THEME: As the light of the world, Jesus has come to dispel Third Sunday in Lent
spiritual blindness and to confirm the unbelief of those Our Savior Lutheran Church
who refuse to believe. Pagosa Springs, Colorado
TITLE: ďBlind With 20-20 VisionĒ March 3, 2002
(when I was a pastor in Montana I heard a story of a college student from the eastern part of that state who studied at Harvard University back east. During his freshman year his east coast roommates would often tease him for wearing non-cowboy clothing. They figured that if he was from Montana, he ought to look like a cowboy. Determined to have the last word in the on-going kidding, the Montanan returned from his first summer vacation dressed to the teeth in genuine cowboy gear. He had a hat, a fringed shirt with a western handkerchief tied around his neck, chaps and, of course, boots. When he walked into his dorm room his roommates looked at him and without cracking a smile simply asked, ďWhereís your horse?Ē Even though they knew the young man was a working ranch hand during the summer they wouldnít give him the satisfaction of recognizing him as a cowboy. Of course this was all done in fun, but that most certainly is not the case in our Gospel lesson today. Our Lord Jesus had been revealing Himself to be the Messiah again and again in the temple. Still they refused to see Him as the Son of God, the Messiah that had been so long promised. In the healing of the man born blind, we see Jesus expressing His Messiahship in the clearest possible way. He has just finished a long discourse on His being the light of the world and then concretely demonstrates this magnificent truth by giving sight to a man born blind. As it turned out, the man who was healed was not the only blind man in the crowd. The Pharisees turned out to be far more blind than the blind man had ever been!
HUMAN PRIDE AND ARROGANCE CONSISTANTLY RESUSES TO SEE THE LIGHT OF GODíS TRUTH CONCERNING HIS SON.
The Pharisees are like men with their eyes tightly shut, sitting in a light filled room denying that there is any light at all.
They covered the beauty of Christís miracles with a mantle of petty laws.
Since this act of mercy was done on the Sabbath, they decided that this was not the act of a godly man.
Then they did their best to convince others that no miracle had really happened at all.
They did this by calling the blind manís parents hoping they would insist that their son had never really been blind at all.
They had taken the precaution to let the word out that anyone identifying Jesus as the Messiah would be excommunicated from the society of the Jews.
So we see the frightened parents of the man coming before the pompous leaders forcing them only to admit that the man was indeed their son.
They also boldly state the obvious truth everybody already knew: Their son had indeed been born blind.
At witís end the Pharisees conferred with the man born blind once again.
They became furious with him for having the audacity to point out the obvious: That Jesus was a great prophet for only by the power of God could such a thing come to pass.
Yet, in their arrogant embarrassment they blindly refuse to see the glorious thing that had been done and they excommunicate the poor man for telling the truth.
The Pharisees were afraid of Christís power and authority.
To admit that the act was of God would necessitate their admission that Old Testament prophesies were being fulfilled before their eyes and that Jesus was indeed the Messiah!
Therefore, the obvious could not be admitted.
Have you noticed that people today are no different than the Pharisees?
Many people will go to any length to discredit the person and work of Christ.
They can observe the magnificence of creation and not see the designer of the design.
Instead, many accept the theory of accidents which requires more faith than the Pharisees needed to believe that giving sight to a blind man was a bad thing.
Many today suppose that no authority exists outside of themselves.
This too is a fear reaction: If I admit there is a God, then I am bound to obey Him.
The problem is, of course, that humans without Christ donít want to obey a God who has rules, theyíd rather serve themselves and in so doing, deny the obvious.
Many today reject Godís Word as the revelation of God to men.
They do so contrary to the magnificent evidence to the contrary.
There are over 24,633 ancient manuscripts each supporting the authenticity of the New Testament alone.
JESUS HAS COME AS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD TO DISPELL THE INCREDULOUS BLINDNESS OF MEN.
This manís blindness was permitted in order that the light of the world could be seen!
Unlike the Pharisees, this man knew he could not see.
In grace Jesus opens both the manís physical and spiritual eyes. (vv. 36-38)
Jesus also desires to be the light of our lives as well.
His light of holiness exposes our sin and shatters our illusions of self-righteousness.
His light reveals Godís love for us in the death of His Son.
His light breaks the bonds of our spiritual blindness!
AS HIS PEOPLE OF THE LIGHT, WE ARE ENABLED TO REFLECT HIS LOVE.
Like the man born blind, our lives are also intended to be instruments to show forth Godís glory.
Therefore, we confess all our sins to point out Christís forgiveness for us.
Therefore, we confess the blessings of faith to point out Godís continuing love for us in all our needs.
Yes, God is at work in us and among us, that His light may shine all the brighter.
Like the man born blind, we are means by which others may see God.
We are like a window God uses to let His light shine through us.
We are like a mirror, reflecting His light, not our own.
CONCLUSION: Having all once been in the darkness and blindness of sin and unbelief, each of us can rejoice in joy that is truly profound. Jesus Christ has come to reveal the fact that His is the light of the world and of our lives. Like the man born blind, let us be His instruments of light so that by our words and actions, others might overcome the blindness that pride and arrogance put into human hearts with the bright light of His eternal grace. In Jesusí Amen.
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