Theme: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD SHINES INTO DARKNESS. Some of you know that I work part time for a gentleman that is blind.

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1 John 9 Theme: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD SHINES INTO DARKNESS. I. It shines to illuminate sin and unbelief. II. It shines to rid us of sickness and death. III. It shines to show the glory (work) of Jesus. Some of you know that I work part time for a gentleman that is blind. He s a piano tuner and I drive him to his appointments. He told me a story earlier this year that one day he was in his shop in the basement doing some wood work. He keeps the door closed to keep the dust out of the rest of house. His son came down to see what he his dad was up to and as he came down the stairs he could see that the door was closed and he could hear that the saw was running. For most of us this would probably be terrifying, a blind man running a saw, but his son was used to this because he had been doing wood work for some time. But when the son opened the door he panicked because all of the lights in the shop were off. He quickly flipped the lights on and after his dad shut down the saw he said dad why were you working in here without the lights on? And his dad said, because I m blind. So the son said, Well that s fine but I m going to leave the lights on. Just like my boss s son, we like the light and we don t know what to do without it. In fact we need the light. Light is something we just can t do without. What would we do if never had any light? If the sun stopped shining and the power went out and we didn t have any candles or flashlights or even cell phones to give off light we d all be lost. See? Look at all of those things that we use just to give us light when the sun isn t enough. But believe it or not the world is sitting in darkness. But as our Gospel text for this morning tells us, if it weren t for the darkness of the World we wouldn t be able to see the light. So that s why THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD SHINES INTO DARKNESS.

2 As the disciples are walking along with Jesus they see a blind a man along the road begging. As many challenges blind people must face in our day and age, life was nearly impossible for blind people during Jesus time. Blind people simply became a burden to their families because they could never provide for themselves, and likely couldn t survive without the help of friends and family. So they resorted to begging. This was likely a familiar scene for the disciples, because they don t seem fazed by what they ve seen. Instead they ask Jesus a question, they say in verse 2 of our text, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Obviously the disciples recognized the man s disability and quickly associated it with a past sin. This man was blind because either he or his parents had sinned and God had punished him. Jesus, though sets the record straight by saying, It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. Now I don t know about you but these words don t seem to provide much comfort. I don t think we d be okay if doctors went around making people sick and breaking arms just so they could show off their skills when they fixed them. It seems like Jesus tells the disciples that this man being blind is providing him with some sort of job security! It turns out that Jesus isn t talking about his job security at all, but instead he is telling the disciples not to look back to try to find the source of someone s problems. The reality is that we already know the source of everyone s problems. We know the source of evil and turmoil and pain. We know the source of death and destruction and suffering. The source is sin. Sin has cast a dark shadow across the earth and left this poor beggar sitting in literal darkness. Not because of something specific that he or his parents have done but because of the sin of the whole world dating all the way back to Adam. And so Jesus

3 continues in verse 4, We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. The world is indeed sitting in the darkness of sin but Jesus, the light of the world, was there shining into that darkness. And so he spoke to the disciples saying, don t focus on the darkness for the light of world is here with you. But he isn t going to be here with you forever so he must get to work. And get to work Jesus does, Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man s eyes with the mud and said to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. Jesus did what only the light of the world can do. He gave this blind man his sight back. He performed an incredible miracle and restored this man and gave him back his life. But in so doing Jesus showed exactly who he was. Our troubles here on earth remind us of our condition, of exactly who we are. We are blind beggars who are helpless and hopeless against the powers of sin. When earthquakes and tsunamis cause unimaginable death and destruction we are quickly reminded that we are at the mercy of this darkened sinful world. When tragedy strikes and takes the lives of four bright and talented young men as has happened in our community the lights seem to go out all around us. Suddenly we are in darkness. The worse things get the darker it appears to be. But as darkness seems poised to overcome us we are shown the light of the world. The light of Jesus our savior shines brightest when all we can see is darkness. The work of the Lord is most apparent when we are at our most helpless. Why do these bad things happen? That is the question that the disciples posed to Jesus and a question he wasn t going to answer except

4 to say that out of those bad things, those times of tragedy and loss and darkness we experience the comfort and love and even the renewal of our protector and savior Jesus Christ. These times remind us of who we are, but they also show us exactly who Jesus is. The funny thing about light is that sometimes it s so bright you can t really see anything. We ve all come out of the movie theatre or up out of a dark basement on a sunny day and been nearly blinded by what appears to be an unbelievably bright sun. This seems to be what has happened to the Pharisees in our text. Verse 16 tells us, Some of the Pharisees said, This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath. But others said, How can a man who is a sinner do such signs? These Pharisees were in such darkness that they couldn t tell who Jesus was. Even though Jesus came to bring light some couldn t see him. Jesus says in verse 39 For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind. Even though the Pharisees could see physically Jesus showed them for what they truly were: blind. They were stuck in the darkness of the greatest sin, unbelief, but their darkness would not overcome the light of the world. Their unbelief and the sin of the whole world would indeed hang Jesus on a cross, but they could not extinguish the light of the world. Jesus came to earth to bring light to the world and he did so through his teaching and miracles and his death. But the true light of the world shone most brightly on Easter morning when Jesus was raised from the dead. And that light still shines among us today. We still see the light of world that humbles the proud and gives sight to those oppressed and living in darkness.

5 We hear the last few verses of our text, Jesus heard that they had cast the man out, and having found him he said, Do you believe in the Son of Man? He answered, And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him? Jesus said to him, You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you. He said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him. We too believe in and worship the Son of Man, the light of the world. But of course so many people ask the very question of the young man, And who is he? We must confess the work of our savior Jesus upon the cross bringing light to the whole world. But beyond that when we see peace and health and righteousness and wealth and success and healing we must confess that all of these gifts are of God. When we are faced with tragedy and trial we are brought face to face with our true nature, with the reality of our sinful nature and the sinful world around us. But it is at these times that we see the blessings that we have for what they truly are: good gifts of God won for us on the cross of Christ. It is the light of the world shining in darkness.

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