John 9:34-39 Jesus gives us true sight! Lenten 3 March 15, 2020
By Pastor Kenneth Mellon, Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Pleasant Valley Rd., West Bend, WI
God’s grace and peace are yours through Jesus Christ, who gives sight to the blind in body and soul. Amen.
God’s Word to see us through the problems of today is written in John 9:34-39
These are your words heavenly Father. Help us clearly see your Son as our Savior. Your Word is truth. Amen
Dear Christian Friends,
People are doing a lot of unusual things these days. Children across the country will be out of school for a long time. Sports arenas that would usually be filled with crowds are empty. Some businesses sit empty. Some people are out work, while grocery stores are filled with people buying much more than they need for a usual week. But this isn’t a usual week. The Coronavirus Covid-19 has invaded our land. We are hearing now of only few cases but more will be coming. How much will we be affected? How bad will it get? There are many unknowns. People are already feeling a loss of control. They’re uneasy because they do not feel secure.
But we have something more: our God knows the future. He not only knows, but He is ultimately in control of it. He has allowed this virus to affect our world for His good purpose and He has promised to help us. God is concerned for us: for our bodies and souls. And He has the power to bless us especially in a time of crisis. There are two things that we can do: trust in God and pray to Him. But, to do that, first we need
Jesus to give us true sight!
First, what’s wrong with our regular sight? When we hear of many people world-wide getting sick, we tend to think that bad things are happening to others because they are worse than us. It’s not true, but the same thing happened at Jesus’ time. As He and His disciples walked in Jerusalem, they saw a man born blind sitting along the road begging for handouts. How difficult life must have been for him. Not only did the man suffer from blindness, he suffered from people’s criticism. The disciples asked Jesus, “who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” (v.2). Jesus told them that it wasn’t because of him or his parents’ sins. It was so God’s works might be revealed (v.3). God had something so good planned not only resulting in the man getting to see, but that he would see Jesus as the Son of God and his Savior.
I have no doubt that God has allowed this virus to affect the world so that people can see His powerful works. Right now in our nation, there are millions of people who do not know the true God. They have a spiritual blindness so that they don’t see God’s hand in creation or in the natural order of the universe. Without a true knowledge of God at best they fear the unknown and they dread having to deal with it. God has allowed this virus to wake all people up and help them see that there are powers beyond their control and that God has authority to judge all people who live without Him. God has allowed the virus and other problems in the world to get people’s attention. If they don’t turn to Him in repentance and seek forgiveness in Christ, Judgment Day will fill them with more fear and pain that will never end.
I’m glad that we are here today so God can give us a clear insight to find strength in Jesus at this time. Who knows how much longer we can meet as a whole congregation? Right now, while people have the opportunity, they should be filling churches since they can’t fill stadiums. They should be seeking time with Jesus rather than trying to horde items from a grocery store! Yet many will not seek Him. Sin blocks the true understanding of God. John wrote, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world…, but the world did not recognize Him” (John 1:9-10).
Second, we see that Jesus has power over everything. His miraculous healing of a man born blind is a small example of His power. At Jesus’ word, the man washed away mud that was on his eye lids and instantly he was able to see. When the religious leaders heard that Jesus had healed on a Sabbath Day, they refused to believe in Him. They questioned the man’s parents to make sure he was really blind. They questioned the man to see if they could find some other explanation as to how he was healed. They told the man to honor God, not Jesus. But the man gave all credit to Jesus for his sight.
Does it take an epidemic before we are thankful for the blessings that Jesus has given us? He died to take away something much worse than a virus. He forgave our sins that would separate us from God forever. We had no way to make up for our sins any more than this man born blind could make himself see. We have all been exposed to evil that would quarantine us from heaven forever unless we have Jesus. Not only did Jesus forgive us, He replaced our sin with His perfect life. Only God’s Son could do such powerful things to save us!
Third, it’s time to call on Jesus! After the healed man was rejected by the Jews, Jesus found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” “Who is he, sir,” the man replied, “that I may believe in him?” Jesus answered, “You have seen him, and he is the very one who is speaking with you” (v. 35-37). The man had two responses. He said, “I believe!” and worshipped Him as his Savior (v.38)
What a difference a day made for this man. That morning he was blind. At the end of the day he could not only see people, He saw Jesus with His own eyes and believed in Him as his Savior! Although we haven’t physically seen Jesus yet, God’s Word shows Him to us so clearly that we too by faith call on Him as our Savior. Paul wrote, “God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 4:13-14).
Our country’s president has asked that today be a national day of prayer. We will certainly include our nation in prayer this morning but not just for physical healing from a virus. We pray that God would open the eyes of our people to His promises so that they don’t need to panic or have fear in a crises, but trust in God’s mighty hand to help them. We pray that God would open the eyes of many more people to see Jesus our powerful Savior who is with us always. We can have confidence in Him to help us at the right time and in the best possible way for our eternal good.
The Holy Spirit has convinced us of God’s help so that we can say along with the Apostle Paul, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword…? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life… neither the present nor the future, nor any powers … will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 37-39).
As Christians, we see life differently. We know that problems like the Covid-19 virus are troublesome but temporary. But our home in heaven is forever! Jesus’ goal is to take us to heaven where nothing can harm us; where there is no sin or no virus to make us sick. John wrote, “There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying… for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4).
The man healed from blindness got a taste of heaven. One minute he was begging for change and the next he was looking at Jesus who restored him physically and spiritually! Through God’s Word, Jesus has given us true sight that we trust in Him as our Savior. He will help us in all our times of need! There are many more people who do not know of His help. But we can pray for them and share God’s Word with them in this time of crisis. By God’s grace some will believe and see, like us, the blessings that only Jesus can give. Amen.