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Victorious Faith

September 25, 2013

17th Sunday after Holy TrinityBlind man

“Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains”.

John 9:35-41

 

Jesus had just healed a man that was born blind, doing so on the day of rest. The legalistic Pharisees sought to challenge him due to their tremendous envy and made every effort to get him out of the way. There are two things about Jesus that they cannot stand:

1) That a man from simple and humble origins knows more than them, has the spiritual power to perform miracles, to preach with power and authority and to make masses of people follow him and love him.

2) They refused to accept the possibility that Jesus could be the expected Messiah, as they imagined that the Messiah would be a political leader or human king, that with military power or divine intervention would release the Jews from Roman oppression and restore the kingdom of Israel in the style of Joshua or David.

There was a third reason, which is the focus of this sermon on this Sunday, that prevented them from being able to accept and believe in Jesus: They had a spiritual blindness that kept them from believing and recognizing Jesus Christ as the true Messiah, the Son of Man or the Son of God.

The blind man who was healed was full of joy and told everyone what had happened. People were amazed and puzzled; his neighbours and those who had seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was.

Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

“How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

People took the blind man before the Jewish authorities. There he was questioned because the healing had been performed on the day of rest and that was something that was not allowed to be done on that day according to Jewish law.

At the end of being questioned, the blind man still gives witness to the truth and says: “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

This was the final and decisive test and last statement to prove that Jesus had performed a miracle and healed the man: If this man were not from God, then he could do nothing. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and made the Pharisees hate Jesus further. These events are the background for today’s reading.

“For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the most important thing we will discuss today is the topic victorious faith:

Jesus performs miracles, Jesus is the Son of God; the one who confesses aloud that Jesus is the Son of God and confesses that He can do miracles and recognizes this will receive the faith. Your eyes will be opened and you will see. That is, your faith will be awakened and you will be able to believe and receive the blessings of God.

Those who are unwilling to confess Jesus as the Son of God do not recognize that he has supernatural power and that that power can reach out to every believer. As a result of their words, they will not be able to have faith. They will be spiritually blind. “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

The Pharisees could not see, even if they thought they could, because they did not truly believe in the Son of God.

There are many people, even Christians, who actually do not know what it is to believe in God. They do not believe that God is a God that has special supernatural power. They believe that God is a kind of spiritual leader of a religion to which they adhere as per usual. The thought that God will intervene supernaturally in their daily reality does not cross their minds.

In western countries, the supernatural realm of God is neglected. When people receive an education and their education overcomes the revelation, they begin to believe more in their education and reasoning and they forget about the revelation of God. Education is a very good thing. We need education. But do not let education block God’s revelation in your life. And the revelation of God produces the kind of faith that we are talking about today.

Jesus tells the healed: – Do you believe in the Son of Man? – “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

That is what we must declare aloud. I believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and I believe that he is God and that God is able to give me faith. When I am able to declare this, God opens my eyes. That is the miracle of giving me more faith; the faith to allow God’s supernatural intervention in my life.

Do we want the divine, supernatural intervention of God in our lives? Yes, of course! Well there are some things we must begin to do in our own lives and put into practice so that this will happen.

The first thing is to confess with our mouth that Jesus is the Son of God. Perhaps, for many of us today, we will take this step for granted. Yet there are still many people who deny the existence of God. There are people who belong to a church and attend regularly yet have difficulty confessing with their mouth that Jesus is the Son of God. That’s the first step. We must be sure to do this, even if we’re doing it in public, when we are asked to talk about it.

It’s easy to say: ‘I pray, but God did not answer my prayers!’ The question is: are you confessing with your heart and your mouth everyday that Jesus is the Son of God, even in front of people? What is the nature of most of the words that you are filling your mouth with?  Are they words of faith and confidence in the Son of Man or words of negativity and defeat? While this may seem banal, it is the key to maintaining strong faith: confess with your mouth, that is, with your everyday words, express the confidence you have in the God who can do miracles.

Miracles are the intervention of the supernatural power of God. They are only possible if they are supported by our faith, that is, our confidence in God. The only way to have confidence in God is to maintain a constant attitude of faith. Staying in good spirits, with good thoughts and a peaceful soul that rests in the security of knowing that God is taking care of us and that our faith will create a path; a miracle is coming.

We will not mention today that we must pray. That we will take for granted. The person who confesses Jesus Christ as the Son of God prays and does it every day. This person does not pray because it is a custom or tradition or religion or for fulfillment or even for fear of God. We pray because it is a necessity. Just as we need to talk to our loved ones, so we need to talk to God every day. If this need is not present in us there is a problem in our life of faith. We have to correct it if we really want to receive the favor of God. Let us ask God for forgiveness and begin to have a relationship with him through everyday conversation.

It is also assumed that you must feed yourself spiritually by reading the Bible. If you are not doing this, start today doing it and in no time you’ll be amazed at how terrifically your faith begins to grow. This happens because you’re connected to the living word of God.

If we really care to grow these habits we can begin to see, to see things that were unseen in our lives up to this point. We will see the blessings that God has prepared for us and we will enjoy them more than ever before. We will see that God is a living God, who is manifested through daily miracles in supernatural way. But we have to declare this with our mouths, with our thoughts, with our testimony, with our daily prayer and our daily Bible reading. We must be as the healed man who said “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

May God grant us faith and confidence to be within the group of those who see. As of today, let this include everyone of us who gathers in this, our church.

Amen.

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