Friday, July 7, 2017

John, part 4, The Irrefutable Logic of a Blind Man


Jesus brings Light and Life. The blind man in John chapter 9 is in for the surprise of his life. Watch how he gets physical sight and how he gains another sense, too: spiritual sight. If you don’t know the story here it is in a nutshell:
Jesus and his disciples come across the blind man, Jesus heals him, the Pharisees are in an uproar because He healed on the Sabbath, there’s an investigation and the Pharisees kick the formerly blind man out of synagogue, and the story ends with Jesus revealing His divinity to the man who then gains spiritual sight.
Now, you be the blind guy:
You’ve heard the scriptures read, you know the prophecies, you hang around the temple all the time begging and listening. You hear some men talking about you. They’re asking their leader if you or your parents are responsible for your blindness. The leader says neither you nor your parents are responsible; he says that you’re blind so the work of God can be displayed in your life. You’re more alert. You hear them get closer and the leader puts something on your face over those rounds things that are called eyes, but have no function for you. He tells you to wash it off in the Pool of Siloam. You have some faith so you do.
What is this?! Is this sight?! This is unbelievable! You cannot contain your excitement. You find your way home and your neighbors think you’re an imposter. You tell them what happened. They ask how this could be. You say it was “the man.”

The Pharisees are mad at “the man” and send for you. You tell them your story. It’s so simple: he put mud on your eyes, you washed, and now you see. Some are wondering how a sinner could do this miraculous thing. You are beginning to put it together, remembering the prophecies. He is not a sinner, he is “a prophet,” you tell them.
They do not believe any of your story. They send for your parents. You know your parents will be kicked out of the synagogue, ruined, if they even hint that this “man,” this “prophet,” could be the Messiah. Luckily for them they say that you’re of age, you can testify for yourself.
A second time the Pharisees ask you and you reply “I was blind but now I see!” But how? What did he do? They still want to know and you’ve already answered. You’re getting more than a little frustrated with their unbelief. In fact, you’re impatient and you’re going to get a bit sarcastic with them. You say, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
You’ve gone too far. They hurl insults at you, but you, in your anger, stand up for the “man,” the “prophet,” and claim he must be from God. Your inner eyes are beginning to see and as they throw you out of the synagogue you start to know in your heart who healed you.
And then He finds you and He asks you if you believe in the Son of Man. You ask who He is and the “man,” the “prophet,” this Jesus, tells you that He is the Son of Man.
“Lord,” you say, “I believe.”
You have been blind, but now you see. At first you thought Jesus was just a man or just a prophet, but now you know He is Lord.
There is another side to this story. Look at the Pharisees in this account. Remaining blind in your unbelief is tragic. 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 intended 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, saying 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.