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Friday, October 21, 2016

The Man Born Blind, Part 3 To See Or Not To See

The Man Born Blind, Part 3
To See Or Not To See
John 9:35-41

Last week, we saw that the man born blind… stood his ground really well against those who not only wanted to derail his newfound faith… but they were primarily seeking something that they’d be able to use against Jesus.

But folks… a man with an encounter with Jesus Christ, isn’t easily swayed by men who only have preconceived notions… or faulty logic.  They could claim, all they wanted, that he had never been blind—but the truth and testimony of witnesses who had known him and seen him for years would destroy that accusation.

They could also claim that it was God… but not Jesus, who had performed this miracle… because Jesus was a sinner.  They could say this all they wanted… but again… the truth… and this man’s flawless logic, would show them wrong.  After all… how could Jesus be a sinner when He’s done something like this that had never been done before?

This man had sight given to him.  It can’t even be said that his sight had been restored… because that would imply that he had it at some point but lost it.  No… sight was given to him… and it was sight as fresh and new as the sight of a newborn baby when he first opens his eyes.  And these brand new… new born eyes could see far better than the eyes of his inquisitors.

Because not only could he now actually see the world around him… but the eyes of his heart had also been opened at the same time.  He now saw spiritual things that had been hidden from him before, and because of this… he had the wherewithal to withstand the questions and accusations that were thrown at him.

He had only a little bit of light in comparison to the Jewish leaders who were interrogating him—yet he remained faithful to that measure that had been given to him… and now, more would be given.

Mat 13:12 NKJV For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

By honoring God… and remaining true to the One who gives sight to the blind… the Lord would honor him.  Christ would give him more revelation of Himself… than He had given to anyone… except maybe the Samaritan woman. 

He would very soon… openly declare His deity to this man by revealing Himself to him as the Son of God.

I. To See

Joh 9:35-38 NKJV Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" (36) He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" (37) And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you." (38) Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.

I want you to take notice of the first few words of this passage.  It says… Joh 9:35a NKJV Jesus heard that they had cast him out  

How like it is of our Savior that once He begins a work in someone… He stays tuned in to them.  He may have removed Himself from the picture for a while… and allowed this new creature to face some difficulties… to go through some trials… but He was aware of what he was going through.  “Jesus heard…” He was cognizant of this man’s tribulations… just as He is cognizant of ours.

Heb 4:15 NKJV For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Also take note that this man was “cast out” of this religion that had turned it’s back on God… all because he wouldn’t exchange the truth that he knew… for a lie that was being fed to him.  And because he remained faithful to Christ… he becomes the first of many in a long line of believers who prefer the truth of Jesus Christ over the lies of false religion.

Folks… it is far better to be cast out… or to come out… because of faithfulness to Christ… than to remain in a Laodicean system which will one day be spewed out.

Rev 3:16 NKJV So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

I’d much rather be on the outside with Christ… than on the inside with posers who don’t know Him…. How about you?

*  *  *  *  *

So after taking the initiative in seeking this man out twice… once to make him whole… and then to find him after he’s been excommunicated… Jesus next asks him the most important question you can ask anyone…Joh 9:35b NKJV  …"Do you believe in the Son of God?"

It’s the question that’s put forth to the conscience of every man, woman and child… and the answer given will determine everyone’s eternal destiny.

Joh 9:35b NKJV  …"Do you believe in the Son of God?"  Or as some manuscripts say, “Son of Man”… It really makes no difference because both are declarations of His deity…

So what does it mean to believe?  Is it the same kind of belief that I have that a chair will hold me?  Or my belief that a plane I’m in won’t fall out of the sky?

Or is it the kind of belief that one gains through a learned creed that we’ve memorized by heart?  Or the belief that I learned as a child because I was taught that “Jesus loved me” in Sunday School… but now… after being away from the church for years and seldom thinking about Christ… I still have a nominal belief because I haven’t replaced it with anything else?

People… there’s a difference between the knowledge you possess in your head… and the passion that rules your heart.  The belief we’re speaking of here is a true and lively assurance that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God… who is the promised Messiah who was to come into the world!

It’s the trusting assurance that He will do what He has promised… that He will fill all who come to Him with “living water” so they’ll never thirst again.  That He will open our eyes and illuminate our souls with the knowledge of Him as the “light of the world”, so that we’ll not walk in darkness anymore.

It’s displayed in humble obedience… by faithfully going to wash in the pool of Siloam when He tells us to.  And it’s the unwavering assurance that all who truly believe in Him… will be saved… so therefore I don’t have to earn salvation… it’s the gift of God… lest any man should boast!

This blind man (I wish I knew his name so I could quit calling him that…) had begun to display this kind of “belief” in Jesus… through his obedience to Jesus’ command and then his refusal to deny Him before men.  But he still had to answer the question… just as all of us have to answer it one day…

But the knowledge he had was still limited.  He still didn’t know who Jesus was.  He wanted to believe in the Son of God… He was ready to believe, because of that work of grace he had experienced… but how would he be able to recognize Him?  So he asks… Joh 9:36b NKJV … "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"

Both times he stood in front of the Sanhedrin, he had been bold and confident… because as it says in… Pro 28:1b NKJV … the righteous are bold as a lion.  But when he stands before the Son of God, a change comes over him… he’s meek and lowly and calls Him, “Lord”. 

And he’s rewarded with an explicit declaration of Christ’s divine Sonship.  He’s told…Joh 9:37 NKJV … "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you."

Now, when Isaiah saw Christ in His heavenly glory… he fell to his face and cried out… Isa 6:5 NKJV …"Woe is me, for I am undone! … For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."

And so this man… when his newborn eyes beheld Christ in His earthly humility… All the remaining remnants of spiritual darkness were dispelled… and he saw clearly who Jesus is… Joh 9:38 NKJV Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.

The inevitable result of the revelation of Jesus Christ upon the soul of the repentant sinner is always worship.

On this passage, about worshipping Christ… Charles Spurgeon wrote, “…blessed be his holy name, he is God; and we feel that it is the supreme delight of our being to worship him.  We cannot veil our face with our wings, for we have none; but we do veil them with his own robe of righteousness whenever we approach him.  We cannot cover our feet with our wings, as the angels do; but we do take his blood and his righteousness both as a covering for our feet, and as wings with which we fly up to him; and though as yet we have no crowns to cast at his dear feet, yet, if we have any honor, any good repute, any grace, anything that is comely, anything that is honest, we lay it all at his feet, and cry, ‘Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”

But those who continue in their unbelief… despite the evidence that’s right in front of them… are those who choose…

II. Not To See

Joh 9:39-41 NKJV And Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind." (40) Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?" (41) Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains.

So… what’s this mean?  When Jesus says here… Joh 9:39-41 NKJV …For judgment I have come into this world

Isn’t this a contradiction of what He told us back in… Joh 3:17 NKJV For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

And to make it even more confusing… we also see in the 5th chapter of John where Jesus says that He will “judge” the world… Joh 5:22 NKJV For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son

So what’s He talking about?  Did He come to judge the world?  Did He come to save it?  I know it seems confusing, but I think that these are two complementary truths… two sides of the same reality… or two sides of the same coin, if you would.

You see… as John MacArthur points out… “to reject Jesus’ peace… is to receive His punishment.  To reject His grace is to receive His justice.  To reject His mercy is to receive His wrath.  To reject His love is to receive His anger.  To reject His forgiveness is to receive His judgment.”

Jesus did come to save the world… not to condemn it.  Joh 12:47 NKJV And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

But the fact remains that all those who reject Christ… and refuse to believe the gospel condemn themselves… and will be judged by that which they rejected.

Joh 12:48 NKJV  He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

So what we’re seeing here is that the object of His mission on earth is salvation… but the moral effect is judgment…  All those who reject the object (salvation)… will receive the effect of that rejection (judgment).

The simple fact that the perfect and sinless Son of God came into the world means the salvation of some… but the judgment of others.

Joh 9:39b NKJV …that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.

All of those who recognize their blindness and believe in Christ… will be made to see.  Their spiritual eyes will be opened and their minds will be illuminated by the “light of the world”.

But all those who claim that they see already… on their own… and apart from Christ… have deceived themselves and will remain blind.  Like we spoke of last week… “None so blind as those that will not see.”

People don’t like to hear it… but there may come a time in this life, where God just leaves you alone.  Take another look at Romans, chapter 1, verses 18-32.  Count how many times you see the phrase, “God gave them up”, or “God gave them over to”.

These are describing people who have become so arrogant and prideful that the grace of God no longer has any effect.  Therefore, God will loose the reins and “give them their head”.  He’ll allow them to do what they want, without constraint, because… 1Pe 5:5c NKJV … "GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."

*  *  *  *  *
And as is usually the case… wherever Jesus went… there were some Pharisees who followed along.  Some were possibly like Nicodemus… who had a sincere desire to hear what Christ said.  But undoubtedly… others tagged along to refute His teachings whenever possible… and to gather evidence to be used against Him.

We’re not absolutely sure which group it is that speaks up now… but from Jesus’ response… I take it to be that they were from the 2nd group.  Those who were tagging along simply to build a case against Him.

Joh 9:40 NKJV  Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?"

Their question, “Are we blind also?” implies that they expect a negative answer.  After all… the Pharisees were the elite…  They were the self-proclaimed experts in the Law…  They were disciples of Moses… and the off-spring of Abraham.  Surely, Jesus couldn’t possibly be saying that they were spiritually blind like the masses of common people!

But as we’ve seen already… those who are prideful, can’t see their own need.  The person who is so wrapped up in their own self-righteousness is incapable of recognizing their need of a Savior.  Their hearts and minds are darkened, and they refuse to acknowledge that maybe they don’t know all that they think they know.

So the answer that Jesus gives them isn’t what they expected at all.  They wanted Him to acknowledge their self-righteousness… and to tell everyone that they were ok… that they were on the right path.  But He can’t do that… because they’re not on the right path.

When He tells them… Joh 9:41 NKJV …If you were blind, you would have no sin…  He is in no way excusing ignorance.  Just as the person who has a terminal disease, but doesn’t know it… will still die from that disease… so also the person who is ignorant of sin… will be held accountable for that sin.

Instead of excusing ignorance… He’s telling them that ignorance is easily cured.  Those who are blind… know they’re blind… and pray for sight.  Those who are ignorant… know they’re ignorant… and pray for truth.

But the Pharisees aren’t ignorant… They’re arrogant.  They don’t believe they’re blind…  Joh 9:41 NKJV  …but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains.

If they weren’t so full of themselves, they’d be able to recognize their lack… and the salvation that Christ offers would be theirs for the taking.  But because of their pride and self-sufficiency… they don’t see their need for anything Jesus has to offer them… Therefore… their sin remains.

*  *  *  *  *
Ignorant, or arrogant… it seems to pretty much describe our world today.  Further evidence of the “timelessness” of the Word of God.  People are the same… regardless of the century they lived in. 

Two thousand years ago… Ten thousand years ago… Today.  People are either ignorant or arrogant.  And as I said … ignorance can be cured with the truth. 

The truth is that Christ came into this world to save your sinful soul from the fires of hell. 

The truth is that if you believe in Him… repent… and trust in Him… you will be saved.

The question that Jesus asked the former blind man… is the question that He asks you today. 

Joh 9:35b NKJV  …"Do you believe in the Son of God?" 

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