April 11, 2011 - I Once Was Blind

April 11, 2011 - I Once Was Blind
Rev. Jonathan K. Twitchell

John 9:1-17

When I first met Jesus, all I heard were his followers--probably some of you--asking (rather rudely, I might add) who had sinned...me, or my parents...that caused me to be born blind? I suppose you thought I was deaf too?

Well... don't feel badly. I'm used to that sort of treatment. I've been a rather hot topic of conversation during most of my life. If the weather isn't interesting enough... if Rome hasn't offended us in some new way... if the Pharisees don't have some new sin to condemn-- then I always make for a good topic of conversation.

But Jesus wasn't quite like that. I heard something different in his voice than I heard in most voices. He was kind, and caring. And he spoke with authority--something about being the light of the world. Well... all my life, I'd felt the heat from the sun... but had never understood what it meant to live in the light. Until Jesus smeared that mud on my face and told me to go wash.

At first I thought he was just a nice man. But then, as the Pharisees continued to push me for answers, I realized that he was more than that--a prophet? a healer? a great teacher? a man from God? After all, no one had ever opened the eyes of one born blind.... He must have come from God.

Later that day, after I'd been kicked out of the synagogue, Jesus found me. He asked me, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" Certainly, I wanted to believe--so I asked Jesus who he was--and he said that he was the Son of Man. I don't know much. I'm not smart... I haven't read the great books. I never went to school, and certainly never studied under one of the great Rabbis. But this one thing I do know--I once was blind, but now I see! And so I bowed down and worshiped him.

I know what some of you are thinking--could he really be the Messiah? After watching him die on the cross, are you still willing to stake your life on the possibility that he's from God? You're afraid that you might be the next to die--and so it might just be easier to disown him and go back to the way life was before Jesus came. Well... I'm not so smart... and I certainly don't understand much about Messiahs. But this one thing I do know... I once was blind, but now I see!

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.
-John Newton