Years ago our television sets had a button that was used to adjust the picture when it was out of focus. Today, the focusing is done automatically. In every age, people have lived with distorted pictures, and in our text today we meet a man whose spiritual eyes are out of focus.
In our text, Jesus is showing us how important it is for God to bring these pictures into focus. This man had been born blind, and Jesus healed him. When he refused to renounce Jesus as the healer, the Pharisees threw him out of the synagogue. Now he could see physically, but he was left to roam about as an enemy of Israel.
Yet, Jesus had not forgotten this man, and the Lord was seeking him. When the two met, Jesus asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
The healed man replied, “Who is he? Tell me so that I might believe in him.”
Jesus answered, “You have seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
Then the man had his biggest hour. “Lord,” he said, “I believe.” And he worshiped him. Now Jesus brought the man’s spiritual sight into focus.
Who can bring our spiritual eyes into focus?
Tom Wright, an English theologian, raises an interesting question Ð Who decides? Who gets to say that the picture is in focus?
Good question, and it has many answers in our society.
Wright continues, “Here, as always in St. John’s Gospel, it is Jesus himself who has this right. After Jesus is gone, the same work of focusing our spiritual eyes will be carried on by the Holy Spirit making Jesus continually present and bringing his clear judgment to bear on the world.” So today Jesus wants to help us get rid of some fuzzy thinking about life and let him bring it into focus for us.
Dare we take this sermon to the next level and let Jesus bring our lives into focus regarding his truth? Let’s see how it works.
A basic question that promotes a lot of fuzzy thinking is, “Who is Jesus?”
The man in our text thought of Jesus as a healer or even a prophet. Jesus moves this person to the next level and says, “Jesus is the Son of Man (Christ, Savior, Messiah, and Lord)” That’s quite a different answer.
We have gone through Christmas and Easter. Many sermons have presented Jesus clearly as God, our only way of salvation. But many have also contained a lot of fuzzy thinking where some pulpits have proclaimed Jesus as no more than a great man dying for his convictions. This, Jesus says, is fuzzy thinking. It is out of focus. And so the Holy Spirit uses your Bible to show you that Jesus is our Savior and Lord.
What about “the good life”? The Holy Spirit gives us a word that speaks to this question. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not from your presence” (Psalm 51:10). This prayer is asking God’s Spirit to go to work in our lives and create a personal relationship with Christ. This means that we will spend some time each day with the Lord in our Bible, and listen to him speak.
How different from the moralist who says that if you are not happy with your life, get hold of yourself and live by the golden rule. How many times have you tried to do this, but without success? It’s fuzzy thinking. Let God straighten out your life. He is able to do it.
Or, if you are part of Christ’s kingdom and are wondering what his Church should be doing in a world like ours, turn to the Bible. The message has not changed, though people have tried to make some huge adjustments to the Word to make it more acceptable to their fuzzy thinking. Let the Holy Spirit clear your thinking.
We still are to preach that humans are helplessly lost in their sins and out of a relationship with God, but Christ has come. If they will receive him and listen to what he is teaching in his Word, they will know what their individual mission and the Church’s mission is. They will worship in a congregation where they hear the Gospel and the appeal to come to Christ each Sunday. They will hear that the primary message of the Church is to point people to Christ. That message will never, never change. To think people will be drawn to the church by adjusting to the culture of the day is the kiss of death for the Church. We are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are to shape culture rather than let culture shape us.
Our lives need to be focused by the Holy Spirit speaking to us through His Word daily. Then we need to pray,
Open mine yes, O Lord, Open mine eyes
Into my darkened heart, let thy light arise.
Show me myself, O Lord, show me Thyself, O Lord,
Show me thy truth, O Lord,
Open mine eyes.