I Am the Light of the World: Jesus Divine Addressing Darkness Blind, Part 4

Brian Mahon - 5/29/2022


Call to worship: Isaiah 42:1-9

Text: John 9:1-41


Jesus leaves the temple on those words, 'I Am,' and 'passes by' a man born blind. True spiritual sight is the conviction that Jesus is the all-glorious Christ. This miraculous account is an acted parable intended to press home this spiritual reality. We all need this sight, and Jesus gives this sight. God has given Him works to accomplish in confirming His identity as the climactic self-disclosure of God, i.e., the Light of the world. Thus, He regenerates this man's eyes. The man goes through a string of questioning in which the Pharisees become integrally involved. Contrary to them, he sees Jesus with increasing clarity. Contrary to his own parents, he's willing to speak in favor of Jesus with increasing courage. In the end, he teaches and convicts the learned scribes. Arrogance offended, they rebuke, revile, and discard him---but as he's 'given glory to God' by speaking boldly for Jesus, Jesus finds him and 'closes' with him. Cast out by his own, Jesus makes him His own. Let the seeing heart take comfort and courage! The man believes in Jesus and worships Him! Jesus receives it. He then publicly introduces the plain truth: light exposes darkness and, as such, judges it to be so. Insofar as one admits spiritual blindness, Jesus is happy to give them the sight that saves. Insofar as one admits spiritual sight, while rejecting Jesus, Jesus condemns them as being, in truth, spiritually blind---and therefore liable to the judgment of God.

Sermon Outline:

  1. The working Light before the coming Night. (9:1-7)
  2. The seeing man interrogated. (9:8-23)
  3. The seeing man giving glory to God. (9:24-34)
  4. The seeing man believing and worshipping Jesus. (9:35-38)
  5. The judging Light exposing spiritual Night. (9:39-41)

Memory passage: John 9:39

Benediction: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read John 9:1-41.
  2. Notice that 8:12-9:41 is all 'of a piece.' As you reflect on this section, what truths, themes, and insights have especially stuck out? What is (perhaps) the relationship between 'I Am' in 8:58, and 'as He passed by' in 9:1? How might that color the whole of chapter 9? What does the 'seeing person' see in Jesus? To that end, what is the man's condition? And what is the theological issue presented by Jesus' disciples? How does Jesus answer it? How does this man respond to Jesus in distinction from the man in John 5:1-17?
  3. What are the three phases of interrogation for the now seeing man in 9:8-23? What is his consistent testimony? What issue continues to creep up in the Pharisees consideration of Jesus and His works? Were they all in accord? If not, wonder why not? What do the parents confirm? What are they unwilling to address? Why are they unwilling to address it? How would you characterize their testimony? What reason is given for their timidity---and ultimately their willingness to leave their son 'holding the bag'? How does the pressure exerted by the leaders speak to us as testifying Christians today?
  4. In 9:24, they beseech the seeing man to 'give glory to God!' By how they guide the imperative, do they actually mean that? What do they mean? How does the seeing man prove to be more spiritually insightful and decisive than the religious elites? What is his chain of thought? What does it imply about the leaders that they refuse to land where this man does? What is the cost of his truly giving glory to God?
  5. How does Jesus offset his being outcast? What comfort are we to draw from that, both for ourselves and for those we know are contemplating the cost of discipleship? How does Jesus 'close' with this man? How does the seeing man respond? How do we see that his sight has reached beyond his eyes to the eyes of his heart? As the close to this section, what does Jesus say as the appendix to all of this? How is He a judgment? What does it mean to be 'blind'? What does it mean to 'see'? If you say you 'see' in the sense that you reject Jesus, what remains? Why does it remain?
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