November 10, 2020 – Tuesday
John 9:25 NIV
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
The verse above was discussed in the conclusion yesterday but has special meaning to me today. You see I went to my eye doctor this afternoon, a Dr. Spencer just outside of Grandview Hospital. He has been taking care of my eyes for well over a decade especially since I have been diagnosed with diabetes. Today, this afternoon, my eyes were dilated as part of my annual checkup. When all was said and done, my eyes have no real changes, no diabetic damage, I’m just getting older. And afterwards I was partially blind due to the dilation … I could not read. Even now I am looking at the text at 150 percent to help me out.
Still, as a result of today’s exam, the above verse kept coming back to my mind and a desire to talk about it and the surrounding verses. A bit about the speaker, he was formally blind – from birth. He had never had any sight at all. Seeing and recognizing everything around him was all new. He had lived his life as a beggar. He had no education at all. Everything he knew was from listening to what went on around him. But he knew one thing with absolute surety, I was blind but now I see! Can you imagine? I cannot? One moment he is blind and being blind is all he has ever known. He does not know colors, clouds, the sight of birds flying about. He was completely and totally blind but now he sees!
The Pharisees found this to be incomprehensible. They did not know what to make of it. They really thought it had to be faked somehow. No one had ever done such a thing – given sight to a man who had been blind from birth. So, they called his parents in to question them, was he really born blind? Could he really see now? His parents answered (v20-21), We know he is our son and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself. So now a few facts are established, their son was indeed born blind but now he can see. They may or may not have known it was Jesus who gave him sight, but did not want to say so as the Jewish leaders had determined anyone (v22) who acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah (and who else could heal a man blind from birth) would be put out of the synagogue.
Think about that. The Pharisees and Jewish leaders could not deal with the possibility Jesus had actually given this man sight. To do so would be to acknowledge He was either the Messiah or a prophet chosen of God. Because the formally blind man was of legal age, he was summoned before them once again where they demanded of him (v24), Give glory to God by telling the truth. We know this man is a sinner. This was the equivalent of asking a man today to swear on the Bible to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, with a caveat, they already knew the man – Jesus – was guilty, a sinner.
Then a most unusual exchange occurs between the formally blind man and the elite of Jewish society. The man replied (v25), Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see! Nothing was more important to him than the miracle that had occurred, I was blind but now I see! Oblivious to the miracle he was trying to communicate to them they asked him what they had asked earlier (v26), What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes? This is when we discover Jesus must have done more than given him sight as he replied to his questioners as an equal in a debate (v27), 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? He may have spent his life as a beggar and been blind from birth, but he now easily held his own against those who wished to condemn Jesus as the exchange continued when they hurled insult after insult at him and said (v28-29), 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.
Their arrogance seemingly knew no bounds and they were completely unprepared for the in-depth reply from the man who could now see and see clearly, both physically and spiritually. So he answered them speaking with great spiritual authority (v30-33), 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 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. The authority and truth of his reply could not be questioned, so they did the only thing they could do (v34), accused him of being steeped in sin at birth; then did not answer him or what he had said, instead saying How dare you lecture us! They could not, would not, deal with the truth of his words, so they threw him out of the synagogue. They threw him out. That was their answer to the miracle of his sight being restored by Jesus after being blind from birth. They threw him out of the synagogue. Tomorrow we will discuss his follow-up encounter with Jesus.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank you so much for showing us how much was involved in this miracle of Jesus restoring this man’s sight. Not just visual sight, but obviously spiritual sight as well. Please keep us from spiritual darkness as well. – In Jesus name. Amen.
PS: Once again, if you have Amazon Prime, take the time to watch “MULLY” but before watching it read Mark 10:17-21 and then watch in amazement.