“And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that He should be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
In the Jewish tradition of Jesus day, sickness and suffering were commonly held to be the consequences of one’s personal or family sin. Jesus’ disciples therefore, were asking Him, “Whose guilty here, the boy or his parents? But Jesus didn’t try to explain sin and suffering to His disciples. Instead, He corrected the false idea the disciples held, and He refocused their spiritual vision upon His Father’s purpose in the life of the boy, (See John 9:3-5).
God didn’t “zap” the boy with blindness nor use him as a spiritual guinea pig in-order-to bring glory unto Himself! Paul even opposed the idea of our merciful Father being viewed as using man’s sin to glorify Himself (See Romans 3). That’s not God! One Christian has said, “Every pain is a context in which God shows Himself at work.”
A Christian, (or a local church), can find himself losing his spiritual vision ever so gradually when “religion” replaces relationship! When, “Whose guilty Here?” replaces forgiveness, healing, and restoration of lives and relationships according to God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit working through the church Body. Often, we Christians are so ready to point the finger without first examining our own hearts and motives. Like the blind man whose sight was restored, may we be the first to express our need of the Savior’s healing touch by confessing, “I am the one!” (See John 9:9).
The Out-of-Touch Church
“When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated Sent). And so, he went away and washed, and came back seeing…They brought to the Pharisees him who was formerly blind. Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.” John 9:6-7, 13-14
Last week, we began to explore the day Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of man, performed the miracle of healing a man born blind on the Jewish Sabbath Day. My focus last week was taken from the first twelve verses of John’s Gospel, Chapter Nine. Today, I am covering verses thirteen through twenty-eight which I encourage you to read on your own for fuller context. In doing so, you will find the formerly blind man being brought before the church folks of the day called the Pharisees. These “Enforcers” of the law were so calculating and spiritually blind via their rigidity to the scribal interpretation of the law and to their being “right in their own eyes,” they had no time for Jesus or this boy! One of the scribal laws of the day read, “As to fasting spittle, it is not lawful to put it so much as upon the eyelids.”
Are there times in our lives as Christians, or in the church, that we behave like the Pharisees? “Look at what they are wearing!” “I wouldn’t be seen associating with that person in church!” “What would others think!” Jesus, who referred to Himself as “the Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8) shows true mercy. We are called to do likewise. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall recieve mercy.” Matthew 5:7 Pastor Louie
The Minus-Jesus Church
“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” I Corinthians 2:2
“The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes.” John 9:30
Do you know Jesus, personally as Lord and Savior? You may have grown up in the church. You may be a Sunday School teacher or sit on a board or committee in your local congregation. You may consider yourself “a Christian” because you are “a Methodist”, “a Pentecostal”, “a Baptist”, or “a Catholic.” But have you responded to the work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness upon your heart of your need to come willingly to the cross and accept by faith the gift of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ as the all-sufficient payment for your sins against a holy and loving God who loves you-yes you?
The Bible tells us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that He grew up in the town of Nazareth in Israel, but the most important thing is that He came “…from the Father full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
Paul had surrendered his life to Jesus and the only message he bore was “Christ and Him, crucified.” One has said, “To follow Christ means to deny self, to turn from ego and pride, and to surrender completely to your own life for Christ’s.” The formerly blind man of John Nine was astonished that the Pharisees didn’t recognize and understand with their hearts and lives who Jesus was and where He came from. They represented the “Minus-Jesus” life (church).
Won’t you give your heart to Christ today. He loves you so!