words he said that's one time when I did not know what to say. He said I was dumbfounded. He said I try to joke is on the change of subject.
You would let me get away with it.
He try to so this is a very interesting and is that he said all of my clever techniques just one thing into the wall, he said. Name your price, name your price and finally my friends. It will look or template for charity. We just you know raise money for charities of fine and finally, so he looked at this blind man and he said what time do you want to tee off.
He said 1 o'clock in the morning to start off in physical limitation can also be used of God in a powerful way. It really impressed me was blind from her babyhood as a result of an accident. And yet she brought tens and tens of tens of wonderful hymns of the faith which we sing in this very place. Just think about this blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine and incredible when she was eight years old she wrought a rhyme that went something like this.
Let me read it, saw the mess it up all what a happy child. I am although I cannot see I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be how many blessings I enjoy that other people don't to weep inside because I am blind, I cannot and I want I can have 20/20 vision and live 100 years. I can write that stuff is he finally crossed lived to be 94 and she lived the most joyful life is just like my mother said real blindness is a blindness of the heart and she blessed millions of people with her songs. This part of her difficulties. She impacted millions of people why because her spiritual eyes were opened. And that's really what better we saw first the Samaritan woman we saw how desperate need was for the living water to satisfy and deliver her from the chain of her sexual addiction and then Jesus gave her that living water himself and then we saw Nicodemus who was hung up on some religious questions and religious answers and rituals and Jesus told him, you need to be born again now that religious mumbo-jumbo and, indeed, he was born again because after the crucifixion, Nicodemus went and got permission to bring the body of Jesus Christ and place it in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea and here today we see this man, who was born blind, whose eyes were opened by Jesus in order to teach every one of us a greater spiritual lesson and lesson is of vital importance in life. What is that lesson that Jesus alone can open the spiritualize he and he alone can deliver you from spiritual blindness that Jesus alone can open your internal set of eyes. Jesus alone can reveal to you the danger of remaining in your deadly condition on on my own life. When Jesus open my spiritualize. I was able to see myself for who I assume I was heading straight for hell a sinner who is at enmity with God, and he revealed myself to me the way I am not the way I wanted to project myself to the public, not what I like to think people think I am a sinner who desperately need of the forgiveness of a holy and righteous God, who died on the cross for me to show his love for me when you're spiritualize our open and you turn to him for forgiveness and for healing. You will never, ever look back for all the money in the world. Only then will you discover that you have received the greatest miracle of all.
Only then will you discover that you have received the living water that truly satisfy your inner being that you have become born again of the spirit of God unfulfilled and him alone that you're spiritualize have become wide-open and see what you could not see before that you know God not only as your Savior as your Lord. But as your friend and your companion, not only in this life, but for all of eternity. And when you know God, even the human limitations, even the sufferings, even the difficult situations even the painful things that you can't even explain even your inexplicable circumstances can be used of God for your good and for his glory in opening the eyes of the blind man born blind. Jesus was giving us a practical parable. Now he told a lot of parables lots of stories, but this is a practical one. This is it when you can see with your eyes, not just hear with your ears in order to show us a deeper meaning than just the physical see them explain what I mean what symbol did the Lord used to open the eyes of this man mud play is in the book of Genesis. When God created the first man he created him from the clay of the earth, and when he re-creates us a spiritually speaking to use mud. In fact, clay is a symbol that is used in the Scripture over and over and over again.
Jeremiah tells us that God is the partner and we are the clay he indeed is molding us and he's shaping us and what he wants us to be the apostle Paul speaks of the believers body as a part of clay is a part of clay is weak part of clay is fragile, but he said inside of the believer. There is a priceless treasure. There is something that you cannot put a price on the Holy Spirit of God who comes and dwells in us.
And when Jesus smeared the eyes of this man born blind. He was saying to everyone of us something has blinded this man. Something has blinded you some has blinded me at birth, something that close our eyes. What is that something the Bible calls that something with which we all born sin, because by nature all of humanity born blind. We are spiritually blind in this fallen nature. But listen, this man faced opposition. The religious people opposed him, the clergy of the church want to throw him out. His family were embarrassed by the whole thing to know what the neighbors did not know what to believe when the furnace is kept on interrogating him first. He said this meant mother my eyes and I washed, and I can see I don't know much about but then the captain haranguing him for Pressing him and so the second time they come in is and what I must be a prophet because no one can just do this and then they harangued him again the third time he said, don't confuse me with your religious mumbo-jumbo. All I know is that I was blind but now I see in us a rough translation but you get the meaning to these Pharisees cared more about the little personal rules and rituals than a man who was born blind out he sees, but they admitted that only God to open the blind eyes and in fact they should have known it from the Bible. The Bible said in the book of Isaiah chapter 2918 35, five and 42 seven that when the Messiah comes. He is the one who will open the eyes of the blind, but there was too prideful to admit some of you might be full of pride. You don't want to admit they don't want to come to Jesus, there's a lot I can help myself. How can a man dying 2000 years ago. Save me. This only way. In fact, this simple truth. Give this humble man this uneducated men the upper hand over these educated clergy.
It did. He said you are admitting your ignorance of who Jesus is and yet he did what only God could do without receiving the rRNA here. This is far greater Ireland than Joe Shearing crossing the street with a blind man. First he knew that this man opened his eyes, called Jesus secondly grew in faith and and he called in the profitability blind faith a little bit more and that he called this is a he must be from God and then finally when he really knew who Jesus was. He bowed and worshiped him, and this is Lawrence Laurent. The question is wherever you are on the scale wherever you are on that spectrum.
Whether you are just know Jesus as Jesus, you might be admiring him say I want to emulate him or you might know him as a prophet you might know him, even as son of God or you might know of him as God in human flesh. Even but if you really want to know him as the savior of your soul. The Lord of your life, the Messiah, the Redeemer that the liver Jesus here said I am the light of the world and beloved any person that you know who's a Christian, was spiritually blind at some point in all of us who know Jesus came from darkness to him. The light of the world and whether we came to him out of the darkness of addiction and pain and wanted to be delivered whether we came to him from the darkness of difficulty and hardship of life and confessing that we cannot face life alone whether some of us have come to him through the darkness of longing for contentment and real peace in life that only Jesus could give us some of us have come to him from the darkness of a total failure of not being able to help ourselves. Each of us come to him from a certain darkness to the light of the world. Jesus and today whatever darkness herein, the light of the world wants you to come some of your dragging your feet. Some of you fighting some of your resisting near Jesus is ready to break through the darkness in your life breaks all the questioning and all the barriers that you placing on yourself and transfer you really come to him, Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner and I desperately need your grace and mercy and forgiveness. You died on the cross to pay for the wages of my sin's I come to you open my spiritual eyes and help me to see that online know you in the fullness of your power in Jesus name, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that's LTW.org