A New Creation Spelled F-A-I-T-H!
Lent 4 Trinity Lutheran Church
26 March 2017 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39
It sounds so much like Genesis in the beginning. The parallels are incredible. Light. Then God plays around in the mud and creates a man that trusts / believes in Him. Faith that lives in the light of God. All that got wrecked. Ruined. Adam preferred to live in darkness. Remember? So, now there’s Light again. Light of the world Jesus! Mud. And a new creation – a believer! Check it out. It’s absolutely amazing! It’s the Lord’s cup of tea.
The man has been blind since birth. Light of the world Jesus shows up, shines and gives him sight. Brings him out of darkness and into the light. In two ways. How? Watch.
Check it out. Jesus does what every mother tells her son never to do! He coughs loudly and clears His throat. Then Jesus spits! Hacks up a big loogie. A large glob of flem. Coughed up and blended with nose snot. All you mothers are repulsed. Can you imagine what His mother Mary would have said? All you little girls are freaking out. Ok. I’ll try to say it as sanatively as I can. Jesus expectorates on the dirt to make mud. Takes the mud and pokes or anoints the eyes of the man born blind.
How can a mudpack do such great things? Certainly not the mud but the words hooked with water spoken by I-Am-The-Light-Of-The-World-Jesus, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” He washes as Jesus mandates and he sees for the first time in his life. The Lord’s words do and give what they say. In this case, physical healing. Physical restoration. Comes as pure gift from the Lord.
You would have been satisfied with eyesight restored. You wouldn’t have dared to ask Jesus for anything more. After all, “never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened they eyes of a man born blind.” It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?
Yes it does. Jesus isn’t done. There’s always more with Him. It’s not just physical eyesight that He’s concerned about. He’s after spiritual seeing. Salvific sight. So, Jesus pulls off the whopper. The theological zinger or salvational clincher if you will. Jesus does the whole enchilada of redemption. Comes as pure gift. He does a new creation. The old passes away and the new has come. From nothing there is new. Check that out.
Jesus asks him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The eyes-seeing-man replies: “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” To which Jesus categorically declares: “You have seen Him and it is He who is speaking to you!” “Lord, I believe” and he worshiped Jesus!
Do you get it? How do you spell new creation? It’s the “F” word, remember? F-A-I-T-H! “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” In the New Testament the Word of Jesus creates what it asks for or demands. “Lord, I believe!” That’s the most incredible miracle! That’s the mind-blowing proper work of Jesus. He gathers sinners around Himself and recreates them so that they are His hangers on. Believers! Faith-ers! Church-ers! From the spiritual blindness and hellacious darkness of unbelief to the marvelous salvific seeing that is FAITH. Passively DEPENDENT on LIGHT OF THE WORLD JESUS for salvation! FAITH – the highest worship of Jesus! Again, that is a new creation! What Adam lost in the fall Jesus restores.
Yet, there are those that insist on remaining blind. In the text it is the Pharisees. Disciples of Moses. Jealous guardians of the Sabbath. Yet they are spiritually or salvifically blind. They are fervid lovers of total darkness. They falsely assume that they are in the light apart from faith in Light of the world Jesus. They are quick to judge and quick to excommunicate anyone that dares to confess Jesus. How delicious and yet hellaciously sad when the healed man asks them, “Do you want to become His disciples too?” and they are enraged and double down on their unbelief.
If you insist on not believing in Jesus, if you’re bullish on not being a faith-er or a hanger on, if you persist on living uncreaturely, if you refuse to give Jesus the highest worship—FAITH — well, it will end quite damningly for you. You’ll get exactly what you desire. There’s nothing worse than hearing: “your guilt remains” from Jesus.
Your salvation depends on Jesus taking all your sin and dying for it in your place. If your sin and its guilt are not carried by Jesus to death on the cross, then your sin and guilt remain on you and you will … end of in the lake of eternal fire. Seriously. Jesus pulls no punches when He says in Mark 16:16 that if you don’t believe you will “be condemned.”
So it is time for all of us to repent before it’s too late. Instead of justifying ourselves like the Pharisees it is time to confess our sin. Instead of judging everyone to be the massive sinner, it is time for us to tell the truth about ourselves – to see ourselves properly – that we are the sinners. Everyone else is not the reprobate – we are!
This is the first part of what it means to live in and from our baptism when Jesus told us to be washed and born again – saved by the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. The second part of living in and from our baptism is to see ourselves in the Light of Christ! It is time for all of us to daily turn toward Light of the world Jesus in faith. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” That’s the question Jesus asks you too today. Thanks be to Jesus that His word gives you what it requires and you are a faith-er! A new creature. A new creation. His disciples that worship Him in the highest way of all – FAITH.
“Once you were in darkness but now you are light in the Lord.” Life is never the same for all of you who have been washed and enlightened in the water and divine Word of holy baptism and who bask in the light of Good Friday Jesus. You live your life differently. Forgivenly. As God’s peculiar people.
Look how it went for the man born blind. He wound up being insulted by the Pharisees. Tossed out of the synagogue. All because Jesus meddled in his life and healed him on the Sabbath. Even the man’s parents were dragged in, interrogated and investigated. They were too afraid to speak out and confess Jesus. However, life was never the same for the man born blind. It never is when Jesus intrudes into our dark and blind lives and gives you the light of salvation.
To be washed by Jesus in holy baptism, to be given the sight of salvation in His name as a pure gift and to be His hanger on — a faith-er (Christ’s new creation) — is to become a targeted enemy of the devil, the world and your own sinful nature. Again, just ask the man born blind. It means you won’t have moments rest or peace in this world. Believe me, the world does not tolerate disciples of Jesus.
Do not despair. Jesus is faithful. He cares for you, His new creations, His faith-ers. He invites you to His table to eat and to drink His indestructible body and blood where He gives you the forgiveness of His Good Friday death on the cross. That forgiveness gives you life and salvation. What joy! Let’s worship Light-of- the-World-Son-of-Man-Jesus all the more by receiving His gifts as much as we can. Fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.