What Child is This? The One Who Causes Blind to See, And to Reveal Others are Blind

Sermon from Concordia Lutheran ChurchMy Church's Building - our goal - to see it restored and filled with people who find healing in Christ Jesus, while helping others heal
march 30, 2014

What Child is This?
The One Who Causes Blind to See, 
And to Reveal Others are Blind

John 9:1-41

 May you rejoice as the grace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ opens your eyes to His presence and the restoration of brokenness!


So much talk about sin and its effects!

The gospel reading this morning is one of the longest we have all year, more than half the length of an average sermon.

it reminds me of the Old Testament Book of Job, but not because of the length, it shares the same quality that the Book of Job does, as we look at the discussions that take place.  Discussions that are fascinating, discussions that touch on different theological and philosophical questions.  Discussions that offer little comfort, peace, that are pretty much blind.

But discussions, at the end of it, are blind to the presence of God in the flesh, and blind to the work that Jesus would do. They don’t lead them to the truth, they don’t change their actions, they simply to seek to look back,

It would be like wondering what was responsible for an earthquake, and not bothering to get under a desk, or in a doorway!

Seriously, they while the discussions were going on, incredible things were going on, right there in front of them…..

God, revealed among them, and as we pray in the Kyrie he was helping, saving, comforting, and defending them… even as He does us.

So let’s look at the discussions, and what they missed…..  (click)

Question 1 – who’s responsible for this brokenness

The passage opens up, with a discussion of his committed followers, which they bring to him to answer.

“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
We are well into the gospels at this point, they had heard Jesus’s testimony that he was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s promise that the Messiah would bring healing to the blind and to the broken hearted, and their question is about what is the root cause of the blindness?

They could have asked Jesus if he would have healed him.  Or perhaps asked Jesus to heal him. They could have asked how they could have helped.

But instead they treat him like a …. Object? A Thing to be discussed and a lesson in theology and philosophy.

They don’t see the man, and they certainly don’t see the reason that Jesus will lay out before them,
Answer: Jesus heals the brokenness


“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.
There isn’t a day when I wish such work of God could be done here, that people who have devastating physical issues, couldn’t all be healed, that they couldn’t all be restored.  It would be dangerous to take from this passage the idea that God is only glorified in the physical healing of a person.  We’ll see why in the second discussion.

What I want us to see in this, is not the miracle of a healing, for something greater is about to happen.  Something that will affect the man more deeply, more powerfully.

We need to see though, that Jesus saw the man, the man in great need, and responded.

The disciples didn’t, they hadn’t learned that lesson yet, but Peter would, when Jesus tells him three times to feed my sheep, and when he and John take time to heal the man begging at the Temple’s gates.

CLICK  Discussion lesson number one, Jesus saw the man, not the sin that hinders him.

When we are dealing with people who are broken, as we were, it doesn’t matter how they were broken, whose sin has broken them, or even what the sin was.

It matters that the person was one whom God desired to minister to, to bring them into the kind of transformation where sin could not hinder him from living.  To bring him to the realization that He was God’s child, and NOTHING could separate him from God’s love, revealed in Christ.

Which brings us to the second part of the conversation….the meeting of the Pharisees…

Discussion 2 – how can Jesus do anything about this?

The progress of the discussion went something like this.

A major disagreement about whether Jesus could do such a miracle.  Some say it’s impossible, because Jesus healed on the Sabbath, others are in shock, and can’t explain it… because how does a ordinary man do such things.

The mind works in odd ways, and rather than finding themselves in God’s presence, they decide they don’t have the right information…..so they call in the Blind man…

“We don’t believe you are the blind man.”  “Yes, I am,”  He responds.

Drats – they were hoping that maybe it was a temporary condition, and reversed itself.  So they call in the parents….

“We don’t believe your son was born blind….”

“Yes, he was, but we don’t know what happened to him,” they say in timid, anxious voices, knowing what the Pharisees don’t want to hear….

ARRGGGHHH – get the young man back in….

And they ask his opinion, as if the opinion of a man who never looked at a night sky, at seen trees and looked into the eyes of those he loved, would say something to detract from the miracle that happened to him…. “Simple, He is from God!”  And so they boot him out of the community.

While the first discussion didn’t see the man, the second didn’t see the God who would claim the man as his own, as one of His people.  They couldn’t see God’s love for this man, this one they discounted as the sinner.  CLICK

Discussion lesson #2 – Don’t miss that God wants to do something in every person’s life. To make himself known to them as real, as loving, as merciful, as their Lord, Savior, Father, Friend, Advocate….

You see, the goal of the interaction wasn’t just to heal the man of His physical ailments.  Remember Jesus’ earlier answer?

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.

For to see a man healed of being blind is amazing, miraculous, just as many of Jesus miracles left people stunned,  Yet, something more miraculous happens.  Jesus doesn’t just leave the man with his physical sight….

He establishes a relationship!  The man hears something, that talked of eternity, about the restoration of the people of God.  For in revealing that He is the Son of Man, Jesus reveals that the people of God will be made whole, not some time in the future, but soon, and that Jesus is the long awaited one who will fulfilled the promises revealed in Ezekiel.

Jesus reveals He is the Son of Man the one who knows God’s heart, so clearly revealed in Ezekiel, (CLICK)

21  Suppose wicked people stop sinning and start obeying my laws and doing right. They won’t be put to death. 22  All their sins will be forgiven, and they will live because they did right. 23  I, the LORD God, don’t like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live. Ezekiel 18:21-24 (CEV)
Jesus is revealing that it is time for God to make His people, His again, for them to realize that He will be their God, forever.  He will raise them, even as the prophesy at the Valley of Dry Bones, or the chapter before, where God promises to wash us, to replace our hearts of stones, with hearts of flesh, to send His Spirit to live inside of us…

Such a revelation, to this man who simply realized that Jesus was from God.  That is what is glorious, God coming to this man, God revealing Himself to Him.

When others couldn’t see the simple truth, the truth that they claimed expertise, but overlooked the heart of God who would come to the broken and restore them.

Glorious – that God would come to man, that He would assure them of His love, His faithfulness.  It’s not about who was the sinner, or whether man can heal on Sunday, its’ about the love of God for His people, revealed in Christ. That is why we ask what child is this?  And why we know and trust in Him…..
That would bring His people, broken and abandoned, that would bring us into His peace.  The peace of God, which passes all understanding, the peace of God that you are brought into and kept, by Jesus the Christ.


About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

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