Chapter 9:24-41 (ESV) - So for the 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 answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 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.
Question to consider: What reason does the formerly blind man give for becoming a disciple of Jesus?
One point that I continually drive home whenever I teach youth catechesis is that the resurrection of Christ is the key to everything. As the man born blind said to the Pharisees, “God does not listen to sinners.” If Christ had sinned even once during His life on earth, His body would have remained in the tomb. Because He rose from the dead, everything He said was true. He did not just claim to be a teacher or prophet but the Son of the living God. He did not just claim He could show people the way to be reconciled to God, but He claimed to be the only one who could reconcile us to God.
People can debate all they want about whether we evolved from fish in the sea billions of years ago, but He confirmed the historical Adam and claimed to be the externally existent one who gave Abraham his hope of redemption. Frankly, it’s a lot easier to corroborate the life, death, and resurrection of Christ than it is to speculate about whether we were seeded by aliens. I’d recommend reading books like “The Historical Jesus” by Gary Habermas or “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell if you want to explore some of the evidence that supports the resurrection.
I’m not one who says “search your feelings” on a subject, but one thing that makes Christ unique among all religious figures or philosophers is that He effectively summarizes the human condition. The world insists that we are basically good and that all we require is a bit of education to redeem ourselves and live in harmony with one another. They profess that if we learn the ways of Buddhism or submit to the dictates of the Quran or just Imagine it like John Lennon, we can bring about our personal utopia. However, Jesus was the only one who professed to be our righteous redeemer before God. He receives us in our sin and gives us His righteousness so that we can be reconciled to God. He came into a world that already was condemned before God so “that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” If you did “search our feelings”, do you think you could stand before a perfectly holy God? If not, who else besides Jesus could stand in your place?
The man born blind realized these things in his discussion with the Pharisees and went from recognizing Jesus was a prophet to being willing to be cast out from the synagogue as a disciple of Jesus before he ever was able to see Him with his new eyes. Scientists may have learned a lot about healing people, but they have never opened the eyes of a man born blind. The Pharisees professed to be a disciple of Moses, but like Abraham, Moses rejoiced in the day of Christ and told the people, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” (Deuteronomy 18:15 NIV)
Dear Lord, thank You for being our redeemer before God. Help us to rejoice like Moses and Abraham that You came into the world to take our sin and give us Your righteousness. May we be like the man in today’s passage who was willing to face the derision of the Pharisees to be Your disciple. Amen.