Monday, March 12, 2007

Come and Listen

John 9:24-34

A second time they summoned the man who had been blind.
"Give glory to God," they said, "We know this man (Jesus) is a sinner."
He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"
Then they asked him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"
He answered, "I have already told you and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?"
Then they hurled insults at him and said, "You are this fellow's disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from."
The man answered, "Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has every heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."
To this they replied, "You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!" And they threw him out.

The man in this story was born blind. According to tradition, there was sin somewhere in his family's history that had caused him to suffer from this ailment. Regardless of sin or fault, Jesus, showing compassion on him, opened his eyes and for the first time in his life, this man saw. Can you imagine for a minute what that would be like. The vivid color of the sky; the green grass waving in the breeze; the beauty of the temple mount; the olive trees in bloom; the mountains; the oceans. This man had never before seen these things. Talk about sensory overload! No longer would this man have to rely on others to get around, no longer would relatives and friends have to describe the beauty of a sunset, or the cuteness of a baby's smile. As he is questioned by the Pharisees, he provides them with one of my favorite quotes of the Bible, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see."

If you are a follower of Christ then you too have a similar story about God. You were lost but now you're found; you were blind but now you see; you were lame but now you walk; you were dead but now you are alive. Some times it is very easy to get down on ourselves. It is easy to focus on the negatives in our lives: the debt we have, the argument we just had with our spouse, our children's rebellion, etc... When we focus on all the junk we're experiencing, we fail to give God the proper glory for all that he has done in our lives. When I find myself getting down, I take what I call a spiritual net worth assessment. I take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. On the left hand side I write all of the blessings God has given me; my wife, my daughter, a house to live in, two cars to drive (and one that is for sale!), a steady job, plenty of food to eat, a functional health, a country that allows me to practice my religion freely, salvation (This one is a biggie!), etc... I can go on and on and chances are you could too. On the right hand side I write down the things that I am struggling with, or the trials that I'm facing. Every time, and I mean every time, the blessings that God has bestowed upon my life outweigh the negatives and not just by a little bit. We may not understand the trinity, Calvinism vs. Arminianism, or why Whoopi Goldberg still gets work. We may not understand why we have to struggle and go through tough times. We may never understand those things. But one thing we can understand is that once we were blind and now we see. The time has come to ask the world to come and listen to what He has done for us.

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