Sunday, November 11, 2012

Grace for a Blind Man

Today's church marquee reads, "A blind man walks into a bar." The first time I saw this I thought the sermon would be about Jesus healing the blind man. You remember that story, I'm sure, found in John 9:1-31.
"When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with clay."

But then I remembered that it was just three weeks ago that the marquee announced the sermon's title to be "Here's mud in your eye." Either the pastor of this congregation has an obsession with drinking alcohol, or his congregation does. Either way, it seemed unlikely that he would give the same sermon so close to the other one.

Then I thought about a blind man walking into a bar, and started laughing. That's funny, yo! Just sad that I didn't get it the first time. I have giggled every time I've driven past it this week.

So if its probably not about the blind man being healed, what would it be. I think it's all about faith again, specifically, faith in the Savior and that the atonement is real. That sounds a lot like last week's sermon though, doesn't it?

I just read this quote this morning from Elder Quentin Cook in last April's General Conference, "Our doctrine is clear; we are to be positive and of good cheer. We emphasize our faith, not our fears. We rejoice in the Lord’s assurance that He will stand by us and give us guidance and direction." (2012 April General Conference, In Tune with the Music of Faith, Sat. Afternoon Session - Quentin L. Cook)

I believe that if we could remember and live that simple principle each day, our lives would be much richer and fuller. We would approach each day with joy not trepidation,

That's a slight detour, though. Just wanted to share that thought that I think goes nicely with the principle and doctrine of faith. Lets get black to our stumbling blind man. A quick search in the topical guide reveals many instances where Jesus healed a blind man. Looking closely at the account of the man who was blind from birth that Jesus healed,with some clay and spit,

This man was questioned three separate times about he had been healed. The people had a difficult time believing him, especially the church leaders.

18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?
27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? (New Testament, John, Chapter 9)

What I love about this man, and I wish we knew his name, is that he doesn't waver, not once, in his account. He knows he's been blind since birth, and he knows he can now see. He knows that no one before has been able to do this before. He has probably been taken to doctors and rabbis and been told that there is no way he will see. His parents know this also. He is resigned to a sightless life, until a stranger puts mud on his eyes and now he can see. He does not doubt for one moment that this man is of God.

And now knowing, wants other to believe also.

Even if that is not what the local Presbyterian church is preaching today, it's the sermon I will take with me in my heart. I, like the blind man, believe that Jesus is the son of God, can heal me of my spiritual infirmities. Armed with that faith and knowledge, I want others to find that same joy and peace that comes with that message.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the uplifting sermon. And have you never heard the blind man walking into a bar thing? We used to tell that joke all the time when we were kids!