In this series of posts, we are giving away some of my favorite sermon outlines. I’ve been preaching since I was about sixteen years old or so (that’s sixty-two years!) and have made every mistake in the book (I go over some of the most common mistakes in my booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better!).
We’ve begun to look at my sermon outline on John 9, the most extensively recorded miracle in the Bible. I won’t reproduce the biblical text for you, but my major outline points with a bit of explanation. We’ve seen the first truth in this text and it is that —
I. Tragedy Has Its Reasons! (vv. 1-5)
Encountering this man “blind from birth,” the disciples ask Jesus for His explanation of this man’s tragedy. They provide the Lord two possible answers (we do the same to Him, don’t we?), this man’s sin or his parents’ sin. Jesus responds with letter ‘C’ — “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (v. 3).
The second truth that comes from this incredible text is simply —
II. Obedience Has Its Reward (vv. 6-12).
It does not appear that Jesus engages this man in a conversation, but simply spits on the ground, makes mud, puts it on this man’s eyes, and tells him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam (v. 6). And he obeys! Perhaps he knew something about Jesus. More than likely he didn’t know anything about this wandering rabbi, but something caused him to obey. Without argument or hesitation.
We can only speculate about this man’s inner thoughts. When you think about it, there is something quite healthy about desperation. Or maybe resignation. After a life of blindness, perhaps this man thought to himself, “What do I have to lose?”
The succinctness of the text is remarkable here: “So the man went and washed, and came home seeing” (v. 7). Wow. Simple obedience — rewarded by God! The great theologian Ray Charles, blind himself, once said, “My eyes are my handicap, but my ears are my opportunity.” This man’s opportunity was to do what Jesus told him to do. “And he came home seeing.”
The interrogations will soon begin. But right now, this man is seeing. For the first time. A “work of God” done by Jesus because this man obeyed. I wonder what works of God I might be missing by not jumping to obey? (to be continued)