Message: Once again I find John chapter 9 both fascinating and maddening! I think it’s interesting that in this story the blind man was just minding his own business and not asking for a thing! It was the disciples that provoked things by asking Jesus whether the man’s blindness came from sin of his own or from his parents. They were passing by the man during the conversation so I’m visualizing this sort of rude exchange of talking about him as if he couldn’t hear them or understand them- or worse, as if he didn’t matter. We may not have all of the details here, but it doesn’t look like there is any sort of conversation with the man at all and the man couldn’t see anything, and then suddenly there is a spit mud paste on his eyes and a voice telling him to go wash it off in the pool of Siloam. There are no more words exchanged. No offers to help the man get to the pool and no arguments from the man whatsoever. It just says that he left, washed and came back seeing. This man’s obedience without question gave him his healing. The healing was so transforming that people who had known him and seen him his entire life didn’t recognize him and they debated about it. What happens next is both frustrating and hilarious. This man is put on blast and questioned repeatedly about Jesus and his healing as if he was being interrogated for a crime. Even his parents were questioned but they wanted nothing to do with it. The man was not even a disciple of Jesus but the more he was questioned the more he started putting things together and stating the complete obvious, he spoke the truth as clear as could be right to the Pharisees and exposed their own blindness. What fascinates me here is that when their blindness was exposed they tried to flip it back onto the man by mocking him for trying to teach them and accusing him of being full of sin from birth. It’s funny that they asked all of the questions but didn’t like it when the man had some intelligent things to say. But Jesus set the record straight and by the end of the chapter it becomes clear that they weren’t ignorant to the details. In fact, what they spoke clearly identified that saw it all very clearly, but they didn’t want to accept what they saw and were CHOOSING ignorance. Looking back to other things I can see this same pattern where you can tell that they were putting it all together and even understood more clearly than the disciples of Jesus. What they knew and understood didn’t match what they wanted so they rejected it. This is far more dangerous than simple ignorance because we are accountable for what we know and understand because it becomes a deliberate decision of disobedience.
Command: I can’t hide behind ignorance and expect grace to cover it. I am accountable for what I know and for my deliberate decision to ignore truth and disobey God.
Promise: God rewards my initial obedience, and he expands my understanding AFTER I take that first step whether I understand it or not.
Warning: If I choose to argue with the truth and rebel against it, I not only lose the reward of obedience, but I am also condemned by my choice to reject the truth.
Application: This brought to mind so many times where I know I went from a place of true ignorance, to a place where the facts were clearly presented in front of me and I had to make a conscience choice about what I was going to do with that information. Sometimes truth brings an inconvenience, but sometimes it requires an overhaul in my life that I don’t want to face. Sometimes God is giving me ONE step of obedience and I want 5 confirmations and the game plan laid out in front of me before I am willing to even consider that step. This is not obedience and it robs me of all that God has in store. More often than not, I think I am waiting on God to move, but he is waiting for my obedience. Lord please deliver me from this mindset and help me to walk out obedience without question like the blind man did. I don’t have to understand how it will all play out. I only need to understand that YOU are good and whatever you are asking me to do is for good-even if it has uncomfortable consequences that don’t line up with what I have in mind.