When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.” “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!” “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus. Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?” “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
John 9:35 – 41
Gosh! These Pharisees were the “True haters of Christ”. They could’ve had their own reality show in today’s world. The Pharisees were an educated group of men. But, they were very prideful and refused to believe the blind man’s testimony. We don’t know the blind man’s name, so I’m going to call him Billy.
After reading the passage would you say you are more like the Pharisees or Billy the Blind Man?
As Christians, I believe we are closer to one or the other. I’m closer to the blind man. I was born in sin. Only Jesus can cleanse me and make me whole. I know that sin blinds me. I know that Jesus is the son of God. I also acknowledge I don’t know everything and need Jesus to get through this thing called life. I pray for his deliverance, healing, and strength to make it through this world.
BUT everyone isn’t like the Blind Man. The Pharisees were an educated group of men and very religious. They refused to believe Billy. They even threw him out of the synagogue when he began to testify as to what Jesus did for him. They refused to listen.
Jesus called the Pharisees guilty, because they claimed they could see. They claimed to know the word of God. They claimed to be followers of God and Moses. But how can they be followers of God and not recognize His son?
So maybe you are thinking to yourself, I’m nothing like the Pharisees. But……..
- How can we be followers of Christ and refuse to admit our faults?
- How can we be followers of Christ and not recognize when we are straying away?
- How can we be followers of Christ and sin against Him with no conviction?
- How can we be followers of Christ and throw others out of church?
Ok, well maybe we don’t physically throw people out of church. But, have you ever given someone “the eye” at church because they weren’t dressed like everyone else? Have you ever made a snap judgement about someone because of their past? If you answered yes to any of these, you might be closer to the Pharisee. The Pharisees kicked Billy out of church because he was a “sinner”. But we all know, we’re just sinners saved by grace. We may have never kicked someone out. But sometimes, our actions, looks, and thoughts push people further away from Christ than bringing them in.
So many people stray away from church because of “judgement” or “the looks” they get while at church. It’s crazy how history has a way of repeating itself. Some church folk may not call themselves Pharisees. But based on their actions, it’s pretty easy to place them in the Pharisee category.
So, after examining the characteristics of the Pharisees has your position changed? Would you consider yourself closer to the Pharisees or Billy?
“Jesus came into the world to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind. ” The Pharisees remained guilty simply because of their pride. They refused to believe in Christ, admit their faults and acknowledge to not know everything. Jesus let us know those who claim to know everything will soon discover they are truly blind, while those who recognize their spiritual poverty will find their sight.
I love this story because it puts me in my place. It reminds me to stay humble and recognize my need for Christ. But, I also love this story because it’s a story on purpose.
Earlier, Jesus let his disciples know why Billy was born blind. Billy was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him. He wasn’t born blind because of his sins or the sins of his parents. Billy was born blind in order to bring glory to God.
This made me think of my shortcomings, diseases, failures, and “disabilities”. If you think about it, God has the power to heal any disease and disability. BUT, sometimes our storms are placed in our lives for the specific reason of bringing glory to God.
The blind man was healed. BUT, immediately after he was healed he told his story to unbelievers. He told his story not once, but several times. Each and every time he gave credit for his deliverance to Jesus. It was unfortunate some of the Pharisees didn’t believe Him. But their unbelief didn’t stop his testimony. When God delivers me, I want to be like Billy and give my testimony. Even if I have to tell my story over and over again to unbelievers. That is my purpose. If they don’t believe me, it’s their loss.
I pray this passage opens your eyes as it has mine. We must remember to stay humble and acknowledge our full dependence on Christ. We need him to Survive! Be like Billy! Recognize your spiritual poverty and when Christ delivers you don’t be afraid to give your testimony. There will be some who don’t believe but there will be many set free!
Be like Billy and help others to Live Set Free.