Read: John 9:1-41
Focus: John 9:3, 39-41
3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”
39 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.”
40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”
41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.”
At times, Jesus taught using parables that could be challenging for people to understand, including His disciples. At other times, He spoke directly so even those whose hearts were hardened to His message could understand. Today’s message is one such message where Jesus spoke plainly so everyone could understand.
During this time period, Jews believed that whenever an injury or illness struck a person, it was because either the person sinned or if the person was born with the condition, the person’s parents sinned, and the consequences of that sin were passed to the child. However, Jesus turned that belief upside down when His disciples asked Him if the blind man they encountered had been born blind and was being punished for his parents’ sin or his own sin (either in the womb or sin God knew he would commit in life). Jesus took it even further late in the passage when speaking to the same man He healed from blindness after that man had been given the third degree by the Jewish Pharisees. While Jesus was speaking to the man He had healed, He was also directing His comments to the Pharisees who had been looking for ways to discredit Jesus throughout the passage. Jesus said that everyone is spiritually blind – either they know they are spiritually blind like this man knew He was physically blind or think they’re not blind like most people do (myself included before I came to know that I needed Jesus as my Savior). Jesus furthers this when He says He entered this world to give sight to the blind (shine the light of Truth to all) and to render judgment.
When Jesus shines His light of Truth in our lives, He opens our eyes to our sin and shows us that we need Him as our Savior. When Jesus walked the earth with His disciples, it was Him in the flesh doing this. After Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven, it became a role of the Holy Spirit to reveal our spiritual blindness to us. Jesus told His disciples in John 16:8 “And when He (the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.” Once Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, shows us the Truth (including our own sin), we have a choice – we can open our eyes, acknowledge our sin and need of Christ as our Lord and Savior, and accept Him as such, or, as the Pharisees, we can remain blind and guilty claiming we can see the Truth when we can’t and face God’s coming judgment.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You haven’t abandoned me to my spiritual blindness and self-deception. I know if I tell myself or hear from enough people that I am a good person, I will begin to believe it, but as You say in Your Word, only God is good. The only way to life is to acknowledge my sinfulness as it happens and my need for You, which I do now. Please continue to convict me through Your Holy Spirit and lead me in living my life so I can be more like You. In Jesus’ name I pray… Amen.