As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.
4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.[a] The night is coming, and then no one can work.
5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
In John 9:1-5, Jesus heals a man born blind from birth. Examining this passage provides us with three important elements about our relationship with the Lord, and the light of His power, His glory and His grace.
- God’s Power Will Be Seen
The disciples asked “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sin or his parents’ sin?”
Jesus responded that while his condition was not caused by sin it occurred “… so the power of God could be seen in him.” We face so many “conditions” in our lives; some are of our own making and some are not. Often when those “conditions” do not turn out in our favor, we wonder why.
Was it a punishment from God; because of our sins? Are we paying for the sins of our parents or other family members? Did our county commit some sin that has caused our problems?
It was a bright spring day in Boston, Sydney Corcoran was at the finish line standing next to her parents, Celeste and Kevin cheering her aunt Carmen Acabbo, who was running her first Boston marathon.
Then, a pressure cooker bomb packed with nails allegedly planted by the brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev exploded producing smoke and sending deadly projectiles flying. Knocked backward, Sydney tried to get up and run. However, she could not get up; because her femoral artery had been cut by those flying nails. Sydney’s blood was flowing heavily; and her life was escaping quickly. If the course of events were not altered soon Sydney Corcoran would die.
Then, in Sydney’s darkest moment God sent a flashlight. Matt Smith, a 36-year-old computer salesman appeared. Instead of running away from the clear and present danger of the blast, Matt did the uncommon thing and ran toward it.
Though, Smith did not have any first responder training, he did have the presence of mind to make tourniquets from shirts obtained from a nearby sporting goods store. Matt’s quick thinking saved Sydney’s life, without question.
Sydney’s injury and those suffered by nearly 250 more that day, were not because of their sins or the sins of their parents. God gives us free will and sadly, the Tsarnaev brothers used their free will to commit an act of terror that dark day.
Matt Smith’s heroics and those of countless more illustrates that even in the face of the evil conditions of the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings it: “happened so the power of God could be seen”. Matt was there to show the world that all is not evil. Matt coming to the aid of Sydney was God using him just as Jesus used the condition of the man so that “…the power of God could be seen”.
- God Has Urgent Tasks For Us
In verse four, Jesus commands us that “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.” “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Job 14:1 That is clear and that is true. What is also clear and true is “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity.” (Leonard Ravenhill)
In October 1986 Gilda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. During the days and months of chemotherapy and treatment that followed, God gave Gilda the flashlight; the urgency of using her talents now. Instead of brooding about her condition and her prospects for a long life Gilda used her talents to write the bestselling autobiography, “It’s Always Something”
“The goal is to live a full, productive life even with all that ambiguity. No matter what happens… the important thing is that the days that you have had you will have lived.” Gilda Radner
Gilda’s funny, interesting and moving story inspired many to seize the moments of their lives to use their talents in the here and now.
Jesus is telling us that God has given us talents and He wants us to use those talents, now; because our days and talents are fleeing. Perhaps, you agree; but, you don’t know what are your talents or your spiritual gifts.
Although opinions differ on the actual number of spiritual gifts, God’s Word clearly indicates that we have been given a variety of gifts. Ministry Tools Resource Center an online site designed to assist Christian leaders has a wonderful page on spiritual gifts. Visit Ministry Tools today and discover your spiritual gift so that we can live in God’s commandment to “… quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.”
- God Commands That We Work in The Light
Also in verse four Jesus tells us something that seems very obvious “The night is coming, and then no one can work.”
On August 5, 2010, the main ramp into the San Jose mine collapsed, trapping 33 Chilean Miners 2,300 feet underground in the dark. For the next 69 days these men lived in the crammed, dink and dark recesses of a coal mind.
Recapping those early days, shift foreman Luis Alberto Urzua Iribarren recalls that everything they attempted was comprised; because they were operating in the dark. Then, God working through the rescuers gave the miners a flashlight as they were able to rig up lighting and according to Luis, everything changed.
With the light, the men were able to exercise. One man, Florencio Antonio Avalos Silva Was in such great shape that he was able to run in a 5K race just days after being rescued.
With the light, the men were able to write. One of the miners, Carlos Mamani Solis virtually wrote his autobiography while trapped underground.
With the light, the men were able to read. Another miner, Daniel Esteban Herrera Campos found the Lord; because he was able to read the Word.
Jesus knows that it is a true waste of our talents and our lives when we are working in the dark. However, God has a solution for the night, which is the light of Jesus Christ. As he tells us “But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
An Everlasting Flashlight
“The night is coming, and then no one can work.” Without question the world we live in is a dark place, with wars, killings and inhumanity everywhere. “But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Now, reading this verse, it seems that the light that Jesus provides is only available while He was in this world. However, look at what Jesus told us in Matthew 28:20 after His crucifixion as the risen Savior was about to ascend into Heaven. ”…lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
- God wants to give us a flashlight: So, even in our worst condition it will all shine for God’s glory.
- God wants to give us a flashlight: So, we can discover our spiritual gifts and use them now with God’s people for His honor.
- God wants to give us a flashlight: So, we don’t spend years doing unproductive work in the dark. But instead, doing God’s work in His glorious light.
God has a flashlight for us with a bulb that will never run out, batteries that never need recharging and a beam of light so bright that for centuries it has and forever will be the light of the world.
If you are reading this post today and you are not guided by God’s flashlight, seize this moment and take hold of the everlasting light of God, offered by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pray with me:
Almighty Father, I come to you humbly and earnestly asking for your forgiveness. I am a sinner and I need your guidance, protection and light to be the type of person you want me to be.
Guide my path into a church starting this Sunday with the people, resources and will to help me in following you; and that I pledge to use my talents within that church to advance your kingdom.
Father, I ask that you put in me a sense of urgency to do this now; as I know the life that you have given me is of few days and could end at any time.
I thank you for your love, mercy and grace; and it is in Jesus name I pray. Amen
© Marben Bland 2015