Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life of Christ Devotional - John 9:20-41

““We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (John 9:20–41, NIV)

The interrogation from the Pharisees continues and the consequences are stiff. The Pharisees go to the parents to confirm the man healed was in fact born blind from birth. This was critically important because no man born blind had ever been healed. This miracle could only be done by the promised Messiah.
The parents confirm two things: The man was definitely their son and he was, in fact, born blind. But they were reluctant to say more because the Jewish leaders who were doing the questioning had made it clear that whoever confesses Jesus to be the Messiah, would be put out of the synagogue (excommunicated). They must have known that Jesus was the healer, and what it meant for Him to heal a man born blind, and so they kept silent.
And so the Pharisees go back to the man who was healed for a second interrogation. This time they essentially tell him what to say. “We know Jesus is a sinner. Just affirm this to be true and you are free to go.”
The response of the man challenged the Pharisees, “I was born blind. You are the ones who taught me that only the Messiah was able to heal someone born blind. The man named Jesus healed me. You tell me who He is.”
Now he was getting testy. And the Pharisees did not like to be insulted. They belittled both Jesus and the man He healed and established their superior position of authority as disciples of Moses. In other words, “We make the rules around here…you and that ‘miracle man’ are nobodies compared to us!”
The man insists that the religious authority made the rule that He could only be healed by the Messiah. The Pharisees refuse to accept their own teaching. They are changing the rules because their position of control is threatened by Jesus. They have determined that He is a sinner and not the Son of God. If this is so, how did a sinner just do what the Pharisees have taught for decades that only the Messiah could do? Their pride has blinded their eyes. They are the ones in need of healing!
Pride blinds our eyes to the truth. Only humility will give us eyes to see. The man born blind demonstrates to only right response when faced with the Truth that brings life. He said, “Lord, I believe.” And He worshiped Him.
Jesus continues to heal the humble. Do you have eyes that see?

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