- Sermon Notes
Open Our Eyes
1.Have you ever experienced a disconnect where you thought you were connected, on the same page with someone, only to find out you were totally in the dark?
2.The same thing can be true spiritually. God is talking but you are not hearing what He is saying.
3.You think you’re connected, on the same page, only to discover you’ve been blind to the truth, walking in darkness the whole time.
4.Tonight, in our study of Matthew’s Gospel, we will discover valuable lessons that God wants us to understand so that we may truly see because the eyes of our hearts have been opened.
1.In Matthew 20, Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem.
2.By going to Jerusalem, Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and accomplished God’s plan for fallen humanity as Israel’s long-awaited Messiah.
3.But would Israel recognize and receive her King?
4.Israel was not in the dark when it came to Messiah’s person and work.
5.The Old Testament prophets had declared not only the signs which would confirm His identity but also the exact timing of His entrance into Jerusalem according to Daniel 9:24-27.
6.Why did God communicate His plan so precisely through the prophets and confirm it through so many miraculous signs?
7.Because God did not want Israel left in the dark when it came to their Messiah. He wanted them to recognize Jesus as their Messiah because He alone is God’s answer for a broken and blind world.
8.At this point, Jesus had already raised Lazarus from the dead, healed ten lepers, cast out demons, forgave a woman caught in adultery, healed the lame, opened the ears of the deaf, and confounded every religious leader who challenged Him.
9. Israel had all they needed to see that their Messiah had come. They were not in the dark, yet they remained blind.
I.God Wants to Open Our Eyes
- God wants to heal our lives.
- Now, physical blindness is one disability that many people deeply fear. They would rather lose their hearing or their ability to speak than lose their vision.
- Why? Because there is something terribly fearful about being cast into darkness.
A. We are all born into darkness
1.There is a physical blindness and a spiritual blindness. Frankly, spiritual blindness is much more dangerous because it has eternal consequences.
2.Remember the rich, young ruler who asked Jesus what he must do to receive eternal life? (19:16)
3.Jesus tried to open his eyes when He told him to sell his possessions, give his money to the poor, and follow Him. (19:21)
4.Jesus tried to show the young ruler the idolatry in his heart and the emptiness of his earthly possessions.
5.Unfortunately, the young man refused to see that he valued his earthly treasures more than the treasures of heaven.APPL – There is something the Lord wants us to see here.
- The long-awaited Messiah was offering light and life to the young ruler, but he refused.
- Like him, there are many who refuse to see the Light of the world even though the evidence is right before their eyes.
- Because we are all born into darkness.
- After Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, their descendants were born with a sin nature; born into spiritual darkness.
Ephesians 5:8, … for you were formerly darkness….
- Therefore, all our ways are of the darkness.
Proverbs 4:19, The way of the wicked is like darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.
APPL – Why do people refuse the Light?
John 3:19-20, This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their
deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
APPL – And please note the enemy of our souls wants to keep us in an eternal state of darkness!
2 Corinthians 4:3-4, And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has
blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
APPL – But you might be thinking, “I am a Christian. I received Jesus as my Savior. I can’t be blind now. I don’t walk in darkness anymore.”
- Praise the Lord and stay the course.
- For the Bible also warns believers to stay in the Light and not lapse back into the blinding darkness of sin.
Ephesians 5:8-9, … for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit
of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth)
1 John 2:9-11, The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother
abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and
does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
B.We must want to have our eyes opened
1.According to Mark 10:46, these two blind men were beggars and one of them was named Bartimaeus.
2.When Bartimaeus and the other man heard that Jesus was walking by, they cried out, saying, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” (30)
3.Many in the crowd spoke to them sternly and told them to be quiet.
4.How did they know Jesus was the Son of David?APPL – Again, I believe there is something here that the Lord wants us to see.
- Two blind men connected the Messianic prophecies to Jesus.
Isaiah 35:4-5, Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with
Vengeance… But He will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Isaiah 29:18, On that day the deaf will hear words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
- When the crowd told them to be quiet, they cried out all the more. They would not be denied!
- Why? Because they knew they could not save themselves. They needed a Deliverer. They needed Jesus!
APPL – The truth is, you have to actually want to see before you can see.
- But there is another truth; some people don’t want to be helped.
- In fact, some people will even sabotage any efforts to rescue them.
- Why? Because they have found safety in their dark prison and they don’t know what it is like to be free.
ILLUS – If you have lived with a bitter heart all of your life, you may not remember what it is like to be free with the joy of the Lord
and the peace that He gives which surpasses all understanding!
5.There they were, sitting on the side of the road begging, when Jesus came.
6.They had the opportunity to receive what they always wanted and could not provide for themselves.
7.No doubt, they had heard that when the Messiah came, He would not only set prisoners free, He would give sight to the blind.
8.Bartimaeus and his companion took hold of those words and cherished them in their hearts.
APPL – Do you truly want to see? Will you take hold of the opportunity? God wants to open the eyes of your heart.
C.God sees us not as man sees us
1.Jesus heard the blind beggars’ cries.
2.The crowd told them to be quiet.
a.They had concluded that the two men were blind because of their sin.
b.They were not worthy of the Lord’s time.
3.The crowd was shocked when Jesus called them to Himself.
4.According to Mark 10:50, Bartimaeus threw his cloak aside, jumped up and went to Jesus.APPL – Oh, the beauty of our Savior’s heart! God sees not as man sees.
- Man looks at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart.
- God sees our value because we’re made in His image.
ILLUS – Pastor Chuck Smith’s response to hippies wearing no shoes on new church carpet
APPL – God sees our need and is willing and able to meet our needs if we call upon Him.
- Remember, Jesus had just told His disciples that they must serve one another and not seek to lord it over one another.
- Why? Because “the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many.” (28)
- Jesus was demonstrating His words.
- He asked the blind men what they wanted Him to do for them.
- Jesus knew what they needed.
- So why did He ask? Because Jesus was giving them the opportunity to exercise their faith in Him.
- They told Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” (33)
- Jesus looked at them with a heart filled with compassion, for those who were blind, yet could see what others could not see.
- Jesus touched their eyes and declared, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well”. (Luke 18:42)
II. Walk by Faith and not by Sight
- All three Gospel accounts of this miracle declare that they immediately regained their sight.
- The first thing Bartimaeus saw when he was healed of his blindness was the face of Jesus.
- The first thing he did was follow Jesus while “glorifying God”. (Luke 18:43)
- What a wonderful example for our own spiritual lives.
A. Faith opens the eyes of our hearts
1.It was not “faith in their faith” nor was it “faith in themselves” that healed them.
2.It was faith in Jesus Christ that forever changed the two blind beggars’ lives.
APPL – In order to have the eyes of our hearts opened we must have the right object of our faith.
- Faith in anything or anyone other than the God of the Bible will leave us eternally blind.
- But when we have faith in God, the eyes of our hearts are opened so that we may truly see.
- The Apostle Paul wrote a prayer in his letter to the Ephesians that captures this point perfectly.
Ephesians 1:18-19, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what
are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
3.When the eyes of our hearts are opened, our perspective will change and the first thing that needs to be changed is our view of God.
APPL – How do you see God? Many people see Him as an angry lawgiver who is constantly disappointed by our frequent failures. But is that true?
ILLUS – Experiencing the love of God when my dad led me to faith in Jesus Christ
Ephesians 3:14-19, For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
B. By faith we see things the way they really are
1.When the eyes of our hearts are opened it changes how we see everything.
2.Spiritually speaking, things that seemed like foolishness before now make perfect sense.
1 Corinthians 2:14-15, But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot
understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things…
3.When the eyes of our hearts are opened, we have God’s perspective on things.
ILLUS – It changes our view of the church.
4.Our view of the Bible changes when the eyes of our hearts are opened.
ILLUS – An email from a Christian in Alabama.
5.Our view of death changes when our eyes are opened. For those who have no hope, death is defeat, the end. But for those in Christ, it is our victory, our graduation, our homecoming. Our perspective changes.
6.When the eyes of our hearts are opened, even our view of ourselves begins to change. Instead of trying to make life about “me”, I can come to realize that as God’s child, my life is now hidden with Christ and I can trust that He will do that which is best for me.
7.When the eyes of our hearts are opened, our view of others will change as well. Now we understand that God has given us a completely different paradigm for how to relate to others.
a.We give grace because we have received it.
b.We forgive because we have been forgiven.
c.We can be patient because God sure has been patient with us.
APPL – In other words, if the eyes of our hearts are opened, we are no longer blind, but can see from God’s point of view and everything different in the light of His glory.
Tonight, will you ask the Lord to open the eyes of your heart?