(Today's post by Adam Cooper)
As we walk through our daily lives it is a constant struggle to maintain a proper sense of focus on Jesus and the mission that we are here to accomplish to bring Him glory. Granted nothing we do is necessary for Him to have the glory but we are mere tools at His disposal to further spread the gospel and to shine His “light” into this dark world. In ancient Jewish tradition it was believed that the children would pay for the sins of their parents. This is drawn from God’s word to Moses in Exodus 34:7b, “Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” This is why the disciples of Jesus would immediately assume that this man’s blindness was caused by some sort of sin in his or his parent’s lives. However, Jesus tells the disciples that this man’s blindness is something that will allow the power of God to be displayed.
Jesus heals the man and of course those who would have Him gone see this as yet another proverbial “nail” in their argument against Christ. The man is not shy about telling the Pharisees what happened to him at the hands of this man whom he calls a “prophet.” What we quickly see in this series of interrogations is that the “blindness” rests on the heads of the Jewish religious elite more so than on the man that was just healed. This is made extremely clear when the formerly blind man makes a remarkable stand for Jesus and the religious elite simply excommunicate the man from the synagogue.
Jesus summarizes the crux of this entire ordeal when He chooses to find and speak with the man whose sight had been restored. He plainly tells the man that not only has he seen the “Son of Man” with his eyes but he has also “seen” Him with his heart through his belief. Jesus makes a meaningful statement of His mission on Earth in v.39, “Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”” The “blind” in this portion of Jesus’ talk are the spiritually blind and He is plainly saying that the spiritually lost will believe in Him and “see” the truth where as those who claim to be spiritually aware (those steeped in Jewish laws and customs) are actually blind to who Jesus really is.
There is an abundance of theological meaning in this entire verse but I feel that sometimes we get so drawn into trying to find the deep theological meaning we miss the fact that the truth is plainly in front of our face. This is exactly what Jesus is trying to impart through this entire scene. Jesus was in front of them, doing miracles that only someone that is from God could do, yet they insisted on looking more at the in-depth theological meaning that they insisted came from Moses and Moses alone.
None of us will ever be able to say that we walked with Jesus in this world. None of us will ever be able to say that we looked upon His face and sat at the foot of His teachings (at least in this world). But Jesus is letting us know, as He has through numerous other encounters within the book of John, that believing without seeing is the true test of faith. Just like this blind man we must all believe with our hearts, not our eyes. In today’s culture if we focus on trying to believe that what we see is “the truth” we will find ourselves on that wide path to destruction. We must instead turn away from what the world places in front of us and choose to believe in the Jesus we cannot see. The world would have us to believe that this is counter-intuitive but having been one of those people who “bought” what the world was selling for far too long I choose to believe in the invisible, all-knowing, all-powerful God of the Bible and His Son Jesus who died to free me from the shackles that bound me.
My prayer for you today is for you to look away from the things the world is “selling” and look more closely at the fully-man but fully-God Jesus of Nazareth. Seek His face daily and strive to bring Him glory with your life.