Displaying the work of God in your life
John 9:1-12


Today, I want to introduce you to a man called Nick. Actually, please look at the screen, because I want to let Nick introduce himself.


Nick was born into a loving, Christian family. His father is a church minister. He had just started a new church a couple of months before Nick was born. As a child, Nick went to church with his family. But church was difficult for him. Why?

For Nick, church was a dilemma. In fact, life itself was a dilemma for him. In Sunday School, Nick read in the Bible said that he had been made fearfully and wonderfully in God's own image.

He was told that he was precious and honored in God's sight.

Everyone at church told Nick that God loved him just as he was.

But at night, Nick would just cry himself to sleep. He prayed and begged for God to change who he was. He wanted God to change his circumstances. He wanted God to change him.

You see, Nick is not the same as you and me - even though no one had expected it, from the time that he came into this world! Because when he was born, Nick had no arms or legs. Nick was different.

As he grew up, in spite of his condition, he was able to go to school. But because he was obviously so different to the other children, he would get teased. And he started to believe the cruel things that other children would say to him.

And so Nick cried himself to sleep. He wished that he was not like who he was, and he prayed that he would wake up in the morning with arms and legs.

After all, God was supposed to love him. God was supposed to care for him. So surely God would come and answer his prayers. Surely God would take away his sadness. Surely God would change his situation and give him arms and legs.

But every day he would rise to the reality that he was still different. God didn’t change his circumstance.

Why? Why was he like this?

And so Nick came to think that his life had no purpose. But life that has no purpose is life without meaning. And life without meaning is life without hope. Nick came to the point where he felt that if he was so different maybe he had no value.

Then, when he was eight years old, he read Jeremiah 29:11.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

But as Nick read this, he was filled with bitterness and anger towards God. “Plans not to harm me? But I AM harmed! What hope and future could there possibly be for me?

University? A job? Marriage? Even if someone would take him, what could he do? He couldn’t hold his wife’s hand. He would never be able to hold and comfort his children when they cried. What hope and future was there for him?

And so at the mere age of eight, Nick considered, and actually attempted, to take his own life.

 "I challenged God. I said: “God, I know I’m a sinner. I know that I won’t probably have peace until you’re in my heart, but I will not let you into my heart until you answer me: Why – why did you take my arms and legs? Why didn’t you give me what everybody else has?” And I said: “God, until you answer me that question I will not serve you.” And so I wanted to end it. If God wasn’t going to end my pain, I was going to end it myself. So at age 10 I tried to drown myself in a bathtub of 4 inches of water. I told mum and dad “I’m going to relax in the bathtub. Can you put me in the bathtub. And I turned over a couple of times to see if I could do it. But I couldn’t do it."

Then one day, Nick read John chapter 9. It was today’s story that we have just read.

Jesus and His disciples were in the temple at Jerusalem. And they came across this man who was blind. But it was not because of an accident or disease. He had been born that way.

Let’s read the beginning again:

"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:1-2)

Now, the way of thinking there at this time was that blindness and other such problems were a punishment from God for sin. If you had this kind of problem, it was because you had done something wrong. But in this man’s case, he had been born blind. So, how could it have been his fault? Did he sin in his mother’s womb before he was born? Or was it parents’ fault? Was this man being punished for his parents’ sin?

Why was the man like that?

So, when the disciples, and everyone else, saw this man, what did they actually see? Did they see someone who needed their understanding and compassion? Did they see someone with hope and a future?

Sadly, no. Instead of being moved to respond to this man’s need, they only saw to analyze his situation. To them, this man was only an object to be talked about and studied. Instead of looking forward to offer compassion and action, they looked back to find reason and blame.

But that is not what Jesus does. That is not who Jesus is. Jesus took their focus and turned it up towards heaven.

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." (John 9:3)

The reason for this man’s condition, said Jesus, is to be found in God. Jesus Himself was the answer to the questions of “why” that consumed his life. This man’s purpose in life, the meaning of his life, the reason for his situation, was completely wrapped up in the very concrete, the very personal, plan that God had for him. Until now, this had been a mystery to him, and a misunderstanding to everyone else.

Now, this man did not know Jesus. He didn’t know that Jesus was there. He
couldn’t see Jesus, He didn’t go to Jesus. It was Jesus who saw him. It was Jesus who went to the man.

And as Jesus shone His love and truth into this man, the eyes in his head, and the eyes in his heart, became opened to who Jesus really was. When he saw who Jesus was, he came to understand who he himself was. And as we continue to read more of this story, we will see that it was Jesus who was the answer to the questions of “why” in his life.

"… this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

But this man’s questions are also our questions. Why am I here? What is the purpose and meaning of my life? Why is there suffering? Why do I hurt? Where am I going?

These are the ultimate questions that we all have. And as Nick shares, the complete and satisfactory answer can only be found in one place.

(video) In life if you don’t know the truth then you can’t be free, because then you’ll believe that the lies are the truth. But once we realize that when we read the Word of God, and you know the truth of who you are…I’m not a man without arms and legs. I am a child of God. I am forgiven of my sins. I am an ambassador of the King of the kings and Lord of lords. I am nothing but a servant of the Most High God. This is not about Nick. It’s not about Nick’s capacity and capability to become this conqueror. I am nothing. I am nothing. God, though, lives in me, and I now live in his strength. Whatever Jesus conquered, I conquer.

I believe if God doesn’t give you a miracle, you are a miracle of God for somebody else’s salvation. And I thank God that He didn’t answer my prayer when I was begging Him for arms and legs at age 8, because guess what: Because I have no arms and legs, He is using me all around the world.

Just because we can't see something it doesn't mean that it's not real. Just because you can't see the plans that God has for you, that doesn't mean that God doesn't have a plan for you. Even though we can't know what tomorrow holds, we can know that God holds tomorrow. And we can know God himself.

You might have been crying out to God to change your circumstances. You might have been begging Him to change your life. Please know that He can. Please believe that that is His desire! But He might not do it in the way you have been asking. He might not even change your situation. But if you are willing He will change you!

As Nick said, there is no point in being complete on the outside if you are still broken on the inside!

The greatest disability in life does not involve our arms or our legs. It is not our ability to see or hear. Our greatest disability – the biggest thing that steals our freedom and takes away our strength – is the absence of the peace and security that comes from knowing you are absolutely and unconditionally loved. If you don’t know that, then you are left with guilt that steals your freedom, and fear, that robs you of your strength to live.

There are two things in life that we need to know:
1. Am I loved? and
2. Am I going to be alright?

Our need to know these two things seems even greater in times of suffering – when we are facing a crisis. But when we suffer, there is no hope to be found in comparing our pain with other peoples pain. Our situations might be different but everyone’s suffering is real.

True hope, true peace, true freedom and joy, can only be found in Jesus. Because it is only Jesus who is able to forgive us of our sins. It is only Jesus who is able to free and cleanse our hearts from guilt. That is because Jesus Himself paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. And in place of that guilt that Jesus took from us, He instead gives us the peace and the joy of eternal life, together with Him in heaven.

The Bible tells us that:
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)

Jesus gives us God’s perfect love! Jesus gives us meaning in life. He enables us to fulfill our purpose in life. Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit to live within us and to strengthen us to become more than conquerors.

 "Hope is in the name of God: the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hope is when you compare your suffering to the infinite, immeasurable love and grace of God. Isaiah 40 verse 31 says: “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles.” I didn’t need my circumstance to change. I don’t need arms and legs. I need the wings of the Holy Spirit and I am flying because I know Jesus is holding me up."

(So,) our circumstances don't need to change for us to become happy. When I am weak, I am strong. Nick personifies that verse. You can see his pain. But at the same time you can see his strength. You cannot argue with the joy in his eyes. That is the strength of the Lord. That is the joy of the Lord.

That is the same strength of the same Lord who will enable you to live above your weakness. That is the joy of the Lord that will lift you up out of your suffering. And when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

Paul tells us through the Letter to the Romans that:

"…you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." " (Romans 8:15)

And when you cry out to God as your own father, then you are indeed a miracle of God! And when you do cry out to God as your father, the work of God is right then at that moment, and will continue to be, displayed in your life!


今日はニックという人を皆様に紹介したいと思います。 ニックに自己紹介をしてもらいますのでスクリーンを見てください。


ニックは愛に満ちたクリスチャンファミリーの中に生まれました。 彼の父親は教会の牧師でニックが生まれる数か月前に新しい教会を立ち上げました。ニックは子供の時家族と共に教会に通いました。でも教会はニックにとりいずらい

ニックにとり教会はディレンマだったのです。実のところ人生そのものがニックにはディレンマだったのです。日曜学校で読む聖書は 彼は恐ろしいほどにそして素晴らしく神のイメージに似せて創られているといいます。




実はニックはあなたがたや私と同じではありません。それは誰も予想だにしなかったことなのですが この世に生を受けたときからそうでした。そうニックは生まれたとき腕と脚がなかったのです。ニックは他の人とは違っていたのでした。


そのためニックは泣きながら寝たのです。今の自分とは違う自分になりたいと願いそしてある朝 目が覚めると腕と脚がついているようにと祈りました。



なぜ? どうして彼には手足がなかったのでしょうか?



私はあなたがたのために立てている計画を良く知っているからだ。- 主のみ告げそれはわざわいではなくて平安を与える計画であり あなたがたに将来と希望を与えるためのものだ。(エレミア書29章11節)

しかしニックがこれを読んだとき彼の心は神に対する敵意と怒りで一杯でした。私を傷つけない計画ですって? でも私は傷ついてるではありませんか? 一体私にはどんな希望と将来があるというのですか?

大学ですか? 仕事ですか? 結婚ですか? 例え誰かが彼を受け入れてくれても彼に一体何が出来るというのでしょうか? 妻の手を握ることも出来ません。子供が悲しんで泣いているときに抱きしめ慰めてあげることも出来ません。一体彼にどんな希望や将来があるというのでしょうか?


「畏れ多くも私は神に挑んで言いました。神様 私は自分が罪人であることは承知しています。私はあなたが私の心の中に来て下さらなければ恐らく私に平安が訪れないことも承知しています。しかし神様が私の質問に答えてくださらなければ決してあなたを受け入れません。神様はどうして 何故私から腕と脚を 奪われたのですか? どうして他の誰もが持っている物を私には与えて下さらなかったのですか? そして神に言いました。この質問に答えて下さるまで 私はあなたに仕えるつもりはありませんと。私はこのことに終止符を打ちたかったのです。もし神が私の苦しみを終わらせてくれないのであれば自らの手で 終わらせるつもりでした。そして十歳の時わたしは10センチほど湯の入った 浴槽の中で自分を溺死させようとしました。そこで私はリラックスしたいので 浴槽の中に入れてくれるようママとパパに頼みました。計画を実行しようとして体を数回 回転させたのですが結局うまくいきませんでした。」




またイエスは道の途中で生まれつきの盲人を見られた。弟子たちは彼についてイエスに質問して言った。先生 彼が盲人に生まれついたのは誰が罪を犯したからですか。この人ですか。その両親ですか?(ヨハネ9章1節-2節)

その当時その地域では目が見えないことやその他の問題がおこるのは犯した罪に対する神の罰だと考えられていました。もしそのような問題を抱えていたならそれはあなたが何か悪いことをしたからだというのです。でもこの男の人の場合 生まれた時に既に目が見えなかったのです。それなのにどうして彼が罪を犯したから目が見えないのだと言えるでしょうか? 彼がこの世に生まれる前に彼の母の胎内で罪を犯したとでもいうのでしょうか? それとも両親の罪のせいだというのでしょうか? そして両親の罪の故に彼が罰を受けたというのでしょうか?


そこで弟子たちそしてそこにいた誰もがこの男の人を見ましたが その時彼らは
実際には何を見たのでしょうか? 彼らは彼らのよき理解と深い同情を必要としている人を見たのでしょうか? 希望と未来を持った人を見たのでしょうか?



イエスは答えられた。この人が罪を犯したのでもなく 両親でもありません。神のわざがこの人に現れるためです。(ヨハネ9章3節)

この男の人がこのような状況にある理由は神の中に見出されるとイエス様は言います。この人の人生の多くの時間を割いて発せられてきた“なぜ”という質問に対する答えはイエス様ご自身にあるのです。この人の人生の目的 彼が生きている意義 そして彼の置かれた境遇は 神が彼のために具体的にそして特別に組まれた計画と完璧なまでに密接にかかわっていたのです。この時までこのことは彼が知る由もありませんでしたし又その他の人たちも誤解していたことでした。


そしてイエス様がこの男の心の中に送られた愛と真に光をあてた時 イエス様が本当はどういうかたかということに向けて彼の頭と心の目が開かれたのでした。イエス様がどなたか分かったとき彼は彼自身が誰であるかということを理解したのです。そしてこの話をさらに読み続けていくと 彼がこれまでの人生で発してきた“なぜ”という質問の答えがイエス様にあったということがわかります。


しかしこの男の人の質問は我々の質問でもあります。どうして私はここにいるのだろうか? 私の人生の目的と意義はなんだろうか? どうして苦しみがあるのだろうか? どうして私は傷つくのだろうか? 私はどこへいくのだろうか?

これらは我々皆が持つ根源的な質問です。そしてニックも同じ考えを共有しているように 完全なそして満足できる答えが見つけられる場所はただひとつです。

生きていく中でもし真実を知らなければ自由はありません。なぜなら真実を知らなければ嘘を真実と信じてしまうからです。しかしもし私たちが神の言葉を読み自分が誰であるかの真実を知り そのことに気が付けば私はもはや腕と脚の無い人間ではなく神の子です。私は既に私の罪から赦されているのです。私は王の王 主の主なる神より遣わされた大使なのです。偉大なる神の僕にすぎないのです。これはただニックについてだけのことではありません。このような勝利者となるためのニックの資質や能力についてのことでもありません。私は取るに足りないものです。本当にそうなのです。神は私の中に住まわれています。そして今私は神の力の中に住んでいます。どんなことでもイエス様が克服なされたことは私も克服します。

もし神があなたに奇跡をおこしてくださらなくても 誰か他の人の救いのためにあなたを用いて下さることで神の奇跡があなたにあらわされていると私は信じています。そして私は八歳の時に神に腕と脚をくださいと願って祈りましたが それに対して神様がお応えにならなかったことに感謝します。なぜなら 考えてもみてください。私に腕と脚がないが故に神は私を世界中で神のご用の為に用いてくださっているからです。




人生において最も深刻な欠陥は腕や脚に伴うことではありません。見たり聞いたりする能力に関することでもありません。最も重大な障害つまり私達から自由と力を奪い去る最も大きな問題は あなたが絶対的にそして無条件に愛されているということを知ることによって得られる心の平安と安寧を欠くことなのです。もしそのことに気が付かなければあなたはあなたの自由を奪い去る罪の意識の中にそして生きていくための力を奪い取る恐怖の中に置き去りにされてしまいます。

1. 私は愛されているだろうか?
2. 私は大丈夫だろうか?

苦しみの中にある時 つまり危機に直面してるときにこれら二つのことを知る必要性がより増します。しかし苦しんでるとき我々の苦痛を他の人の苦痛と比較することで希望が見つかるわけではありません。私達の置かれた状況は様々かもしれませんがそれぞれの人が本当に苦しんでいるのです。

真の希望 真の平安 真の自由と喜びはイエス様の中にのみ見出されます。それはイエス様だけが私達の罪を赦すことが出来るお方だからです。イエス様だけが罪から私たちの心を洗い清め解放してくださいます。これはイエス様が自ら十字架の上で私たちの罪の代価を払われたからです。そしてイエス様は私達から取り去ってくださった罪の代わりに天国において 永遠の命から得られる心の平安と喜びを与えて下さいます。



希望は神のみ名の中にあります。そうです。主なるイエスキリストのみ名の中にです。苦難と 神から授かった無限で計り知れない愛と恩寵を比べたときに希望が生まれます。イザヤ書40章31節は言います。”しかし主を待ち望む者は新しく力を得 鷲のように翼をかって上がることができる。走ってもたゆまず歩いても疲れない と。私の境遇が変わる必要はなかったのです。腕や脚は必要ではないのです。私に必要なのは聖霊の翼そして空高く飛ぶことです。なぜならイエス様が私を支えて下さっていることを私は知っているからです。




あなた方は人を再び恐怖に陥れるような奴隷の霊を受けたのではなく 子としてくださる御霊を受けたのです。私たちは御霊によって “アバ 父”とよびます。

そしてあなたがたがあなたがた自身の父として神を求めるなら まことにあなたがたは神の奇跡のあらわれです。そしてあなたがたがあなた方の父として心をつくして神を求めるなら 神の御業はまさにその瞬間にあなた方の前に現れそして永遠にあらわれ続けます。