This weekend's sermon focuses on the question the disciples asked Jesus right before he performed his sixth sign, "Who sinned, this man or his parents... ?" Sin is an important topic and ought to be taken seriously by everyone. When sin is discussed, Christians should talk about sin the same way Jesus did, focusing on God's transformative work in someone's life more than on the human behavior.
To assist in following along with the message, an outline of the sermon is provided here. Disclaimer - the outline is subject to change as the sermon is being preached live.
I. Two bothersome things in John chapter 9.
B. The Disciple's Question
1. This isn't a random question. It reflects views of physical ailment and sin, popular in Jesus' day.
2. Sadly, these views are still with us today.
II. Examples of the Disciple's view of sin.
A. Cotton Mather/Salem Witch Trials
B. Hurricane Katrina
C. Doesn't take long for other examples to come to mind.
III. Talking about Sin
A. Christians have to talk about sin. It is real, it is a problem and the Bible talks about it.
B. When Christians do talk about sin, it must be done very carefully and thoughtfully.
C. Four Things to keep in mind.
1. We can't talk about sin to control people's behavior.
2. We can't talk about sin to control our own lives.
3. We must have humility when talking about sin, because our perceptions of sin are tainted by our own sin.
4. Follow Jesus' example - he was less focused on pointing out people's sin than he was on pointing out God's work in their lives.
D. If we are more focused on human sin than we are on God's work in someone's life, we may miss out on seeing God's work.
IV. Question of Disciples
A. Bothersome, but also something to be grateful for.
B. The disciples were willing to expose their views of sin, so that Jesus could correct them.
C. Jesus correcting their views of sin allows us to clearly see the character of the man born blind.
1. He becomes a devoted follower of Jesus.
2. Whatever he gained from being healed in terms of access to a synagogue, he then lost because he refused to say bad things about Jesus.
3. He points to Jesus clearly and consistently and becomes a model for how to follow Jesus.
D. May we also question our views of sin, allowing Jesus to correct us when needed, so that we can see the work of God in people's lives more clearly.