Do You See What He Did There?

  1. Message: In John 9 Jesus parallels physical blindness with spiritual blindness. When he encountered the blind man he told his disciples that they needed to quickly fulfill the tasks that God sent them to do because night (darkness) is coming and soon nobody would be able to work. That statement seems so out of place if you don’t pick up on the context he is trying to build between the physical condition and the spiritual condition. Then he said that while he was there, he was the light of the world.  This is the only miracle I can think of where nobody directly asked Jesus to heal. The disciples brought attention to the blind man, but nobody (including the blind man) asked Jesus to heal him. Jesus simply gave the man instructions, and when he followed them he was healed. This stirred up all kinds of trouble and when the Pharisees accused and questioned everyone (including the man that was healed) they were revealing their own pride and spiritual blindness. Jesus was making some bold statements, but he didn’t address the Pharisees directly. He said that he came to give sight to the blind, and to show those who think they see, that they are blind. Anybody else find it funny that the men Jesus called spiritually blind were called Pharisees? Here’s the most important part of this message: Jesus told the Pharisees “if you were blind you would not be guilty, but you remain guilty because you claim you can see.”
  2. Command: Humble ourselves and obey God.
  3. Promise: Obedience comes from humility and it opens our eyes.
  4. Warning: Disobedience is born out of pride and it causes blindness.
  5. Application: I believe Jesus showed us here that there is a difference in responsibility between being blind without fault, and being blinded by pride. He took a physically blind man who was born that way, and he gave him instructions. The man could have ignored the instructions, but he didn’t. He obeyed them and his obedience physically opened his eyes. This really tripped up the Pharisees and their spiritual blindness was exposed by their irrational reaction. They believed they were the ones with spiritual sight, but they were so full of themselves and motivated to protect their positions that they didn’t recognize Jesus, even though he was fulfilling everything they had studied in the scriptures. Their blindness was their own fault because they were living in disobedience to God by using a place of spiritual authority for the benefit of themselves and oppressing the people God gave them to lead. We all have different levels of responsibility and authority. How we respond to God determines what we will do with that authority and how we treat people. The physically blind man responded in obedience, but the spiritually blind men chose themselves. After I read this I asked God to open my eyes to any disobedience, pride or arrogance that would blind me.

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