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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Third Sunday In Lent
Option #1: "Two
Kinds of Blindness"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
A blind man was led into the hall at a polka festival and he followed his ears right to the source of the music. A broad smile brightened his face as he was immersed in the music just a few feet away from the band. Though he will likely never see a polka band or the whirling polka dancers, his face told how much he was enjoying the experience.
Imagine him being healed of his blindness and joining in the joy of the dance. Everyone would stop just to watch the miracle. Something like that happened when Jesus healed the man born blind. Please remember that there are no parables in Johns Gospel. John refers to miracles as "signs." We are to see their teaching value as well, as much as we marvel at the miracle. John tells us about:
TWO KINDS OF BLINDNESS
A. When "law" supersedes Gospel--vv16-17 & 34
B. When fulfilled prophecy in the miracles is ignored--Isa 35:5, John 5:39-40; 10:21
Albert Barnes: The miracles were such as could not be denied, nor did even the enemies of Jesus attempt to deny them or to explain them away. They were open, public, frequent. And this shows that they could not deny their reality. Had it been possible, they would have done it; but the reality and power of those miracles had already made a party in favor of Jesus, even in the Sanhedrin--John 7:50; 12:42--and those opposed to them could not deny their reality. It may be added that the early opponents of Christianity never denied the reality of the miracles performed by the Savior and his apostles.
A. When we see God intervening in our lives in Christ, giving a taste of eternal life here and now--vv35-39
B. When we see Jesus giving spiritual sight--v39
Barnes Notes on the New Testament: We see here the works of Jesus were such as to prove that he came from God, however much he may have appeared to oppose the previous notions of men, the interpretation of the law by the Pharisees, or the deductions of reason. People should yield their own views of religion to the teachings of God and believe that he could open the eyes of the blind and raise the dead and so was fitted to declare his will.
C. We worship him for his grace--contrary to all who deny Jesus divinity
Albert Barnes: I believe--this was the overflowing expression of gratitude and faith. And he worshiped him--he did homage to him as the Messiah and as his gracious benefactor. This shows:
1. That it is right and natural to express thanks and praise for mercies.
2. All blessings should lead us to pour out our gratitude to Jesus, for it is from him that we receive them.
3. Especially is this true when the mind has been enlightened, when our spiritual eyes have been opened, and we are permitted to see the glories of the heavenly world.
4. It is right to pay homage or worship to Jesus. He forbade it not. He received it on earth, and for all mercies of providence and redemption we should pay to him the tribute of humble and grateful hearts. The Syriac renders the phrase "he worshiped him" thus: "and, casting himself down, he adored him." The Persian: "and he bowed down and adored Christ." The Arabic: "and he adored him." The Latin Vulgate: "and, falling down, he adored him."
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THE MESSAGE FOR CHILDREN
Visual aid: a scissors pointed downward
Youve used an instrument like this often in your school. These are pretty safe. They dont have pointed edges. If they did, your teacher would tell you to carry it this way, with the sharp part pointed away from you. She wouldn't want you to fall and hurt your eyes.
How can you tell if someone is blind? Youll see a guide dog leading them or youll see the white cane that they use to find any obstacles in their path.
John tells us in todays gospel reading that Jesus healed a man born blind. Imagine never to have seen a sunset or a rose or a humming bird. Then Jesus speaks his word of power and you are healed. YOU CAN SEE! Well, we need the power of Jesus Word so that we can see him as our Savior and so that we can see the truth he gives us in his Word. We need the power of his Word so that we look forward to eternal life with him. Thats what eternal life is--being with Jesus in our heavenly Fathers house forever.
So be careful with your eyes; youll need them for this life. And thank the Lord Jesus that he has given you the hope of seeing eternal life.
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Option #2: "Decent
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:35 PM