Day 9 of the 21 Day Challenge
John 9 I read yesterday but didn’t have the time to post. With a funeral and a trip to Indianapolis and back for class, I’m a day late to posting. Day 10 will be later today.
Verse 25 – “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
Verses 31-33 “WE know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person 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.”
37 “You have now seen him (the Son of Man); in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 “The man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.”
39 “Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.’”
41 “Jesus said to the Pharisee “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” – Jesus doesn’t appear to be speaking of the physical realm but the spiritual. What I think Jesus is saying is “You claim you understand and stand as an expert in religion and all things God, but right now, you are staring the Son of Man in the face and you don’t believe. Your response wasn’t like this blind man, who bows down and worships saying ‘Lord, I believe.’ Rather, your ignorance condemns you and leaves you still with a great deal of guilt.”
This is one of my favorite stories in John. Jesus heals a blind man, from birth, and the topic of conversation becomes all about sin. Is it the cause of blindness the blind man’s sin or the parent’s sin? Is Jesus sinful? How can he do these things if he is sinful? There is a lot to be learned in regard to these questions:
The disciples ask about the man’s blindness and whose sin it was that caused it, the man’s or his parents. Jesus doesn’t make it about their sin as the cause; rather, he made it about the ministry of restoring sight to the blind. This will be a sign to John the Baptist that Jesus is the Messiah, the coming Savior. For the blind man will come to know the Son of Man because of the healing as well. Jesus reveals himself and his nature as the Son of God by restoring sight, it’s one of the things he does to open the eyes of the spiritually blind.
What we have revealed to us about Godliness in this chapter is specifically God not listening to sinners. We see that Jesus is without sin, because the only way that sort of miracle happens is if it is by the power of God. Jesus asks and God listens. Jesus, throughout his life and ministry encourages his followers to ask, seek, and knock. Jesus washed away our sins, we should look at this passage as an encouragement for the godly to seek and ask of God for help and to reveal his glory in our world. Godliness seems to me like living without sin and seeking God and his kingdom in this world. We should take full advantage of our privileged relationship with God because of our faith in Jesus Christ. That means prayer, prayer, and more prayer.
I think that is my application for me, more prayer. I come away from this text with a lot of thoughts about how Jesus uses the man’s blindness as an illustration of the Pharisees spiritual blindness. Where I find myself in this story is the man born blind who now sees and knows Jesus as the Son of Man. The text tells us he believed and he worshiped. My response to knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior ought be the same, belief and worship.
Pray, believe and worship.
As for the application in our world; how many times do we see people have miracles happen in their family and nothing comes of it in regards to their faith? It may not have been sight restoration, but it could be miraculous recovery from cancer or a near fatal car crash that wasn’t. They come face to face with the Savior of the world and they remain spiritually blind. I find that this can be quite discouraging at times. But if there is any peace to be had in this, at all, it is that Jesus was face to face with many people who still chose to disbelieve. One thing is for sure, and this should capture our hearts, without belief in Christ, the guilt of sin remains. For those who were blind and now see, we ought be challenged to go out into the world and share our testimony and encourage all to come to believe in Jesus Christ. We collectively have one testimony, the same as the man born blind, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Let’s share that with others.
That will be my prayer:
Father, I am one of a privileged many who has come to believe and know the Son of Man as Jesus Christ. You have, through the power of your Son healed my spiritual blindness. With new eyes, may I see the needs of the world and proclaim Christ Jesus as the Savior, as the Messiah, as the Son of God. Let my testimony be used for your glory. Break into our world and bring healing and restore sight to those blinded by sin. Let the Church be the visible witness of Jesus Christ in our world. May he be lifted up in your Church that people would come and see him and believe. I ask of this in Jesus name, Amen.
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Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.