Tuesday, April 3, 2012

John 9:26-41

Have you ever noticed that when someone tells a lie, they often retell it differently. I have a poster in my classroom that reads, “Always tell the truth. Then you won’t have to remember what you said.” As a teacher I catch kids in lies all of the time. And sure enough, with each retelling something in the story changes! Although the Pharisees had already heard the man’s testimony, they pressed him to repeat the story, possibly hoping to find a way to discredit him.

Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

He answered, “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?”

Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” (John 9:26-29)

The Pharisees resorted to name-calling here when they could not answer the man. The King James Version says, “They reviled him.” Because the truth was on his side, he did not need to become defensive, so he responded calmly with some logic:

The man answered, “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.”

To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. (vs.30-34)

The religious leaders rejected the man and his testimony. He had experienced a physical, life-changing miracle. But because it threatened their authority, the Pharisees kicked him out of the temple. He was about to experience another miracle, one which would have eternal consequences. When the leaders rejected him, Jesus went looking for him! Jesus seeks and saves the lost! Those who know their need are the ones He came to help.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.  (vs.35-38)

Jon Courson points out that this man progressed from calling Jesus “the man” in verse 11, to “a prophet” in verse 17, and finally to “Lord” here in verse 38. He did not instantly worship Christ as soon as he had his physical sight. He had to struggle through some persecution before he truly “saw.” It wasn’t until Jesus found him that he understood just who Jesus was. We are familiar with the saying, “Seeing is believing,” but in Christianity the reality is that “Believing is seeing.”

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. (vs.39-41)

The Pharisees claimed to “see,” yet they were blind. The blind man knew his need, so he was given vision. Spiritual pride is blinding! It actually keeps us from seeing God. If you want to know Him, you must come to Him in humility asking Him to give you the vision to see the truth. If any of us lacks spiritual wisdom we just need to ask God for it. James tells us in his letter that God loves to generously give wisdom to those who believe! (James 1:5) How’s your eyesight today?

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