Participants: Michael Kontes
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000417
00:30 Hello friends, I'm Michael Kontes
00:32 and I want to welcome you to Faith Chapel.
00:35 Today we're gonna look at the gospel of John
00:37 and how Jesus deals with illness and sickness.
00:40 But first let us pray.
00:44 Father, we come to thee now and we thank thee
00:46 for the life that you've given us,
00:49 the life that you've given us is an abundant life
00:51 and we thank thee for Your hand
00:53 and Your guidance in our lives.
00:55 Be with us now as we break open
00:57 the bread of life in Jesus name, amen.
01:02 Friends, when you have come across the situation
01:04 may be a loved one, a friend, a coworker,
01:07 a church member, brother, sister,
01:09 who has come down with an illness.
01:13 What kind of questions have you asked?
01:16 Have you asked may be why did this take place?
01:19 Have you wanted to point the finger and say,
01:22 try to get down to the root and say,
01:24 what is going on here? How did this come to be?
01:28 Well, let me share with you
01:29 the gospel of John has this kind of situation
01:32 and we're going to go and look at it today.
01:34 We're gonna see not only how the disciples responded,
01:37 but in turn how Jesus responded.
01:39 Let us open up our Bibles to the gospel of John, Chapter 9.
01:46 "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man
01:50 which was blind from his birth.
01:53 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin,
01:59 this man, or his parents, that he we born blind?
02:05 Jesus answered, neither hath this man sinned,
02:10 nor his parents, but that the works of God
02:14 should be made manifest in him.
02:20 The common belief about suffering in 31 A.D. was that
02:25 all suffering of affliction and disease was a result of sin.
02:30 People commonly assumed that disease and disorders
02:35 on both the personal and national level
02:39 could be traced back to some sin.
02:42 Now in the Jewish mind, all infirmity, all deformity,
02:48 all trouble in your life could somehow be traced back
02:52 to something you did
02:54 or something that your parents did.
02:57 Now friends, I can share with you today that,
03:00 that is from that mindset completely bogus and false.
03:07 Now there is a partial truth in that.
03:10 And let me share to you the partial, partial truth.
03:13 Adam and Eve are original parents, because of their sin,
03:18 we are in the state that we're in today.
03:20 But not all affliction can be traced back to something
03:26 we have done or that our parents have done.
03:30 Now, notice it's human inclination for us
03:35 to point our finger and try to find the problem
03:37 and say, you know, the reason why Tim is sick
03:42 is because of some sin he has done in his life.
03:45 The reason why Judy is sick is because some sin
03:48 her mother and father committed.
03:53 Friends, that absolutely distorts the picture
03:58 that God wants us to have.
04:00 Now this mindset is prevalent not just in 31 A.D.,
04:06 but even today.
04:09 As many of you know, I've shared my story
04:11 on my daughter's illness and sickness
04:14 and her eventual passing
04:16 and that has been a very important event
04:22 and a very important time in my life,
04:24 so lot of my illustrations and so on come during this time.
04:27 I like to share with you something.
04:29 During this time my daughter was diagnosed,
04:31 we're in the third day in the hospital.
04:33 On the way out walking out of the hospital with my father,
04:36 you know, my father is a very
04:38 staunch Greek orthodox individual
04:40 and was struggling that I have left my faith
04:43 and as we're walking out I also believe,
04:45 while I was walking out of the hospital,
04:47 he is also been struggling on how his granddaughter
04:50 could come down with this sickness.
04:53 Didn't have an answer for it.
04:54 And the only thing he could say as we were walking out,
04:56 he goes Mike, Arianna has cancer
04:59 because you did not baptized her.
05:02 You see in the Greek Orthodox tradition
05:04 you're baptized as an infant.
05:07 You're baptized as -- and I, my wife and I Regan,
05:09 we specifically chose not to have Arianna baptize.
05:12 We wanted Arianna to make that choice herself.
05:15 You see the Bible says, believe and be baptized.
05:19 And as an infant, she didn't have any belief
05:23 because that Greek word belief pistevo is an action word.
05:26 We wanted her to come to a -- place where she could believe
05:29 herself and make the -- decision for herself, amen.
05:33 Now my father was struggling.
05:35 My father was looking for answers and the only thing
05:37 he could point to was that -- because I did not baptize her,
05:43 because Regan and I did not baptize her,
05:46 this illness must have been a judgment from God.
05:49 Now as I was walking out with my dad, and he said
05:52 that I looked at my dad and I said,
05:53 "dad, have you, you know, I'm really sorry that you've
05:56 that picture of God.
05:57 What do you do with all the people in your faith
05:59 who had been baptized as an infant
06:01 and come down with illnesses?"
06:03 He was quite quiet, didn't know how to answer.
06:05 I understood that my dad was struggling
06:07 with how to answer this question,
06:08 so I understood the motive.
06:10 Now what do you do though as a parent,
06:15 when something happens to your child?
06:17 How do you respond?
06:19 You see, child birth should be something
06:21 that brings out great joy and happiness.
06:25 The occasion of child birth should be
06:27 an occasion of great joy.
06:30 Here the mother gives birth and after all the birth pains,
06:35 as I watched my wife take three
06:38 of our children into her arms.
06:41 She didn't remember the pain, and now she looked
06:44 upon this beautiful child.
06:46 What if you are a mother of a child and the child
06:49 comes out from birth being blind.
06:52 You are in, you nurse your child.
06:55 One of the most intimate acts that a mother
06:58 could do is nurse her child.
07:00 And as you're nursing your child and you look into
07:03 the eyes of your child, you cannot see
07:05 that look of contentment.
07:08 How about being a father and wanting to take
07:11 your blind son to go play football,
07:13 basketball, or baseball.
07:17 He really can't do that, is if you take him out to go play
07:20 catch with the football you might bonk him in the face.
07:23 Can you imagine the kind of guilt that you would carry?
07:27 Ever wanting to take him fishing and you take
07:29 him fishing and in fact he catches the fish,
07:31 but he can't even see the fish that he catches.
07:34 What kind of guilt would we carry?
07:38 Now in 1999, that I've been sharing with you when my
07:44 daughter got sick we received the phone call.
07:45 My wife specifically, she received the phone call,
07:49 she was sitting down at the, sitting down
07:51 on the kitchen floor next to the stove.
07:54 Now I was walking by, and my wife was very quiet,
07:58 but tears were streaming down her cheeks.
08:02 As tears were streaming down her cheeks, I stopped
08:04 and I just looked, look at her because I knew the cry
08:08 that my wife had was not a joyful cry.
08:12 It was a cry of guilt and as she was finishing up
08:18 the phone call, she wrote down on a piece of paper something
08:23 and she hung up the phone.
08:25 And I said honey, "what's going on?"
08:29 She just nodded her head, nothing.
08:32 I said no honey, "what's going on?"
08:34 And my wife began to share with me that someone
08:38 had called this up specifically once again my wife
08:42 and started sharing with my wife that the reason
08:45 that my daughter, Arianna had brain cancer
08:50 was because of the diet that we were giving her.
08:56 Friends, can you imagine here is a mother,
08:59 her daughter is dying.
09:01 Her daughter is three days in a coma and receiving
09:03 a phone call saying, you know what, I felt impressed
09:07 to call you and to let you know
09:09 that I think the reason why your daughter is sick,
09:12 the reason why she is possibly gonna die is because the diet
09:16 that you've given, You've given her too many Cheerios,
09:21 she has eaten too many big Macs, french fries,
09:25 drinking too many cokes.
09:27 This is absolutely devastating.
09:31 And so as my wife told me that now I've to tell all of you,
09:34 I'm a lot like Peter in some ways friends good and bad.
09:39 When my wife told me that situation,
09:41 I looked down and said is this the phone number,
09:43 because on that piece of paper it had a name,
09:45 it said 'Mrs' and just an initial 'M.'
09:48 The person that didn't even leave their name,
09:51 so I picked up the phone and I started dialing
09:54 this phone number, and as I was dialing this phone number
09:58 a lady at the other end picked up and goes hello,
10:03 and I said, "Hello, is this, is this Mrs. M"
10:06 and she goes "yeah, this is Mrs. M."
10:08 And I said, "Hi, Mrs. M, I'm Michael Kontes,
10:11 you just called and spoke to my wife just."
10:13 Oh yeah, Mr. Kontes, "how are you doing?"
10:16 And I said, "You know Mrs. M,
10:19 I'm not doing too good right now."
10:22 She said, why, what's going on?
10:23 I said you know, my wife just told me that you called up
10:26 and you basically told my wife that the reason why Arianna
10:29 has cancer is because of the diet that we've given her.
10:34 And Mrs. M, said well, you know, Mr. Kontes this morning
10:38 in my daily devotions I was reading a book
10:43 and as I was reading this book, it talked about
10:47 healthful living and one of the things that I knew
10:49 is that you are a new convert with your wife and you guys
10:53 probably have not been keeping all of the dietary habits
10:56 as you probably should have and I think
10:59 that this is the reason why your daughter
11:00 came down with brain cancer.
11:03 And when she told me that friends, I was,
11:06 I was dumb founded.
11:08 I could not believe that this is what she was saying to me.
11:11 And as soon as she said that, as my custom was
11:14 I went straight into prayer.
11:16 I went straight into prayer and as I went into prayer,
11:21 I asked the spirit to impress me, to impress me
11:27 with something to say that would touch this lady.
11:31 And I said, "Mrs. M, do you know that my father
11:37 who is in his late 60s every morning he wakes up
11:42 and he has a cup of coffee, at least one if not two,
11:45 not just your Folgers cup of coffee, he has the Turkish mud
11:49 where you got to put like a big boating oar and stir it,
11:53 has a little shot of Cognac every so often
11:57 and goes off to work.
12:00 And then when my father comes home, my father
12:03 has a little glass of wine, and I said you know,
12:08 I've also watched him Mrs. M that, you know my father
12:12 has eaten lots of different foods, lots of different meats,
12:17 clean and unclean.
12:18 But why is it that my father doesn't have
12:22 this type of cancer either.
12:26 And she was very quiet on the other line, very quiet.
12:30 There was dead silence
12:35 and then she said, but I felt,
12:40 I felt that the spirit was leading me to call you
12:44 and to tell you that, and then I went into more prayer
12:52 and I started praying.
12:55 "Lord, what can I say that will touch this lady
12:59 that she will never be able to run someone else over?"
13:02 Now friends, she might have had good motives,
13:04 I can't judge motives.
13:07 But in the midst of a crisis when a t parent is already
13:12 carrying massive guilt, is this the appropriate time
13:16 to call up and say the reason why your daughter is dying
13:18 is because the diet that you've given her?
13:21 So as I was praying the Lord gave me an answer and I said
13:28 "Mrs. M, have you prayed for my family?"
13:34 And there was dead silence on the phone.
13:37 Have you prayed for my family?
13:44 And I knew, the spirit had impressed me on my heart
13:47 knowing that she hadn't, she was dead silent.
13:51 And then she said, "No I haven't."
13:53 And I said, "Mrs. M, you've the audacity to pick up
13:58 the phone and call my wife and to tell her that the reason
14:03 why our daughter has brain cancer, is because of the diet
14:06 that my wife has been giving her, but you never have
14:09 prayed for my family."
14:12 And then I went on to say, "Mrs. M, do me a favor,
14:17 please don't ever call my house again,
14:19 but I would really appreciate
14:21 if you keep my family in prayer."
14:24 And I hung up the phone.
14:26 Brothers and sisters, there is no reason when someone
14:31 is sick, we see an ailment take place for us to begin
14:35 to assume that the judgment of God is upon individuals.
14:39 When we look at the Bible from Genesis to Revelation
14:43 and we open up and we look at, we look at the Book of Job.
14:47 And you saw all the afflictions there in the Book of Job
14:50 that Job went through.
14:52 Was that the judgment of God or as Job
14:55 says it was because could Job was blameless
14:59 and perfect in his sight that Job was allowed to be touched
15:03 by the hand of Satan.
15:12 I will share with you this is a devastating,
15:14 devastating situation.
15:16 The Bible says in Corinthians, that we will be judged
15:19 by everything that comes out of our mouths
15:21 and our actions whether good or bad,
15:24 Second Corinthians 5:10, I believe.
15:27 Can you imagine being this blind person's
15:31 parent in the first century?
15:34 How about this, this young boy growing up
15:39 the kind of pain that he had to deal with.
15:42 When he went, I can imagine him being
15:44 at the Isaiah Prophet School Elementary there in Judah.
15:51 And as he is in school all of the kids are out during recess
15:54 and playing kickball, but little Frankie
16:00 has to sit next to his teacher, because he can't play.
16:07 How about walking down the hallways of school?
16:12 And hearing the snickers, listening to Susie,
16:17 talk to the Cathie the new girl at school, and saying,
16:20 "Oh, by the way that's Frankie, he is blind."
16:24 Rumor has it that his parents committed a terrible sin,
16:31 a terrible heinous sin, and the judgment of God
16:35 has rested upon him.
16:37 Can you imagine being that young boy hearing that?
16:41 Notice in this verse, there is, there is much in it,
16:45 but verse 3, specifically reads, neither have
16:51 this man sin nor his parents, but the works of God
16:58 should be manifest in him.
17:03 That's pretty powerful.
17:05 That should lead us to realize that there are times
17:09 that people become sick, it is not the judgment of God.
17:13 It's because what has taken place that started up with
17:16 a war in heaven with an angel that wanted to stand
17:21 in the place of God, that decided to war
17:24 against his maker, decided to spread discontent in gossip.
17:28 Finally the lines were drawn, he was thrust out of heaven,
17:33 put down here upon earth, decided, decided like
17:37 the selfish person that he was.
17:40 You know, I just had a thought most of you,
17:42 have any of you ever seen the movie "The Grinch."
17:44 Notice the Grinch is sitting on top of his mountain,
17:47 and he is looking down there on Whoville,
17:49 and the Whoove's come out and they are all singing
17:52 and they are happy, it's the joyous Christmas occasion,
17:55 and he begins to get angry and filled with hated
17:58 and animosity and he wants to do an act
18:00 to destroy Whoville's happiness.
18:04 Friends that Grinch was the Satan, as he looked upon
18:09 the Garden of Eden and saw Adam and Eve,
18:12 contented happy and joyful.
18:15 He purposed in his heart that he would bring such woe
18:18 upon the human race that he would cause massive pain
18:24 in hopes of he would separate humanity from its maker
18:29 forever and he was somewhat successful.
18:35 Humanity was separated from its maker.
18:39 But Jesus, the Father in Jesus, decided
18:45 that they would bridge a gap and make
18:47 reconciliation for mankind,
18:51 so that the works of God might be manifested.
19:00 After my daughter passed away, we had her funeral service
19:05 in Sacramento, California.
19:10 I had approximately, we had at the funeral service
19:15 approximately four to five hundred people show up
19:18 somewhere in the four, five hundred, six hundred.
19:21 Two hundred were church members and the other
19:26 three or four hundred were people from my Greek community
19:31 that I was raised with.
19:33 They came to the funeral service and as they came
19:37 and they sat they watched as Pastor Doug Batchelor
19:44 preached the sermon, preached the sermon on hope.
19:49 They watched as Pastor John Lomacang came
19:55 and sang a song "Just Be There," Just Be There,
19:59 a song about a child who is dying, singing to
20:04 his or her parents "Just Be There,"
20:07 just to make it in heaven.
20:11 At that time, young Steven Batchelor also sang a song,
20:15 many tears were shed and as people began to leave
20:22 the funeral service after it was done.
20:25 In fact, let me back up just one second,
20:28 I in fact got up and shared a couple of words
20:31 and one of the things I said as I got up, and I said,
20:36 I know my daughter is asleep.
20:39 She is sleeping in the arms of Jesus, and I have gone over
20:42 and over in my head, why this has taken place?
20:47 And the only answer I get from God is "why not?"
20:53 And I sat down and as the family and friends
20:57 and coworkers began to come out at the end
20:59 of the funeral service and greet us, many people came by
21:04 and they whispered in our ears,
21:09 God was glorified this day, Mike, Regan,
21:14 God was glorified through the death of your daughter.
21:21 You know what, I still her and it still touches me,
21:27 because I miss my daughter.
21:30 But you know, I can go on knowing that God
21:34 was glorified that through my daughter's death
21:38 people had an opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ,
21:42 people had an opportunity to be able to realize
21:46 that even through death, God is good.
21:55 Today, as I look back in hindsight, I do have joy
22:04 and I do have happiness, because I know that day
22:10 that my daughter through her life
22:14 the glory of God was shown, through her life
22:17 and that day through her death.
22:21 And I will be the first one to tell you friends,
22:24 that I will not raise my hand and say God,
22:28 "Hey I got two other boys, go ahead
22:31 and put them through the same affliction."
22:36 I can't tell you that I would say that prayer.
22:40 But the one thing that I can tell you is that day
22:44 through the life and through the death of my dead daughter,
22:47 God was glorified.
22:48 Now there are many parts of this story, many parts,
22:54 and as we're getting towards the end of the story,
22:56 there is a part where Jesus picked up some dirt and mud
22:59 and put it on his eyes and said
23:00 "Go wash and make yourself clean.
23:03 There was an obedience aspect that the blind person
23:06 had to do and had to follow.
23:10 But the specific message and the specific points
23:13 I want to bring out today is that affliction
23:16 is not caused by God.
23:17 There is no reason for us as people to pickup the phone,
23:21 get on the computer, send out emails to people and say,
23:24 "Hey you know what, I know Frank committed adultery
23:29 and left his wife and the reason why he is sick,
23:32 is because this is the judgment of God."
23:35 None of us, none of us have the right to stand up
23:42 and to proclaim that the judgment of God
23:45 is dropping on anyone.
23:46 God has not given us that right.
23:49 And I'm glad I don't have that right,
23:50 because personally for me,
23:53 I don't know if that's right at all.
23:55 I think to some degree that would be a curse.
23:57 Now, there is balance no doubt, that when someone
24:01 does something and we read throughout the Bible
24:02 when prophets have called out sinners.
24:05 Yes, I agree, but I can share with you today,
24:09 I'm glad, I'm not a prophet, Amen.
24:14 Now, next time a friend, a family member,
24:24 a coworker, a coworkers child, a friend's child,
24:30 a church member's child, you hear comes down
24:33 with an affliction, and -- the disease, and an illness.
24:38 You don't have to proclaim and ask God,
24:41 God is this happening because of the child sin
24:48 or the parents' sin.
24:51 What you can do is you could sit back and say God,
24:55 I'm not gonna worry about why this person is sick?
24:58 I want to put this individual in prayer.
25:02 I want to talk to this person.
25:04 I want to give them encouragement.
25:06 I want to give them hope.
25:08 I want to send a card to them, may be on a weekly basis
25:11 encouraging them saying, "God loves you,
25:13 God is gonna strengthen you, God is there for you."
25:21 Notice, the first question asked in this
25:25 three short verses in the gospel of John Chapter 9,
25:30 basically what the disciples are asking is who is to blame,
25:35 but yet Jesus would not allow them to point any blame,
25:40 and this is brothers and sisters well, I will tell
25:42 you as a church member, stand up if there is people
25:46 in your church, and people start asking questions,
25:48 don't allow others to start blaming what's going on
25:51 and speculate what might be taking place.
25:55 If you're a pastor and you know something is
25:56 going on with the family sick and you hear
25:59 that there is some kind of speculation you as a pastor
26:03 should be the first and God would hold you accountable
26:07 if you knew something was being said and spread
26:11 and you did not put out that fire.
26:15 Notice the disciples were looking to what happened,
26:20 what caused this?
26:21 They were looking backwards.
26:24 Jesus had none of it and Jesus didn't say what happened,
26:29 Jesus was looking at it from a futuristic perspective
26:32 saying, not what happened, but what can become of this.
26:38 And the reason why is that Jesus is looking
26:41 at taking situations, and always turning them into good.
26:47 Jesus is looking about taking any situation that is hurtful
26:51 in someone's life whether a physical ailment
26:54 or even a spiritual ailment, and He is looking for us
26:58 as individuals to be able to say, Jesus,
27:01 Lord Jesus please take this burden,
27:03 I cannot carry it anymore and he is looking to take it
27:07 from us after we handed it to Him, embrace it,
27:11 and be able to say you know what Mike,
27:13 I'm gonna take this and in due time I'm gonna give
27:17 it back to you when you are ready to take this situation,
27:22 to take this circumstance and use it for My glory.
27:27 And today brothers and sisters I could stand up
27:30 and I can tell you as what it says, once again
27:32 on my daughter's gravestone,
27:34 the Book of Psalms 118 verse 17, 117 says
27:40 "I shall not die, but proclaim the works of the Lord."
27:46 Today, I will tell you that Jesus Christ is embracing you,
27:52 wanting to do the works of the Lord through your ailment.