WHOSE FAULT IS IT?
Intro. When there is a serious accident there are two types of emergency vehicles that usually respond: the police and the paramedics. The police are usually the first to arrive, and they secure the area. They begin to question the witnesses and measure the skid marks, their purpose is to find out who's at fault. When the paramedics arrive they immediately rush to the injured and begin to minister to the wounded people. Their purpose is to help those who are hurt.
I. IN THE MINISTRY, WE OFTEN COME UPON THE TRAGEDIES AND DISASTERS OF HUMANITY.
A. There are those who begin to ask questions seeking to find out where you went wrong; what law you violated; why you are suffering; why this tragedy has come upon you.
1. They want to give you the reasons why your life is such a mess.
2. They are quick to point out your sin and cite you for your violation.
B. There are others who are more like the paramedics, who are not interested in why you are hurting, but how they can alleviate the pain.
II. THE STORY OF THE MAN BORN BLIND.
A. The disciples asked Jesus the question, "Who did sin; this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
1. Whose fault is it?
2. Is this some kind of punishment that God is inflicting upon his parents for their sin? Is he suffering for the sins of his father?
3. The Jews at that time believed that a person could sin in the womb. Did he commit some sin while in the womb for which God is punishing him?
4. The disciples were much like policemen who had come upon a casuality, their main desire was to know who is to blame.
B. Jesus answered them, "Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents."
1. The plain answer is that this blindness is not punishment for sin.
2. Why is it that when things go wrong, and we are facing some tragedy that we seek to blame God? We look at it as punishment from God. We think so often of God as judging or punishing.
a. In the story last week of the woman taken in adultery who the Jews, according to their law were ready to stone, what were the words of Jesus to her? "Woman, where are your accusers? Hath no man condemned you? Neither do I condemn you, go your way and sin no more."
b. Jesus said He was sent to seek and to save those who were lost. He said that God sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
c. He finally said to Philip, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father."
3. We remember so well the story of Job.
a. Here was a man who was stripped of everything; wealth, health, family and friends.
b. Those friends who came to comfort him were certain that Job was hiding some heinous sin, and they could not be deterred from this position.
c. Job ended up calling them miserable counselors, and they ended up calling him a liar for denying his sin.
4. Why do we look at human suffering as punishment from God?
C. Let us make this clear, there are certain activities that carry their natural inevitable consequences.
1. God in His love has sought to warn us against doing these things, for He knows the pain that they can bring.
2. If your child is around a light socket and you warn him to be careful, for if he puts his finger in the socket, he will get shocked. Should he then decide to put his finger in the socket, you did not shock him, you only warned of certain consequences of certain actions.
3. It's a matter of cause and effect, certain causes will produce certain effects.
4. God does not always tell us just what the consequences of certain actions will be. He just warns us not to do it.
5. With Adam and Eve, He did tell them that the fruit of that certain tree would bring death.
III. WHY WAS THE MAN BORN BLIND? ACCORDING TO JESUS, THAT THE WORKS OF GOD MIGHT BE MADE MANIFEST IN HIM.
A. God had an eternal purpose in allowing this man to be born blind.
1. His blindness will allow Jesus to manifest the works of God to the people.
2. God is always working out His eternal purposes in our lives.
3. Often what seems to be a tragedy is intended by God to be an opportunity for Him to work and thus be glorified.
B. Jesus then declared, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me."
1. What did He then do?
2. What was the work of Him who sent Him?
3. He healed the man from his blindness.
4. The work of God is that of healing, making the wrongs right, removing the pain and suffering of this world cursed by sin.
C. What a different picture of God Jesus gave to us than those that were passed down to man by tradition.
1. In the previous chapter, Jesus had said to the Jews, "You neither know Me or My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also."
2. They did not know God, the loving heart of God. They were ready and eager to stone the woman. God was eager to forgive her sins.
D. Again, how do you respond to the tragic consequences of human failure? Like a policeman or a paramedic?
1. Please do not misunderstand what I am saying, I am in no way denigrating the police. It is their responsibility and duty to uphold the law, to determine the guilty party and see that the guilty party is cited.
2. Without the police, our society would soon disintegrate, and man would be living in the savagery of the jungle.
3. They are a necessary and important part of every society.
4. They are men who are willing, and often do, to hazard their lives to see that we might live in relative peace and safety.
E. In a spiritual sense, God has called us to be paramedics rather than policemen.
1. Ours is not to find the cause of the suffering, but to minister to the one that is suffering.
2. The work of our Father is to heal the hurts of a broken world.
IV. HE THEN DECLARED HIS MISSION. "AS LONG AS I AM IN THE WORLD, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD."
A. If you are looking for causes for the breakdown in our society and the reason for all of the suffering, it is the natural consequence of man throwing off the imagined restraints that he feels God has put on him, and living in darkness.
1. They are not really restraints but warnings. If they were true restraints, God would not allow you to do them.
2. In His wisdom God has warned man, do this, and this is what will happen.
3. Jesus said that as long as He was in the world, He was the light of the world. Jesus earlier said that men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
4. Man refuses to come to the light lest his evil deeds be exposed, and he should be compelled to cease.
B. Now that Jesus is no longer in the world, He said to His disciples, "You are the light of the world."
1. Even as He declared that He must do the works of the Father, so as the light of the world, reflecting His light to the world, we also must do the works of the Father.
2. The work of the Father is seeking to heal the effects of men who live and walk in darkness.
3. To open the eyes of men who are blind to the truth, that they may see the light.