Title:  Will You Raise Your Hand?


Summary:  Jesus has demonstrated through his miracles and his resurrection that he is the Son of God and the only means of forgiveness and redemption to God.  However, other forces in our lives will try and intimidate us and keep us from acknowledging Jesus for who he is, or completely blind us to who he is.  We need to consider him and courageously acknowledge him, and he will come to us as he did to the man born blind, and give us deeper faith and insight.


Text:  John 9:1-41


Scripture Reading:  Rev 2:7-11



1.  Have over seen those group behavior tests before?

          a.  What is proper elevator etiquette? 

                    - Get in, turn around, face the door

                    - On Candid Camera, guy gets in elevator

                    - Everyone facing the side, so he slowly faces the side

                    - On a secret signal, everyone turns, to back, he slowly did same

          b.  Various tests on students.  Some at collage, high school, elementary

                    - 3 lines drawn on a board, each a different length

                    - Students to raise hand when teach point to longest line

                    - 9 students secretly instructed to raise hand at 2nd longest line

                    - The one student with right answer, realize his is only hand up, put

                       his hand down -- that happened 75% of the time

2.  Demonstrates the overpowering desire to fit in

          a.  No one likes to be a misfit, or out of step

          b.  People usually do not like to stand along

3.  This morning's miracle story about man who was only one with his hand up

4.  Story from John 9 - A man who was born blind


I.  (v.1-7) The Question and Miracle

          A.  First, the question concerning who was at fault

                    1.  Disciples believed his blindness was result of sin.  But whose?

                              a.  We know that sin does not always result is sickness

                              b.  If it did, we would all be sick all the time

                    2.  Jesus' response makes it look like God caused it

                              a.  Purpose was to display works of God

                              b.  So, it wasn't sin, but God that caused it to show his glory

                    3.  Another strong possibility

                              a.  Original manuscripts did not have punctuation

                              b.  Translators sometimes insert English words to smooth

                                   the reading.  Often an interpretive decision

                              c.  Some translations indicate these inserted words by

                                   putting them in italics

                              d.  Let me read the text without punctuation and without

                                   italics - "Neither this man sinned nor his parents but so that the

                                          works of God might be displayed in him we must work the

                                           works of him who set me as long as it is day"

          B.  Important thing is that the works of God be displayed in him

                    1.  Jesus had a mission

                    2.  Hair splitting theoretical theological academic arguments did not

                          occupy his passion as it did with others

                    3.  Important was to work the works of God - Which is what he did

          C.  What was Jesus's work? To be the Light of the World

                    1.  Still during Succoth, Tabernacles, 7:1f

                    2.  One of the ceremonies during Succoth was a Light Ceremony

                              a.  The city was all lit up

                                        - 4 giant lampstands with 4 giant oil lamps, 16 total, lit

                                           in the court of women at the temple

                                        - Torches all around the city with singing

                                        - Rabbis said that the entire city was like the daytime

                              b.  Background was Zech 14:5-6 - "Then Yahweh, my

                                         God, will come, and all the holy ones with him… it will come

                                          about that at evening, there will be light"

                              c.  This ceremony, like many others, was to evoke a sense

                                    of the presence of God among them

                                        - Like the pillar of fire at night in the wilderness

                                        - That light reminded the people of presence of God

                              d.  So - The city is lit up with the presence of God

                    3.  Jesus says, "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world"

                              a.  John 1 says the Word that became flesh is the light of life

                              b.  Jesus is God in flesh and is the light of God's presence

          D.  How poetic this miracle is

                    1.  After saying he is the light of the world, he heals the eyes

                    2.  The man comes back seeing!

                              a.  He has never seen before, blind from birth

                              b.  No issues like some who surgically get eyesight but have

                                   never previously had sight

                              c.  Everything works for this man.  He can see like you and I

                    3.  Imagine what that must have been like


II.  The Reactions to His Newfound Sight

          A.  From his neighbors (v.8-12)

                    1.  They knew him as a blind beggar

                    2.  Is this the same guy?  He said that he was

                    3.  How did you get your eyesight?

                    4.  Man's Answer - The MAN named Jesus said to wash, I did, I see

          B.  From the Pharisees

                    1.  (v.13-16) The first interrogation. How did you receive sight?

                              a.  Pharisees said Jesus is not from God, he broke Sabbath

                              b.  Others were asking how he could do a sign if he a sinner

                    2.  (v.17) Asked man who he said Jesus was

                              a.  The man's answer - He is a PROPHET

                              b.  The man went from calling Jesus a man, to a prophet

                    3.  (v.18-23) Interrogation of the man's parents to disprove miracle

                              a.  Not believe man was blind, therefore no miracle

                              b.  Parents not want to acknowledge too much

                              c.  Parents were afraid of being excommunicated

                    4.  (v.24-29) Second interrogation of the man

                              a.  Ordered man to give glory to God, not Jesus.  Why?

                                        - They said Jesus was a sinner

                                        - Insinuate God could do the sign, but not Jesus

                              b.  Man's response - Don't know if he a sinner.  But I can see

                              c.  They asked him AGAIN, and now he is irritated

                                        - Like a lawyer, trying to catch him in inconsistency

                                        - Man becomes sarcastic - You want to be disciples?

                              d.  Response - God spoke to Moses, we not know where this

                                    Jesus is from

          C.  (v.30-34) Man becomes less and less timid

                    1.  He healed me, and you don’t know where he is from?

                    2.  He healed me, which means he God-fearing & God hears him

                    3.  Man cannot be a sinner, he has to be FROM GOD

                    4.  Result - Pharisees excommunicated him

                              a.  When all else fails, Pharisee response -"You're a sinner!"

                              b.  They continue in their proud respectability

          D.  (v.35-41) Look at the reversal!

                    1.  The contemptible, blind beggar, a sinner

                              a.  He was ignorant, but open and honest

                              b.  He was blind, but now he can see

                              c.  He worships Jesus whom he now sees

                              d.  Text implies his sins are forgiven

                    2.  The respectable religious scholars, meticulous law keepers

                              a.  They are learned, but proud and stubborn

                              b.  They claim they can see, but they are blind

                              c.  They refuse to see Jesus for who he is

                              d.  They are still in their sins


III.  Lesson:  Be Courageous in your Conversion

          A.  Don't be afraid to be the only one holding your hand up

          B.  This man's parents did not hold their hand up

                    1.  This man courageously acknowledged his growing faith and

                          understanding in Christ

                              a.  v.11 - At first he called him that "man" called Jesus

                              b.  v.17 - Then he acknowledged him as a prophet

                              c.  v.33 - Then he acknowledged him as being from God

                              d.  v.35f - Then Jesus reveals he is the "Son of Man," one of

                                   several ways the Bible refers to the coming  Messiah

                    2.  This was in stark contrast to his parents

                              a.  He was courageous, his parents were afraid

                              b.  He spoke openly of his growing faith, his parents kept

                                   silent about it

                              c. He drew closer to Christ, parents seemed to become more

                                  distant to him

                    3.  Read between the lines a little bit

                              a.  v.22 - News put out anyone confessing Jesus as Christ

                              b.  How might that have affected our man who now sees?

                                        - Potentially could have been discouraging

                                        - Fortunately strength of his faith not from parents

                                        - His convictions were his own

                              c.  Point - Strongest challenge often comes from those who

                                   are closest to us

                                        - Family and relatives

                                        - Friends and neighbors

                                        - Co-workers, schoolmates, teachers

          C.  ILL:  If in step with Jesus, put you out of step with world around you

                    1.  Early church used John 9 as one of 3 models for conversion

                              a.  Stands as reminder of antagonism you will face

                              b.  Demonstrates the simple courage we are to have

                              c.  I don't know much, but I DO know Jesus is the Christ

                              d.  People will try to intimidate you like they did the parents

                    2.  Politically correct religion is in, John Shelby Spong an example

                              a.  Like Pharisees, well educated.  Harvard, and Yale

                              b.  He calls for a fundamental rethinking of Christian belief

                                   away from theism and traditional doctrines

                              c.  Like Luther's 95 Thesis, Spong has promoted 12 points to

                                   promote a new reformation.  Some examples:

- Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.

- The Biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.

- The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.

- The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed.

- Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history.

- There is no external, objective, revealed standard written in scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time.

                              d.  You think the media likes him?  Yes they do.

                    3.  There are those, like blind man's parents, not say anything that

                          contradicts these things out of fear

                              a.  At least he is a good man, teach equal rights, ethics

                              b.  He is false teacher, heretic, lead people to Hell

                              c.  He is not a good man, Bible says he is accursed - for

                                   bringing a different Gospel - Gal. 1

                    4.  How many ways are there to God?

                              a.  Jn 14:6 - Jesus said I am the way, truth, life

                              b.  That is clear, concise, no misunderstanding

                              c.  That means other ways do NOT lead to God

          D.  I want to tell you about a lady that has brought many people to Christ

                    1.  She lives in Vermont.  Liberal politically, socially, religiously

                    2.  A lot of religious people thinks she is to blunt with her message

                              a.  She will discuss the Christian faith in letters to the editor

                              b.  She tells it like it is, pulls no punches

                              c.  People sometimes get mad at her

                    3.  She was responsible for bringing more people to Christ than

                         anyone else in that congregation

                              a.  Did people get offended at her message?  Yes

                              d.  Did people come to Christ due to her message?  Yes

                    4.  This demonstrates what Paul says about Gospel (1 Cor 1:22-25)

                              a.  Foolishness to the Greeks

                                        - They were smart, educated

                                        - Idea of God coming in flesh, dying, raising, too much

                                        - People still think that today?  Yes

                              b.  A stumbling block to the Jews

                                        - Word is "skandalon" - That which causes offense,

                                          pposition, stumbling, repulsive

                                        - The idea that God would die on a cross, too much

                                        - Is there anything about Christian message that is

                                          offensive today?  Yes

                              c.  To us it is the power and wisdom of God



1. The cross will always be opposed as foolish or a scandal to those who reject it

2.  Don't let fear and intimidation keep you from confessing your faith in your Lord

3.  Who will you be like today?

          a.  Pharisees.  Too educated?  Reject Jesus in spite of miracles?

          b.  Parents.  Too afraid?  Will not acknowledge him, intimidated?

          c.  The man born blind.  May not know a lot, but I know Jesus died, rose

               from the grave, and he is my Lord and Savior

4.  You may be only one with hand up, but that does not make you wrong.