Sermon Outline - First Draft
John 9:1-41


""The Blind May See, and Those Who Do See May Become Blind""

My Neighbors'' Street Lights

We live in the country. I enjoy walking after dark and before dawn,

seeing the stars. But as more people move to our area, they are

installing street lights. This changes the environment. What was a

country neighborhood is now more like a city suburb.

This is the nature of light. It changes things. And, I must say,

these street lights annoy me. They have taken away much of the beauty

of my neighborhood. When light comes on the scene, a new world begins.

John uses the metaphor of light to show how Jesus changes the world, by

illuminating things that were hidden. The Pharisees claimed to cherish

God''s works as they read them in scripture. But when God''s works

actually happen around them, they are annoyed. The works of Jesus

reveal a new side to the Pharisees.

It is the same way for the parents of the blind man. When Jesus

arrives, they must choose between parental loyalty by backing up their

son, or community acceptance. They choose to let their son stand alone

so that they might keep their place in the community.

The physical light in my neighborhood is a bad thing when it comes at

night, in my opinion. But my neighbors seem to like it. I suppose it

gives them a sense of security. But Jesus'' light, a spiritual light, is

even more divisive. It is more powerful because it reveal things about

our deepest selves and not just about the world around us.

Jesus is the Light of the World

Light changes the environment. It reveals new things that cannot be

seen in the dark. In this story, Jesus reveals that compassion for

those who are suffering can over-ride the sabbath observance. He may be

saying that love is more important than religious acts, just as God had

said many times before in the Hebrew prophets, ""I desire mercy, and not


Those who are aware of the human suffering in places like Cuba and Iraq

and Palestine are anxious for our government to work for a better and

more peaceful life for those people. But those who are interested only

in the political realm, look at the world differently. They want a

desirable political solution. Sadly, people on both sides of these

arguments often do not want to hear about the facts that cause the other

side to believe as they do. People do not always want more light shed

on their life. It makes things more complicated.


John encourages us all to let our hearts and minds remain open to God''s

prompting. God can and will work in our lives. It is not enough to

have faith in our religious past, we must also recognize God''s acts

around us today, keeping in mind that those acts will be as surprising

to us as God''s acts were to the people of Jesus'' day. As Jesus said,

""The blind may see, and those who do see may become blind."" Keep your

spiritual eyes open to all that God is doing around us. Amen.