Sermons by the Monday Club
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.…
Here are three distinct types of character all seeking for information.
1. The gossip-loving neighbours whose sole desire seems to have been to see or hear some new thing.
2. The prejudiced Pharisees who are bound not to know anything that conflicts with their cherished views.
3. The parents who are afraid that they know too much.
4. The one man who did know something and was not afraid to own it.
I. THERE WERE MANY THINGS THE BLIND MAN DID NOT KNOW. He had never till now seen the light of day. Objects familiar to a child, grass, trees, sun, moon, etc., were unknown to him. His creed was very short and contained but one article, but this was the most important because containing that rarest of all knowledge — self-knowledge. What do you know, boy or girl? Something about grammar, arithmetic, geography, etc.? But do you know something about yourself? Here you are in the world; you know that in some sense, but do you realize it as the man did his blindness, so that it affects every action and thought? Do you know that you will not stay in the flesh forever? "Yes, ever since I wrote in my copybook, 'All men are mortal.'" But do you know it as the man knew that he was blind, so that you are willing to accept the gift of heaven through Christ?
II. WHAT THE BLIND MAN KNEW HE KNEW THOROUGHLY. About this one article he had no question. There was no "if" or "perhaps" about it, no room for Agnosticism in it. He had only one answer for his neighbours and the Pharisees, and could not be cajoled or frightened out of what he knew. It is best to believe a little thoroughly than much superficially. Not that creeds are to be despised, but as a matter of fact every man has his own private creed which does not coincide with all the creed of his church, but which is a matter of experience. This man's creed was, "One thing I know; whereas I was blind," etc. The deaf mute's creed was, "One thing I know, whereas I was dumb," etc. So with the cleansed leper. These creeds differed in their premises, but they all led to the same conclusion, that there was one Healer. We may have been brought to our belief through different doors — one through that of sorrow, another through that of providential deliverance, etc., yet there is one conclusion, that Jesus is the only Saviour of sinners.
III. THE GRADUAL WAY IN WHICH HE APPROACHED TO A KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST.
1. He is only conscious of an unusual presence in the throng about him who exerts a strange influence over him, then stops and anoints his eyes, commands him to wash, which doing he sees. At once he says, "A man that is called Jesus," etc. That is some. thing. He has time to think the matter over.
2. When the next questioner asks, "What sayest thou of Him"? he answers unhesitatingly, "He is a prophet." He is getting on rapidly now. Not more quickly do his newly-opened eyes take in the marvels of nature than his newly-awakened spiritual vision takes in the glories of Christ's character.
3. Next he hears them call Jesus a sinner. Nay, he says, "God heareth not sinners" — a further step. The healer is a sinless one.
4. A moment later he avers that Jesus comes from God.
5. A little later comes worship of and faith in Christ as the Son of God, where he reaches the limit of knowledge.
IV. NOTE THAT VERY LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST IS SUFFICIENT FOR SALVATION. A child knows more than that beggar did of Christ, but he knew enough to do as he was bidden, and that was enough to save him. Christ did not wait until he fully apprehended His character before He healed him. "He that willeth to do His will shall know," etc.
V. THERE IS ONE CLASS IN THIS STORY WHO MADE THEMSELVES THE WORLD'S LAUGHING STOCK — the Pharisees. They would not believe their own eyes. They were so eager to establish their point that they made themselves ridiculous. There are many people now who disbelieve in the face of stronger evidence, and who do not believe for the same reason as the Pharisees — because they will not.
VI. AN OUNCE OF EXPERIENCE IS WORTH A TON OF THEORY. The blind man, alone and ignorant, had the advantage of the whole college of rabbis because he had experience on his side. He could establish a fact when they could only ask questions. It is better to know one thing than to guess a good many.
(Sermons by the Monday Club.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.