One Thing I Do Know

Welcome to 2008!

I’ve pointed this out before, and I’ll surely point it out again. The vast majority of scripture is what you and I would call narrative, or “story.� There’s Genesis, with its story about the lives of the patriarchs and there’s Exodus’ story of the escape from Egypt and journey to the promised land. Then there are the stories of the Judges. (As a child, I discovered that they were good to have around whenever the sermon was boring.) There are also the stories of the Kingdom of Israel. There are the stories of the exile and return in books like Nehemiah. There are the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels. They are the story of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection. Finally, there are the Acts of the early church.

So what should we make of this fact? How shall we interpret the fact that God has chosen “story� to communicate so much to us? My guess is that he knows how compelling a good story can be. Stories keep our attention in a way that essays rarely do. We find ourselves being concerned by what’s happening to the people. We are made nervous by the conflict. We experience fear or sadness. We are relieved when there is some sort of resolution. I get emotionally involved in a story. All this year, you will be hearing about our theme, “Changing Lives Through Jesus.� I plan on having a lot to say about that. After all, it’s not just our theme for the year, it’s also the professed mission of this church. There is a great deal of scripture describing how one’s life may be changed by Jesus.

But one of the things I plan frequently to do is tell stories. Mainly because there are so many great stories in which someone meets Jesus and comes away changed. In scripture, people who meet Jesus are not the same when they walk away. Here’s another thing I want. I want to be hearing your stories. How has Jesus changed your life? As we’ll see from the story we’re going to hear this morning, the proof for Jesus is in the proverbial pudding. We can sit around and debate Christian evidences all day long—trying to prove God through philosophy. But, for proof of God’s power, the best place to look is not in a philosophy book but in the stories of those whom he has changed. This will be important for us. Before we can expect to change any one else’s life, we have to recognize how our own life has been changed by Jesus. That’s a crucial step. I hope that you’ll begin to work through your own story—a story that is unfolding even as you sit there.

Today you will here from one man who was changed by Jesus. A man who, when asked about Jesus’ identity replied this way: “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see.�