Thursday, March 3, 2011
I Was Blind … Now I See
So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.” He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” So they said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” John 9:1-41
The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Have you ever considered how different your life would be if you were blind from birth?
To be blind from birth is much more severe than being blinded after having seen. Blind from birth gives us no point of reference. As an example, I have been to the pool where the blind man washed the mud from his eyes. It is much easier for me to visualize the pool that someone who has never visited that holy place. There is a picture in my mind's eye. I can see the pool as if I were there yesterday. Of course a person blind from birth could read about a rainbow, or a sunset, or a pool, and he can dip for water, but from that point … the man only has his imagination, and God's Spirit to guide him. I would like to believe that God would give this blind person supernatural sight inside of his mind, but for those who do not know Christ, only darkness? Have you ever even wondered what God reveals to those who are born blind?
Meditating on this story will cause you to ask such questions, and lead you to new levels of thankfulness for the blessings you have. Want a list of things to be thankful for? Pretend you are blind for the next hour ... things of great value will quickly become much clearer.Close your eyes in silence for fifteen minutes or so … now if you multiply that fifteen minutes of blindness 700,000 times, you will have spent twenty years in the blind man’s shoes. Now imagine yourself a blind beggar on a street corner. What would you think if someone came up and put mud on your eyes? I must admit, my immediate thoughts would probably be anger and doubt. Unless of course … I realized God was speaking and ministering directly to me. I submit and follow His instructions and wash my eyes in the pool and … instantly everything comes to life. Can you even imagine? Twenty five years ago, the first morning after my eye surgery … I was amazed at what I could now see without my glasses ... it seemed miraculous to me at the time. The blind man’s experience was a thousand times more miraculous to him, when his eyes were opened for the first time. Can you even imagine the joy that must have filled his heart? I doubt that this miracle has ever been repeated in the history of mankind. Blind from birth, healed without medical procedure or doctors care of any kind? No way.
The man’s explanation was clear and to the point: I was blind … and now I see. The reaction by his neighbors and the Pharisees was first doubt, and then they try to explain the miracle of Jesus away by confusing the reality with their rules. The blind man would have none of that. The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. “Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out. John 9:31-34.
The problem of the religious leaders is quite clear. “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-19.
The Pharisees saw the man’s blindness as evidence of his sin. Jesus clarified that when He said: “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3. This leads me to the most important point of the entire story. “Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “Who is He Lord, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains. John 9:1-41
The man was blind … but now he sees. This was not only true regarding his vision. This truth also applied to the condition of his heart. The Pharisees on the other hand saw the miracle and disregarded it even when the facts were clearly explained to them over and over by the formerly blind man. Their pride and arrogance would not allow them to recognize the truth or to be educated by someone below them. Instead, they denied Christ and declared; “We are not blind too, are we?” and “We see.” The Pharisees heard the blind man say “Lord I believe” and yet they still rejected Jesus and His miracle.
The message here is that everyone is: the blind man, spiritually.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24. Some see the judgment and free gift of salvation through Christ and believe like the blind man; others see this same truth and say: no to Christ, and like the Pharisees … I have a different belief, they say. According to Jesus, their decision condemns them. The man was blind; and wanted to see, and Jesus healed his eyes as well as his heart. The Pharisees were blind in the condition of their hearts also; but in their prideful denial, they did not see their need for healing, and as a result their spiritual blindness and guilt remains and condemns them.
So the question is this: “who are you; the Pharisee, or the blind man?”
The blind man is not looking so bad off after all, is he? Most of us gladly want to be the blind man. I would much rather be blind from birth, than lost to hell, for eternity. But again the question is: “who are you … really? Have you accepted Christ and confessed Christ; but continue to live for yourself. Are you standing on the fence? Saying I believe, but following your feelings, lusts and pride in your day to day life? Are your intelligence, education, knowledge, philosophy, beliefs, goals, plans, and habits standing between you and God? "I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth." Revelation 3:16-17 “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.”
1 Corinthians 3:18-20
“I was blind … but now I see” means: I am following Jesus Christ and His Word … not myself.
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthian 5:14-21
God Bless you my friends, Bob