“If You Were Blind” ( John 9: 41, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

Jesus is accused of being a sinner by some of the Pharisees. Jesus has healed a man born blind, and He has done this good and miraculous deed on the Sabbath. The Pharisees say, “This man is not from God, for He doesn’t keep the Sabbath!” (John 9:16) They accuse the Lord of the Sabbath of disobeying God’s Law.

They even challenge the healed man, telling him to “give glory to God. We know this man is a sinner!” (John 9:24) At first, the man admits he doesn’t really know (or care!) if Jesus is a sinner. All that matters to him is that Jesus has healed him. “One thing I do know,” he says. “I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25) Yet this humble man has a challenge of his own. He asks the Pharisees, “You don’t want to become His disciples, do you?” (John 9:27)

The Pharisees resort to ridicule, close to sticking out their tongues at the man. They remind him they are “Moses’ disciples.” “We know that God has spoken to Moses. But this man — we don’t know where He’s from!” (John 9:28)

The healed man is bewildered by this point. He’s probably grown up believing the religious leaders, the Pharisees are smart. But here, he sees they are illogical. Logic says that “God doesn’t listen to sinners.” (John 9:31) And, logic says, “Throughout history no one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of a person born blind. If this man is not from God, He wouldn’t be able to do anything.” (John 9:32)

The only answer the Pharisees have for the man’s logic is insult. “You were born entirely in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” (John 9:34)

Jesus hears about the Pharisees’ treatment of the man He has healed. He seeks out the man — He asks him if he believes in the Son of Man. When the man discovers that Jesus is the One sent to earth “for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.” (John 9:39); he says, “I believe, Lord!” (John 9:38)

The Pharisees overhear Jesus. They ask, “We aren’t blind too, are we?” Jesus bluntly tells them that if they were blind, “you wouldn’t have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see’ — your sin remains.” (John 9:41)

Jesus’ disciples had asked Jesus when He passed by the man born blind, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents. that he was born blind?” (John 9:1) And Jesus had answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3)

The work Jesus displays in the man born blind is a work performed on the Sabbath. To the Pharisees, it matters not that the work is good. In self-righteousness, they refuse to see God at work — God at work in forgiveness, mercy, love, kindness, care, and generosity. What they see is disobedience; their focus on the Law.

The man born blind is filled with gratitude and “he worships [Jesus.]” (John 9:38)

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. wellwateredgarden says:

    Good message! Again a clear example of the difference between religion and relationship. Religion, even ‘Christian’ religion, only creates bondage to its rules and just doesn’t cut it.

    Thanks!

  2. lambskinny says:

    Thanks “Well Watered Garden.” Any kind of ‘bondage’ is an incorrect view of the Christian walk. We are to cast our cares and burdens on Jesus, and walk in faith. God bless. Carley

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