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New Hope Christian Fellowship

The Testimony of Your Sight

THE TESTIMONY OF YOUR SIGHT

INTRODUCTION

            One of the most enjoyable times in my life was during the time I served in the United States Marines as a Commander of Marine Security Guards.  It was wonderful to serve in far-away lands with my family at my side.  We saw many beautiful places and met many wonderful people.  However, there were some difficult things to see along the way.  Specifically, I remember walking a sidewalk in Colombo, Sri Lanka when I came upon a man who was blind and lame.  He was begging for money.  I thought to myself, “How long has this man been in this condition?”  I also thought that he would never see the light of day.  I’d like to talk to you today about a man who was born blind.

BACKGROUND

            Our study through the Gospel of John, up to this point, has revealed a couple of clear factors.  First of all, John’s focus in his writing is to ensure that his reading audience becomes aware that Jesus is the Messiah sent by God to save His people from their sins.  John has been and continues to demonstrate the stubborn and rebellious attitudes of those who refuse to believe in Christ as the Messiah.  However, he also continually emphasizes the importance of a person’s simple belief in Christ and abiding in His word in exchange for eternal life.  The first part of chapter 9 reveals a miracle performed by Jesus in giving a man something he had never experienced before in his life, the ability to see.  Today’s text will reveal the results of an unbelieving world when God changes a person’s life for the better.

SCRIPTURE:            John 9:13-34

PRAYER

CTS:   Today I would like to share three results you can expect in receiving sight from Jesus.

If you have received sight from Jesus, others will:

I.           Question your sight (VV. 13-17)

Explanation

            Verse 13 reveals the mindset of the Jews who were strict adherents to the law.  After asking how he had been healed, they decided to bring him to the Pharisees.  It’s interesting to note John’s comment that Jesus had healed the man on the Sabbath.  This is not the first time Jesus had healed someone on the Sabbath.  John testified of Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath in the past, the hostility of the Jews over it, and Jesus responding that He was just doing as His Father does (John 5:1-16), thus identifying Himself as one with God.

            Not only had Jesus healed the blind man on the Sabbath, but, according to the law, He had worked during the process of making spittle to put on the blind man’s eyes (Vs. 14).

The Pharisees participated in the same line of questions as the neighbors of the blind man.  Such healing was hard to believe.  The Pharisees asked the same type of question to the man.  When he told them how he received his sight, the Pharisees refused to believe his testimony. 

In fact, verse 16 relates that they became divided in their views as they began not to discuss the blind man, but to discuss Jesus and how He was unqualified to conduct such a healing.  He had directly violated the Ten Commandments by doing work on the Sabbath.  Others believed it was impossible for a sinner (their view of Jesus) to conduct such healing.  Thus, their unbelief caused confusion and was beginning to stir hostility among them.  Seeking to bring clarity out of the situation, the Pharisees return to the healed man to ask his opinion of the man who had healed him.  The man called Him a prophet (Vs. 17).

In reality, the man was speaking into the theological arena of those questioning him.  The Old Testament presents prophets as people who were given the privilege by God to initiate miracles, to include healing people.  Based upon what had happened to this man, he was convinced that Jesus merited such status.

Illustration

            I Kings 18:20-24 – The people of Israel were blind to King  Ahab’s allowing the worship of Baal, a false god.  The context of Chapter 18 involves God using Elijah to get the attention of His people.  In the end, they would not only hear, but see that the Lord is the one true God.  The end of the narrative reveals the people acknowledging that God was the true God, but not until after Elijah had prayerfully called fire down from heaven to validate the reality of his God.

            The Jewish people were obviously blind to what God was doing through His Son Jesus.  Even after seeing the physical reality of a miracle (the healing of the blind man), instead of giving glory to God for the man’s healing, the Pharisees chose to ridicule the source of the miracle, Jesus.  After becoming divided over the matter, they decided to ask the man his opinion.  He gave glory to God, identifying Jesus as one of God’s prophets.

Application

            The point of application for you and me is to recognize that people will question the sight that God has given you through Jesus.  All that you need to do is give God the glory by telling them how they can receive the sight God has given you.  The only way you can receive the sight I am describing is by establishing a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ!

 

II.        Seek proof of your sight (VV. 18-23)

Explanation

            The man’s testimony in Verse 17 was not enough for the Jews.  Verse 18 identifies the Jews’ desire to find proof of the miracle that had happened.  If the man was born blind, surely his parents would be able to clear up the matter.  The Jews sent for the man’s parents.

            We see at this point another difficulty for those who don’t believe in Jesus.  The Jews ask the man’s parents about the man’s testimony.  They certainly stand up for the fact that the man is their son and was born blind (Vs. 20).  However, I find it amazing that the parents of this man would not only be overjoyed that he was no longer blind, but would want to meet and express sincere gratitude to the One who had healed the man.  However, because of their fear of the Jews, the man’s parents stated that they did not know how he received his sight or who did it (VV21-22).  John relates the significance of the miracle.  This man was of age to give his own testimony in the synagogue.  Instead of standing up for Jesus, his parents shifted the heat of the investigation back onto their son (Vs. 23).  It’s important to note what it meant to be cast out of the synagogue.  Let’s look at an illustration of what happened to one who was cast out of the synagogue.

Illustration

      Three kinds of excommunication were recognized, of which only the third was the real cutting off, the other two being disciplinary. The first, and lightest, was called rebuke, and lasted from seven to thirty days. The second was called thrusting out, and lasted for thirty days at least, followed by a “second admonition,” which lasted for thirty days more. This could only be pronounced in an assembly of ten. It was accompanied by curses, and sometimes proclaimed with the blast of the horn. The excommunicated person would not be admitted into any assembly of ten men, nor to public prayer. People would keep at the distance of four cubits from him, as if he were a leper. Stones were to be cast on his coffin when dead, and mourning for him was forbidden. If all else failed, the third, or real excommunication was pronounced, the duration of which was indefinite. The man was to be as one dead. No intercourse was to be held with him; one must not show him the road, and though he might buy the necessaries of life, it was forbidden to eat and drink with him. These severer forms appear to have been of later introduction, so that the penalty which the blind man’s parents feared was probably separation from all religious fellowship and from ordinary intercourse of life for perhaps thirty days.[1]

 

            Such excommunication would be most devastating to a family.  The parents were obviously controlled by their fear of man, rather than their fear of God.  How does such thinking apply to you and me today?

Application

            The point of application for you and me is to recognize that people are watching us to see the proof of what we believe.  They will ask questions in regards to the sight you have received, to include how you received it, when it happened, and, in some cases, ask others who know you about this sight you are talking about.  Such creditability is found in choosing to live for Jesus every day, and taking those who ask for proof to church gatherings where other believers will testify about your sight.

 

III.       See the testimony of your sight (VV. 24-34)

Explanation

            Verse 24 relates the beginning of a second attempt by the Pharisees to discredit the works of God being performed by Jesus.  They tell the man who was blind to “Give God the glory,” or, in other words, plainly tell the truth about how he received his sight.  It was not possible for Jesus to be the one who healed the man, because, in the Pharisees opinion, Jesus was a sinner.  Those with sin could not effectively do such a work of God.  In response, the man tells them the plain truth.  Whether Jesus was a sinner or not was irrelevant.  The man was blind, but now he can see (Vs. 25).  As the dialogue continues, it appears the man is beginning to take a stand for what Christ had done for him.

            It is apparent that the Pharisees were looking for a remarkable difference in the man’s testimony to nullify his story as false.  They asked him again how he was healed (Vs. 26).  In response to their question, the man began to question their view of Jesus.  He states that he had already told them how the healing happened, and then asked them if they wanted to be Jesus’ disciples (Vs. 27).  In response, the Pharisees began to talk to the man in an abrasive manner, calling him a disciple of the one they hated.  As they had in the past, the Pharisees claimed to be disciples of Moses (Vs. 28).  They claimed to know everything about Moses, but knew nothing about Jesus (Vs. 29).  It’s amazing to see that the ones who claimed to know God intimately would openly reject His Son.  However, God uses this man’s testimony to give simple proof to who Jesus was.

            The man simply clings to the change that Jesus had made in his life.  He was blind, but now he could see (Vs. 30).  It doesn’t matter what the Pharisees thought of Jesus.  The man had experienced a personal encounter with Jesus.  The man goes on to clarify that sinners could not perform such a miracle.  God would only grant such healing privileges to those who heard God and carried out His will (Vs. 31).  To give more glory to Jesus’ work, the man points out that no other man since the beginning of time had been able to open the eyes of one who had been born blind.  Yet, Jesus had done so for this man (Vs. 32).  He concludes his testimony by stating that if this man was not from God, He could do nothing (Vs. 33)!  The interesting point here is that everything the man had said was true.  Everything the Pharisees had to say was in the form of suspicious accusations or speculation.

Illustration

            It is typical of human beings to try to cover up lies.  I remember from my childhood being told to always tell the truth.  Whenever you tell a lie, you will find yourself telling additional lies to cover up the one you initially told.  I can remember being under a pile of lies more than once.  However, the key to removing the burden of those lies was to tell the truth.  Telling lies can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  If we have a personal relationship with God through Jesus, and strive to honor Him in all we do, God will give us the ability to be consistent in telling the truth.  When we do, He is glorified!

            As we have seen in the last few verses, the truthfulness of this healed man enabled the audience to see that Jesus was who He claimed to be.  The Pharisees accusations did not carry much authority.   In fact, after hearing the testimony of the man, the Pharisees used their authority to put the man out of the synagogue, thus symbolically rejecting the works of Jesus (Vs. 34).

Application

            The point of application is for you and me to live and testify to the sight we have received from Jesus.  In doing so, the testimony of our lives will prove that the sight we claim to have is the truth.

Conclusion

            As we have seen in our text for today, a man who had received physical sight from Jesus was a critical factor for his viewing audience to hear and see the antagonistic attitude the religious leadership had toward Jesus and those who followed Him.  Additionally, the audience saw the conviction and passion of a person who had been touched by Jesus and how such conviction enabled the man to stand for Jesus in the face of persecution.

            What’s wonderful is this man’s example still stands for you and me today.  Has Jesus touched your life in such a way that you have a resolve to live for Him regardless of the persecution you may face.  To be sure, this man had only been physically healed by Jesus at this point.  Such behavior gives us an example of how God draws people to Christ for confession.  The question for you today is whether God has been drawing you to Himself, and today is the day for you to make the move into His kingdom.  This sight we have been talking about today is a spiritual one.  In other words, if you have received Christ as your Savior, you will be questioned about your new look on life.  Others will be looking for proof of your new sight.  If you are striving to live for Christ, people will see the truth of this new sight God has given you.  Make the decision to ask God for spiritual sight today!  It begins with accepting Christ as your Savior!


REFERENCES

John 5:17-18 (New American Standard Bible)

 17But He answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working."

Jesus' Equality with God

 18For this reason therefore (A)the Jews (B)were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, (C)making Himself equal with God.

 

1 Kings 18:20-24 (New American Standard Bible)

God or Baal on Mount Carmel

 20So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel.

 21Elijah came near to all the people and said, "(A)How long will you hesitate between two opinions? (B)If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word.

 22Then Elijah said to the people, "I (C)alone am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal's prophets are (D)450 men.

 23"Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it.

 24"Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and (E)the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people said, "[a]That is a good idea."

 

John 15:4-7 (New American Standard Bible)

 4"(A)Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

 5"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he (B)bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

 6"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is (C)thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

 7"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, (D)ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.


THE TESTIMONY OF YOUR SIGHT

INTRODUCTION:   PERSONAL TESTIMONY: BLIND MAN IN SRI LANKA 

BACKGROUND THOUGHT:  UNBELIEF VS BELIEVING IN JESUS; HEALING

SCRIPTURE: JOHN 9:13-34

CTS:   three RESULTS YOU CAN EXPECT IN RECEIVING SIGHT FROM JESUS.

IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED SIGHT FROM JESUS, OTHERS WILL: 

I.   QUESTION YOUR SIGHT (VV. 13-17)

  • EXPLANATION:  PHARISEES QUESTION THE FORMER BLIND MAN 
    • THEY ACCUSED JESUS OF NOT BEING OF GOD (JOHN 5:1-16)
    • OTHERS ACCUSED JESUS OF BEING A SINNER
  • ILLUSTRATION:     1 KINGS 18:20-24 (GOD’S PEOPLE DOUBTED HIM)
  • APPLICATION:   IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS. TELL THEM HOW TO SEE

II.  SEEK PROOF OF YOUR SIGHT (VV. 18-23)

  • EXPLANATION:      LET’S ASK THE PARENTS ABOUT THIS HEALING
  • ILLUSTRATION:     BEING CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE
  • APPLICATION:        PEOPLE WILL SEEK PROOF OF YOUR SIGHT

IIISEE THE TESTIMONY OF YOUR SIGHT (VV. 24-34)

  • EXPLANATION:      SECOND SET OF QUESTIONS: DIFFERENT RESPONSE
    • DO YOU WANT TO BE HIS DISCIPLES?
  • ILLUSTRATION:     TELL THE TRUTH; LIES MULTIPLY
  • APPLICATION:        LIVE OUT AND TESTIFY OF THE SIGHT YOU HAVE

IV.   CONCLUSION:    2 THINGS: LIES VS TRUTH



[1] Vincent, Marvin Richardson: Word Studies in the New Testament. Bellingham, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002, S. 2:i-187

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