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Reflections of an Ex-blindman
by Jonathan McKee

CLICK HERE for a simple PowerPoint for this message.
(Thanks to www.sxc.hu for the background art)

PASSAGE:

John 9:1-33 (NLT)

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. [2] "Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?" [3] "It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him. [4] All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. [5] But while I am still here in the world, I am the light of the world."

[6] Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smoothed the mud over the blind man's eyes. [7] He told him, "Go and wash in the pool of Siloam" (Siloam means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came back seeing!

[8] His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, "Is this the same man-that beggar?" [9] Some said he was, and others said, "No, but he surely looks like him!" And the beggar kept saying, "I am the same man!"

[10] They asked, "Who healed you? What happened?" [11] He told them, "The man they call Jesus made mud and smoothed it over my eyes and told me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash off the mud.' I went and washed, and now I can see!"

[12] "Where is he now?" they asked. "I don't know," he replied.

[13] Then they took the man to the Pharisees. [14] Now as it happened, Jesus had healed the man on a Sabbath. [15] The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, "He smoothed the mud over my eyes, and when it was washed away, I could see!"

[16] Some of the Pharisees said, "This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath." Others said, "But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?" So there was a deep division of opinion among them.

[17] Then the Pharisees once again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, "This man who opened your eyes-who do you say he is?" The man replied, "I think he must be a prophet."

[18] The Jewish leaders wouldn't believe he had been blind, so they called in his parents. [19] They asked them, "Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he see?" [20] His parents replied, "We know this is our son and that he was born blind, [21] but we don't know how he can see or who healed him. He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him." [22] They said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. [23] That's why they said, "He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him."

[24] So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, "Give glory to God by telling the truth, because we know Jesus is a sinner."

[25] "I don't know whether he is a sinner," the man replied. "But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!"

[26] "But what did he do?" they asked. "How did he heal you?"

[27] "Look!" the man exclaimed. "I told you once. Didn't you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?"

[28] Then they cursed him and said, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. [29] We know God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don't know anything about him."

[30] "Why, that's very strange!" the man replied. "He healed my eyes, and yet you don't know anything about him! [31] Well, God doesn't listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. [32] Never since the world began has anyone been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. [33] If this man were not from God, he couldn't do it."


MAIN POINT:

You can tell your story ... (HOW?) by following the example of the blind man.

SOUND BYTE:

You are the only story that somebody may know about Christ!

RATIONALE:
  1. Allow God to change you.
  2. Allow others to see your changed life.
  3. Always be prepared to tell your story.
THE TALK

Introduction: (The following is a story of a student I worked with- feel free to use it. Even better, I encourage you to find your own fitting story about yourself or someone you knew who shared their personal testimony/story. If you use this one, just be sure not to imply that he was a student you worked with.) Jesse never realized the effect he could have on others. He actually had just become a believer in Jesus and just began studying the Bible a few months before. But he had an effect on someone- someone he never suspected - his sister!

Jesse's sister came into his room one night and asked him, "Jesse, what is up with you?"

Jesse responded, "What do you mean?"

"You're just acting different now. You don't cuss anymore, you don't hang out with those stupid guys that you always got in trouble with ... and you're going to church and stuff! What's wrong with you?"

"I don't know ... I guess I really like church now though."

She pressed on, "But what happened?"

Jesse told her what had happened in his life. He found Jesus and he told her all about it.

After a moment she asked him. "Well, how do I get him?"

And Jesse told her what he prayed. And in no fancy words, Jesse and his sister prayed right there in Jesse's room and she asked Jesus to come into her life.

Jesse didn't have a memorized Gospel presentation. He didn't have any special training. But Jesse's life was changed, people noticed ... and HE TOLD HIS STORY!

State Your Point - You are the only story that somebody may know about Christ!

Read verses 1-7 - Today's passage is in the Bible in the book of John. It's the story of how Jesus changed a man's life, others noticed, and he told his story!

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. [2] "Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?"

[3] "It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him. [4] All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. [5] But while I am still here in the world, I am the light of the world."

[6] Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smoothed the mud over the blind man's eyes. [7] He told him, "Go and wash in the pool of Siloam" (Siloam means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came back seeing!

Summarize story in your own words: So Jesus is walking and he sees a blind man. This guy had been blind forever. He walks over to the guy, makes mud on the ground, rubs it in his eyes and tells him to go wash in a nearby pool. The guy does this and he can see!

The fact is ... many of us here today were spiritually blind. We were living our lives for the temporary things around us, the things two feet in front of us and we were blind to the danger lurking around the corner. Many of us were pursuing our own way rather than God's way, but then something happened ... we met Jesus and now we can see!

Some of us might not of had that experience yet, and that's okay. But Jesus wants to give you life, he wants to "make you see" what a relationship with him is really like.

So the first thing we learn from the blind man is- we need to ...

Point One: Allow God to change us - many of us have the same story as the blind man: "I was blind, then I met Jesus, and now I see."

God wants to change us. He doesn't want us to walk in darkness, he wants us to walk in the light. 1 Peter 2:9 b (NLT)

... for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Allow God to change you. You might be the only story that somebody may know about Christ!

Check out what happens next!

Read vs. 8-10

[8] His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, "Is this the same man-that beggar?" [9] Some said he was, and others said, "No, but he surely looks like him!" And the beggar kept saying, "I am the same man!"

[10] They asked, "Who healed you? What happened?"

Summarize story in your own words: This blind man had lived in darkness his entire life. When Jesus healed him, people noticed. Maybe he was walking around pointing at things, "That's a tree! Look ... a blue sky! A donkey!" Whatever he was doing, people noticed something different about the guy who used to be blind!

Which brings us to the second thing we can learn from the blind man ...

Point Two: Allow others to see our changed life - do your friends notice a difference in you?

When your friends look at you ... what do they see. Do they notice what Jesus has done in your life. Do they see that you are different?

You see, words are cheap. Most of our friends don't care much about what we preach ... but they pay close attention to how we live.

A long time ago a Puritan was talking to an American Indian chief. This Puritan had spent weeks talking with the Indian, telling him all about Jesus and how anyone could have a relationship with him. The wise Indian chief listened and was actually very interested in the stories of this great man Jesus who gave his life for so many.

As the Puritan spent more time with the Indian chief, he asked the chief, "Why don't you pray and give your life to Jesus?"

The Indian chief was silent for a while as he puffed his large pipe. Then, taking the pipe from his mouth he finally spoke. "I like what white man has to say about Jesus. Jesus sound like honorable man. Giving life to Jesus sounds like good decision to make. But Indian chief wants to wait. He will watch the white man for a while and observe his people who claim to have Jesus in life. He will watch and see if that is how he wants his people to live."

What do people see if they watch you? Would they want that life? You might be the only story that somebody may know about Christ!

Check out what happens next!

Read vs. 10-27

[10] They asked, "Who healed you? What happened?" [11] He told them, "The man they call Jesus made mud and smoothed it over my eyes and told me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash off the mud.' I went and washed, and now I can see!"

[12] "Where is he now?" they asked. "I don't know," he replied.

[13] Then they took the man to the Pharisees. [14] Now as it happened, Jesus had healed the man on a Sabbath. [15] The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, "He smoothed the mud over my eyes, and when it was washed away, I could see!"

[16] Some of the Pharisees said, "This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath." Others said, "But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?" So there was a deep division of opinion among them.

[17] Then the Pharisees once again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, "This man who opened your eyes-who do you say he is?" The man replied, "I think he must be a prophet."

[18] The Jewish leaders wouldn't believe he had been blind, so they called in his parents. [19] They asked them, "Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he see?"

[20] His parents replied, "We know this is our son and that he was born blind, [21] but we don't know how he can see or who healed him. He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him." [22] They said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. [23] That's why they said, "He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him."

[24] So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, "Give glory to God by telling the truth, because we know Jesus is a sinner."

[25] "I don't know whether he is a sinner," the man replied. "But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!"

[26] "But what did he do?" they asked. "How did he heal you?"

[27] "Look!" the man exclaimed. "I told you once. Didn't you listen?

Summarize story in your own words: This is hilarious! The people ask the blind man what happens. He doesn't give any theological answers, he doesn't give the history of Jesus ... he just tells what he knows. "I was blind ... but then I met Jesus ... and now I see."

They aren't satisfied - they bring him to the Pharisees- the religious snobs of the day. They ask him and he tells his story again. They still aren't satisfied so they go to his parents.

"Are you the parents of the blind man ... er ... I mean ... the ex-blind man?"

"Yes." "Well what happened to him."

They didn't want to get caught in the middle of it so they just told them, "He's old enough to answer for himself. Go ask him."

The religious snobs threw up their hands and went back to the ex-blind man again. "Now tell us what happened!"

The blind man was probably a little impatient by now. "Listen ... I might have been blind .. but you is DEAF! Now listen!" (doing sign language as he speaks) "I W-A-S B-L-I-N-D , B-U-T I M-E-T J-E-S-U-S , A-N-D N-O-W I S-E-E !"

This blind man hadn't gone to Bible school. He didn't have all the answers. But he knew one thing ... his story. He knew what his life was like, he knew Jesus changed it, and he knew what his life was like now.

That brings us to our next point.

Point Three: Always be prepared to tell your story

This man could not answer all the theological questions, but he knew his story of a changed life. Some people have great theological answers, but they don't have a changed life.

We need to be ready to tell our story.

1 Peter
3:15-16 (NLT)

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. [16] But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

You are the only story that somebody may know about Christ! (Restate your points for closing)

1. Allow God to change you. Some of us have already done that. Some of us might need to make that step tonight so we can have a relationship with Jesus.

2. Allow other to see your changed life. When God changes us, do others notice?

3. Always be prepared to tell your story. God has given us an incredible hope in Jesus Christ. When others see this hope, we need to be ready to explain it.

You are the only story that somebody may know about Christ!


OUTLINE:

Introduction - Jesse story or your own personal story

State Your Point - You are the only story that somebody may know about Christ!

Read verses 1-7

Summarize story in your own words

Point One: Allow God to change you - many of us have the same story as the blind man: "I was blind, then I met Jesus, and now I see."

Read vs. 8-10

Summarize story in your own words

Point Two: Allow others to see your changed life - do your friends notice a difference in you?

Story of the Puritan and the Indian

Read vs. 10-27

Summarize story in your own words

Point Three: Always be prepared to tell your story.

I Peter 3:15-16


Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaking to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.



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