Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: Miracles
- By now, you should be able to say Ephesians 3:20-21 from memory: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
- Miracles are the in-breaking of God’s coming Kingdom. The pain and loss in our world represent the uprising of the dying kingdom of this world. Both of these realities are present in our world. Jesus asked us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Why did He ask us to pray for this?
- Read John 9:1-12: As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” 12 “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said.
- What questions or comments come to your mind as you read this passage?
- This is a miracle about Vision.
- The physical healing miracles that Jesus did included making the lame walk, making the mute able to talk, making the deaf hear, and making the blind see. Pastor Dale shared some of the physical challenges of healing a person who had been blind from birth. The retina conducts close to 10 billion calculations every second before an image even travels through the optic nerve to the visual cortex. One doctor put it this way: “To simulate 10 milliseconds of the complete processing of even a single nerve cell from the retina would require about 500 simultaneous non-linear differential equations 100 times and would take at least several minutes of processing on a Cray supercomputer. Keeping in mind that there are more than 10 million cells interacting with each other in complex ways, it would take a minimum of 100 years of Cray time to simulate what takes place in your eye every second.” Doctors tell us that at about 6 months of age, children start developing internal pictures of external realities, but this man had no internal images for things at all, because he had never seen before. Talk about what that would have been like for that man, and what this scientific information adds to your understanding of this miracle.
- In addition to helping this man see, Jesus wanted to communicate some things about himself. In John 9:5, Jesus said: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” This was one of many names that Jesus used for himself. What does that expression, “I am the light of the world” communicate about Jesus and what he does for us?
- Read Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” One of the best things you can do to increase your vision and understanding of God is to read God’s Word – the Bible. Share with the group about your own personal practice of “self-feeding” from the Bible. If you have questions about how to have personal time with the Bible, be open about that and ask your group for some suggestions.
- Sometimes there is a Lack of Vision:
- Read John 9:2: His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” What mistaken idea is represented in this verse?
- Share examples from our world today of people who have similar ideas about the reason why bad things happen to people.
- What did you learn from Nadia Mossburg’s story?
- Read John 9:6: “After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.” Notice that Jesus used mud to bring healing to this man. Jesus often uses the “muddy” situations of our lives to show us how powerful He is. Share about a “muddy” experience in your life where you felt Jesus’ powerful, loving presence.
- This is also a story about 20/20 Vision – learning to see things God’s way.
- Read John 9:25 where this man shared his story. As people questioned him about who Jesus was, he answered: “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” What do you notice here about this man’s testimony?
- This blind man received the ability to see physically, and now he also was beginning to see the world the way Jesus sees it. How has knowing Jesus helped improve your ability to see and understand how God sees the world?
- In the song “Amazing Grace” John Newton admits he was blind before he gave his life to Jesus. He was referring to the fact that he used to be involved in the cruel practice of slave trading and didn’t even realize how wrong that was. But then God helped him see his life for what is was, and he accepted Jesus’ grace, forgiveness, and salvation. What areas in your life would you like to bring more in line with Jesus’ perfect vision?