Thursday, April 17, 2014

DOUBLY BLIND (John Chapter 9)

John 9:40-41, “Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things and said to him, ‘Are we also blind?’  Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.”

It was an unprecedented miracle that clearly testified to the truth regarding Jesus.  When Jesus healed the man born blind “the works of God (were) displayed in him” (John 9:3).  The blind man, his sight having been restored, testified to the unprecedented nature of the miracle: “Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind” (John 9:32).  John the Baptist had previously sent messengers to Jesus, asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another” (Matthew 11:3)?  First mentioned in His response to John was the fact that “the blind receive their sight” (Matthew 11:5).  Isaiah had prophesied of the ministry of the coming Messiah, “The eyes of the blind shall be opened” (Isaiah 35:5).  Jesus fulfilled prophesy in opening the eyes of the man born blind.  It was an “attesting sign” revealing Jesus to be “the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31).

In Jesus “the true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world” (John 1:9).  There are but two possible responses to the Light—reject Him or receive Him (Cf. John 1:11-12), love the light or hate it (John 3:19-21; 7:7).  Both responses were clearly evident in the aftermath of the blind man’s healing.  He was healed of both physical and spiritual blindness, but the religious leaders were and remained blind to their blindness.

The man born blind had been a beggar (John 9:8).  The neighbors recognized him and saw him seeing and didn’t know what to think.  Some said that it was him others suggested that it was merely someone who looked like him.  He kept saying, “I am the man” (John 9:10).  So they asked him how his eyes were opened.  He attributed the work to Jesus.  They brought the man to the Pharisees (Cf. John 9:13).

The Pharisees interrogated the man born blind, but not to find out the truth.  It was a Sabbath day when “Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes” (John 9:14), so the Pharisees had already therefore concluded that Jesus could not be the Messiah.  In fact, His previous healing on the Sabbath had given rise to their hatred of Him (Cf. John 5:16, 18).  It should be noted that the Pharisees were involved in a great hypocritical cover-up.  They had invented hundreds of petty religious laws that governed nearly every aspect of their lives.  Many of these laws had to do with what could and could not be done on the Sabbath.  They thought that in the keeping of these rules they were made righteous, but they were not righteous.  They were “whitewashed tombs…full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27).  They were “blind guides” (Matthew 23:16) lost in sin and oblivious to their need.  They hated Jesus because He stripped away the whitewash to reveal the truth of that which lay within their hearts (Cf. John 7:7).

The religious leaders did not believe that the blind man had been healed, so they called and interrogated his parents.  In an effort to suppress the truth the Jews had already worked to threaten, with expulsion from the synagogue, anyone confessing Jesus to be the Christ (John 9:22).  So the parents refused to say how their son’s eyes were opened (John 9:20-21).  So for a second time the Pharisees interrogated the healed man.  He did not waver and spoke the truth regarding what he had experienced (Cf. John 9:24-24).  “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing,” he said (John 9:33).  The infuriated Pharisees cast him out, but Jesus found him and opened his spiritual eyes to the truth about Himself (John 9:35-41).

The blind man was twice healed of blindness (once physically and again spiritually), the religious leaders were doubly-blind to truth.  They were blind to their need and blind to the truth regarding Jesus.  And so are we all until the Spirit of God works to open blind eyes as He convicts of sin and witnesses to the glory of Christ (Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4; John 16:8-11, 14).  “I once was lost but now am found; was blind but now I see” is the wonderful testimony of those who have had their eyes opened to the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6)!

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