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Speaking of preaching, I want to give away some of my favorite sermon outlines and we are completing the first — the story of the man born blind in John 9. We have seen from this incredible story the truths that
I. Tragedy Has Its Reasons (vv. 1-5)
II. Obedience Has Its Reward (vv. 6-12)
III. Boldness Has Its Price (vv. 13-34).
Let’s notice, lastly in this sermon, that
IV. Jesus Has His Mission (vv. 35-41)!
The man-born-blind has received his sight and has been tossed out of the synagogue because he participated in Jesus’ making mud on the Sabbath and because he stood up to the closed-minded religious authorities. With the words, “You were steeped in sin at birth! How dare you lecture us?!”, he is unceremoniously thrown out of the center of Jewish life.
For many Christians, being asked to leave a local church would be no big deal. They would just go down the street to another church (which would probably not ask why they were kicked out of the first church). But news travels fast and Jesus heard that they had thrown him out (v. 35) — and goes to find him!
Jesus seeks him out. He has a habit of doing that, doesn’t He? How did He seek you out? And please notice that Jesus doesn’t apologize to the man for healing him on the Sabbath and getting him thrown out of the synagogue. He also doesn’t ask him, “How’s the eyesight doing?” No. He asks him a profound spiritual question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
John Piper has a helpful article on the expression “Son of Man.” This title (used often by Jesus, see Mark 10:45) shows Jesus’ true humanity, but also aligns Him with the exalted figure of Daniel 7. In fact, we read in Matthew 26, “The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Piper says, “He was quiet. He was subtle. And he would make claims that were explicit in certain settings and implicit in others. And only when the time was right—mainly when he was on trial for his life, and they said, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the living God?”—did he say, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man coming with great power and glory.” So he confessed his open deity right at the point where he knew he would be crucified for it.” (https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/why-is-jesus-called-son-of-man)
Jesus leads this man to saving faith then and there. And the Pharisees overhear Jesus’ comment about “those who see will become blind” (v. 39). “What?”, they say, “Are we blind too?” It appears they still considered the man-born-blind as blind, even though Jesus had given him sight! The world and its skeptics hasn’t changed all that much, has it?