Friday, April 8, 2011

Born Spiritually Blind

Let’s look at the same story from the last post, Born Blind, but from a different point of view (no pun intended). Going from being born blind to receiving sight as an adult is, of course, a miracle. Going from being spiritually blind to receiving spiritual sight is also a miracle. Remaining blind in your unbelief is tragic.

In the story in John chapter 9 we saw how the blind man received both physical and spiritual sight and became a believer in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The Pharisees, however, remained spiritually blind and hence doomed.

They come into the story at the point where the (formerly) blind man is brought before them. Now they’ve been following things all along in regards to this Jesus person and have already closed their minds. In fact, they have decided that anyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Messiah would be “put out” of the synagogue. That meant financial ruin. They also meant the “putting out” to result in spiritual ruin as well, but claiming Jesus as the Christ has just the opposite outcome.

The Pharisees are divided after they question the (formerly) blind man. Some think that Jesus couldn’t be the Messiah because he performed this miracle on the Sabbath. Others wonder how a sinner could perform a miracle. Isn’t it interesting that neither side disputes the miracle? Obviously they aren’t blind to the miracle; they seem to accept that as a fact even though they question the poor guy several times. But they are themselves blind. Why don’t they acknowledge their own scriptures? Isaiah 29:18, 35:4,5 and 42:7 all predict that the coming Savior would open the eyes of the blind – something that had never, ever been done before Jesus did it.

Not only are they blind, refusing to admit the truth, but they are liars, too. What? Religious people are liars? Yes, after the (formerly) blind man gets a little snippy with them as they persist in their repetitive questions (John 9: 26, 27) the Pharisees claim they are disciples of Moses and don’t even know where Jesus comes from. Liars! They knew all about Jesus and just a few verses before we found out that they would expel anyone who declared that Jesus was the Messiah. And as for claiming to be disciples of Moses, these same Pharisees (in chapter 8) had just been arguing with Jesus, putting forth that they were children of Abraham. They had such an argument with Jesus that they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus slipped away. Yet now they say they don’t even know where Jesus comes from. Apparently they were deaf as well as blind.

The (formerly) blind man goes beyond snippy now to bold and sarcastic. He says, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” Wow, what an argument he throws back at them. His deductive reasoning is logical, the premises sound and irrefutable. Do they refute him? No, they can’t so they throw him out.

A few Pharisees are around when Jesus seeks out the blind man and reveals Himself as Lord. The Pharisees ask, “Are we blind, too?” and Jesus answers, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” And thus they receive judgment (condemnation) by their unbelief. They are doomed. Are you? Open your eyes, open your spiritual eyes.