Jesus Wants to Work in Our Lives - Part 1

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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1. He wants to speak to us (vs. 1-6). 2. He wants to give us spiritual sight. (vs. 5-7). 3. He wants to send us (vs. 6-7). 4. He wants to save us (vs. 35-38).

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Jesus Wants to Work in Our Lives - Part 1

The Gospel of John

John 9:1-7; 35-38

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - February 15, 2017

(Revised September 30, 2019)


*Most of you know that here in John 9, the Feast of the Tabernacles had just ended in Jerusalem. A large crowd was still in the city, and Jesus had been preaching in a very public part of the Temple (John 8:20). He confirmed His identity as the promised Messiah who had existed for all eternity. He warned the unbelievers that they were in danger of dying in their sins (John 8:21-24).

*Jesus spoke about His death on the cross, which was about 6 months away (John 8:28). He also spoke about the everlasting freedom He will give to everyone who believes in Him (John 8:31-36). And in John 8:59, when the unbelieving Jews took up stones to kill Jesus, He miraculously "hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

*After the Lord got away from those would be murderers, He made Himself visible again, and John 9:1 tells us that "as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth."

*The Lord miraculously healed that blind man, and his story shows us how Jesus wants to work in our lives too. This miracle is only recorded here in the Book of John. We began studying it last week, and over the next two weeks we'll continue our study to help us learn how Jesus wants to work in our lives. Let's start by reading John 9:1-7.


*Is God at work in our world today? The answer is most certainly yes! Countless testimonies from millions of Christians confirm the truth that God is surely at work in our world today. And this great miracle in John 9 shows us how the Lord wants to work in our lives.


*Think about how the Lord worked in the life of this blind beggar. It probably started with what the man heard. Do you think this man heard the conversation going on between the Lord and His disciples? He most likely did hear it. In vs. 6, it seems that Jesus was close enough to simply bend down and anoint the man's eyes with wet clay.

*It's also true that blind people can hear better than seeing people, especially if they were blinded at an early age. Brain scans suggest that parts of the brain normally used in processing sight may be converted to enhance a blind person’s ability to process sound. And this man was born blind. (1)

*There's no strong reason to doubt that the blind man heard the conversation between Jesus and His disciples. But what did he hear? In vs. 2, he heard the Lord's disciples ask Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'' Well, there was nothing new about that.

*The blind beggar had heard heart crushing comments like that all his life. Albert Barnes explained that in that day "it was a universal opinion among the Jews that calamities of all kinds were the result of sin." So all his life this blind man had been rejected and scorned by people who looked down on him. (2)

*But then in vs. 3-5, the man heard something he had never heard before! He heard Jesus say:

3. . . "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

4. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.''

*Don't you know the blind man was overjoyed to hear that! He might have thought, "What?!? God cares about me? God hasn't abandoned me? God wants to do something in my life!?!"

*YES HE DID! AND YES HE DOES! God cares about us just as much as He cared about this blind man, and Jesus wants to speak to us too. He primarily speaks to us through His Holy Word and His Holy Spirit.

*God will always speak to us through His Word, but we have to listen. Eight times in the Gospels Jesus cried out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Then in Revelation 2, the Lord spoke to the churches, and said:

7. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.

11. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.

17. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. . ."

*Then four more times in Revelation 2 and 3: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

*God wants to speak to us, and when we listen to Him, we will hear Jesus say challenging things like: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). And "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19).

*When we listen to Jesus, we will hear Him say the challenging things we all need to hear. But we will also hear Him say great, comforting things, like Isaiah 41:10, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

*In Jeremiah 29:11 the Lord says, "I know the thoughts that I think toward you. . . thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

*In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus said: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."

*In Matthew 11:28-29 He said: "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, you will find rest for your souls."

*In John 11:25-26 He said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. . ."

*In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Lord told Paul, "My Grace is sufficient for you..." Or as the New English Bible says, "My grace is all you need." And in Hebrews 13:5, Jesus "Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'''

*God wants to speak to us, and great things happen when we listen.


*Again in vs. 5, Jesus said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.'' And in vs. 6-7, Jesus miraculously brought physical light into a blind man’s life:

6. When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

7. And He said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam'' (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

*Now to me, this was a very strange miracle. I'm a bit of a germaphobe, and I don't want anybody's spit on me. But Jesus spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva. Then He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

*Why did Jesus do what He did that day? He could have healed that man with a word, or with a thought! Jesus even healed people long-distance more than once. So why did Jesus do what He did to this blind man?

*A. T. Robertson and Albert Barnes explained that the Jews of that day believed that saliva was effective for helping eye-trouble, but it was forbidden by their man-made laws for the Sabbath. They considered the preparation and use of any medicine to be illegal on the Sabbath. And it was especially forbidden to use spittle on that day to heal diseased eyes.

*Jesus then was showing that their interpretation of the law of the Sabbath was against God's will. Anointing the blind man's eyes may have also been done to strengthen his faith. (2)

*It is also possible that this man was born without eyeballs. This is a very rare, tragic, and incurable birth defect called "anophthalmia." If that was the disease here in John 9, then Jesus may have filled the man's eye sockets with clay to miraculously form eyeballs for him. That makes some sense to me, because Genesis 2:7 tells us that the Lord formed Adam from the dust of the ground. (3)

*The Bible doesn't tell us why Jesus used the spit and clay here. The bottom line for me is that God can work a miracle any way He wants to!

*And God worked a great miracle for this man! For the first time in his whole life, he could see! Imagine how amazing that must have been for him: To see the sun and the sky for the first time, to see a beautiful tree or nearby flowers, to see the face of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

*Physical vision is an incredible blessing from God. But it is infinitely more important that God wants to give us spiritual vision. God wants us to see in the most important way. He wants us to see the truth about our sin, about our situation, and about our Savior.

*On that day, the blind man began to see in a physical way, but he also began to see in this spiritual way. He began to see the light that Paul talked about in 2 Corinthians 4:3-6. There Paul said:

3. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

4. whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

5. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

6. For God, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


*The Lord wants to send us to different places at different times for different reasons. And the blind man is our example in vs. 6-7:

6. When (Jesus) had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

7. And He said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam'' (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

*Of course, Jesus could have healed this man without sending him to the Pool of Siloam, but the Lord wanted to get him involved in the process. Jesus let the blind man exercise and apply his faith. The Lord wants to do the same kind of thing in our lives. The amazing truth is that God wants to involve US in the work of His Kingdom, so He sends us.

*Christ being sent from Heaven by God the Father is the most crucial part of God's plan for mankind. It is mentioned in 58 different New Testament verses!

*One of my favorite examples was at the beginning of the Lord's ministry, after He was tempted in the wilderness. Luke 4:14-21 tells us that:

14. . . Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.

15. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

16. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

17. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. HE HAS SENT ME to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.''

20. Then he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

21. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.''

*Jesus Christ being sent by God the Father was crucial for our salvation. This truth shows up more often in John's Gospel than the rest of the New Testament combined. Forty-two of the 58 verses that speak about Jesus being sent are found in the Gospel of John. And the closer the Lord got to the cross, the more He stressed the importance of His being sent.

*For example, here in vs. 4, Jesus said, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work." And in John 12:44-45, Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me." Jesus was sent to earth to save us by dying on the cross for our sins.

*Now, Christians, our risen Savior wants to send us. This is another great theme in the New Testament. Thirty-two verses mention the Lord sending His followers to different places.

*This truth shows up in Scriptures Luke 9:1-2, where the Bible says:

1. Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.

2. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

*Jesus sent them. Of course, this was true for the Apostles, but Church, we need to see that Jesus sends us too! In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said this to ALL of His followers:

14. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

15. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

*We could say, "God can't send me. I'm just an ordinary person. There's nothing special about me." But the Apostles were ordinary men too. Not one of them was rich, or highly educated, or famous before they followed Jesus. And we need to realize that God has sent us too.

*Sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference! I once heard that the Gospel was first introduced to Japan, because just a portion of a Bible washed up on shore. And the Good News about Jesus was introduced to Korea when a queen lost her small child. A slave girl told the queen that her baby was in Heaven. Then the slave girl told the queen about the Savior who could take the queen to Heaven too. (4)

*Most people won to Jesus have been won by ordinary people, who realized they were sent by God. And it's not a matter of distance. We will probably never be sent to Cincinnati or New York or New Delhi. But God certainly has some places where He wants to send you.

*And the person sent halfway down the block is no less sent than the person sent halfway around the world! Where is Jesus trying to send you? Who does He want you to see? Most people won to Jesus have been won by ordinary people, who realized they were sent by God.


*There is no doubt that this healed man was saved by the Lord. Verses 35-38 make his salvation clear to us:

35. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?''

36. He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?''

37. And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.''

38. Then he said, "Lord, I believe!'' And he worshiped Him.

*The healed man believed in Jesus Christ as a prophet, and as the Son of God who became a man. He also believed in Jesus as the Lord of his life. Then in vs. 38, he bowed down and worshiped Jesus.

*Jesus Christ is worthy of our worship because He is the Son of God! -- And because He came into the world to save everyone who will believe in Him.


*It was easy for Jesus to heal that blind man, but it cost the Lord His life to save that man's soul! The perfect, sinless, Son of God took all of our suffering and punishment when He died on the cross for our sins.

*And if you will call on the Risen Savior, if you will believe in Jesus, if you will receive Him as your Lord and Savior, then Jesus will save you too! Put your trust in Jesus Christ. Then keep listening to the Lord, live in His light, and follow Jesus wherever He wants to send you.

(1) Sources:

-The Blind Really Do Hear Better - Date: July 23, 2004 - Source: Montreal Neurological Institute McGill University https:www.sciencedaily.comreleases200407/040723093712.htm

-Blindness and Better Hearing - By A Moment of Science Staff - Posted August 11, 2005 - Indiana Public Media is the home of WFIU Public Radio & WTIU Public Television, including your favorite programming from NPR and PBS

(2) Sources:

-WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT by Archibald Thomas (A. T.) Robertson - Published in 1930-1933 - John 9:6

-ALBERT BARNES' NOTES ON THE BIBLE by Albert Barnes - Published in 1847-85 - John 9:6

(3) Sources:


-"Facts about Anophthalmia Microphthalmia" - https:www.cdc.govncbdddbirthdefectsanophthalmia-microphthalmia.html

-"The baby girl born with no EYES: Rare condition means child will never see, but her mother says she is still 'gorgeous'" by Madlen Davies for MailOnline - 2 April 2015


(4) Original source unknown

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