Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
We previously examined three things in verse four that helped spur Jesus to the task. One, He felt compelled: we Amust@ do. Two, He had a sense of doing: We must Ado.@ Three, He had a sense of purpose: He was doing the works of the Father. Our text reveals three more factors that helped motivate Jesus to the work.
John 9:4d (Holman) A. . .who sent Me. . .@
Four, Jesus had a sense of personal importance. He knew He was a Asent@ man. He felt the burden of responsibility. No one else could do it. He had to do it Himself, and give an account to the One who sent Him.
We have the same duty. The Father=s work has to be done. It must be accomplished. We=ve been chosen, and must someday give a report on our progress.
We often look on the difficult task at hand and say AWe can=t,@ but simultaneously a voice within says AWe must.@ The call is unrelenting.
This inner sense of compulsion can sometimes feel like a curse. Never ceasing to churn, it causes a warfare in our hearts, a tempest in our mind. Our sinful nature begs us to abdicate our duty, and screams we=re not capable, but our spirit says we must continue.
We might wish our forebears could return to help us, but saints before the throne can do no more work on Earth. They praise God, but cannot help us here.
William Booth cannot come and alleviate poverty. Billy Sunday cannot come and preach against wickedness we face. D. L. Moody cannot come and inspire us to win souls. C. H. Spurgeon cannot come and sway masses for Christ with his fluent oratory. George Mueller cannot pray for God to provide.
The task is now ours. This is our day, our time of testing. A British King, before battle, told his outnumbered troops he hoped none of them desired they should be more, for Athe fewer the men, the greater each man=s share of the honor.@
Our battle is formidable, but we enter the fray with God=s might on us, His Word as our shield, and the Holy Spirit in us. In Jesus= Name we are required to go forth to conquer, and the Name of Jesus still makes Hell tremble.
John 9:4e A. . .while it is day. Night is coming when no man can work.@
Five, Jesus had a sense of urgency. ANight is coming.@ Jesus knew He would not be on Earth forever. He had to accomplish certain tasks before He departed.
AToo much to do and too little time to do it@ causes some to give up, but Jesus viewed it as motivation. Every one only has so much time. We work under the burden of knowing things must be done in a crowded, definite space.
When our Master tied us to duty He tied us also to time. Let=s accomplish all we can while we can. A sundial in Glasgow is inscribed with a wise motto: ATake thought of time before time is ended.@ Dr. Samuel Johnson had Athe night cometh@ engraved on the dial of his watch.
Every life is made of moments, and a kingdom cannot purchase one nanosecond. We should reckon time as if we are on our death bed. In my favorite secular poem, Rudyard Kipling wrote:
AIf you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds= worth of distance run B
Yours is the Earth and everything that=s in it,
and B which is more B you=ll be a man, my son!@
Christian earnestness conscientiously estimates the worth of time. Sir Walter Scott, asked what was the secret of his pen=s marvelous fertility, replied, AI have always made it a rule never to be doing nothing.@
Pastor Richard Baxter watched time meticulously. Everything was done in proper sequence. One morning an intruder interrupted his study hours and said, @Perhaps I interrupt you.@ Baxter replied, ATo be sure you do.@
It is our Christian duty to fill what time we have. Stay busy for the Master. David Brainerd wrote, AIf I cannot serve God one way, I will another. I will never leave off this blessed service.@
When Spurgeon due to gout and other physical ailments could not preach, he wrote books for Jesus. When his arm became exhausted, he had people brought to his bed chamber so he could tell them about Jesus.
ANight is coming.@ For this world, compulsory inactivity is before us. We cannot delay it. Avoidance is impossible.
On the eve of Waterloo, Napolean pointed to the setting sun and said, AWhat would I not give to be this day possessed of the power of Joshua B enabled to slow your march for 2 hours.@ But time=s relentless march could not be slowed.
One of life=s sad tragedies will be to discover it is too late to do something we could have done. Let AWhile it is day@ ring like a bell in our ears. While it is our day, while it is their day (too many will die lost before they are reached).
John 9:5 AAs long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.@
Six, Jesus had a strong sense of compassion. His main business in the world was to enlighten it. Christ=s cure of this blind man symbolized His ability and desire to cure a spiritually blind world.
Miracles displayed God=s might in Jesus. But never be so awed by the power that we forget they also demonstrate Jesus= intense compassion.
Jesus was saying the blind, physical and spiritual, are under His special watch care. They are His special parishioners, His personal concern.
The self-righteous can fend for themselves, but self-acknowledged sinners belong to Jesus. The feast of God=s bounty is for them.
Jesus was driven by what He was inside, and by what He saw outside B passion within; need without. If we saw a boat accident, we would be driven to help rescue the perishing. Jesus was so sensitive that He saw Aships wrecking@ everywhere He went.
Christ could see this world quivering over the pit, but we tend to be de-sensitized. To lessen our pain, we erect barriers to seeing pain. We try to touch not, taste not, see not, and hear not, but suffering is still there.
The easiest thing to do with people=s hurts is to know little about them. The surest way to escape unselfishness is to close our eyes.
We are able to display spiritual color blindness, never seeing sorrow, need, sickness, or adversity. We tend to look on the bright side of life by glancing away from all that is wretched.
We need to imitate our Lord. Jesus built no inner barriers to ward off pain. He could see, did see, and it broke His heart.
May His business become ours. Claim the hungry and poor as ours, may the friendless find family here, let the children come. Unbelievers may disdain our theology and rhetoric, but find it hard to disparage a church that imitates the Lord=s compassion.
A word to unbelievers. We pastors challenge our people to be earnest because of love for God, and also for you. Do you not think it strange that we care about your soul, but you are lax about it?
If a dozen women were trying to snatch a baby from a car=s path while the mother looked on passively, we would readily say something was wrong here. Are you careless about your soul? If so, something is wrong, but Jesus can make it right.