Lawyers say you shouldn’t ask a question in court unless you already know what the witness will answer. Much to their consternation, the Pharisees ran into that scenario here, when questioning the man born blind about his healing: “So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.” He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” (John 9:24-25 NASB)
Unusual Responses to an Unusual Event
Here, in John’s account about this particular Sabbath day, Jesus healed a man who had been born blind. This seemingly joyful occasion prompted some very unusual responses, and almost everyone seems confused besides Jesus and the man who received his sight.
People who observed it were so wrapped up in preconceived assumptions that they didn’t see the obvious answer. Friends weren’t sure what had happened because the man didn’t look or act the same; his parents didn’t respond because they were worried they might get kicked out of church.
The Pharisees, who were concerned with the fact that Jesus may have broken the Sabbath, could not fathom how a man who broke their law could perform such good works. Their rigid legalism did not accept the possibility that Jesus might be from God, so they refused to give him credit. Instead, they questioned his character… Their very assumptions about the truth kept them from seeing the truth.
The Dragnet Response
The blind man, who knew nothing of Jesus’ past, took a “Dragnet” approach: just the facts. No assumption, pride, or agenda obscured his sight. The great irony in John’s account of what happened is that the man born blind could see clearly, but the Pharisees (who could see) were actually blind. They were so busy questioning God that they couldn’t even rejoice over what happened. Some of the most religious people are also the greatest skeptics when something falls outside of their dogma.
What effect does skepticism have on us? Can a real skeptic ever find the truth? Does a skeptic ever dance with joy? If you think about it, skepticism is essentially a selfish act, because it places one’s ability to doubt above the power of faith. Show me a cynic, and I’ll show you someone who has made an idol of their own intellect.
See, Look, and Ask
Do you have any assumptions that keep you from seeing the truth? Before you decide, take a real, unfiltered look at Jesus. Don’t look at him based on what I say about him, or what someone else says. And don’t let your own assumptions keep you from seeing Jesus the way he really was. Read what he said with your own eyes. Take a look at what he did. Ask some honest questions, and give yourself an honest answer. You might be surprised by who you find.
Now I See
The man born blind received his sight,
Which made the Pharisees start a fight,
Since all of them could not agree
On how this thing had come to be.
According to their theology
This hadn’t happened legally.
No evidence that they could find
Encouraged them to change their mind.
Though they could see, they stayed quite blind.
The man born blind was quite surprised,
Since he could see with both his eyes!
He said, “What is it with you guys?
I don’t know Jesus’ pedigree,
Or who has the authority,
But, I was blind. And now I see!”
And all of us are one of these,
Either the man who suddenly sees,
Or someone who just disagrees.
You say that Jesus doesn’t heal,
And there’s no proof that He is real?
Well, I would say, just look at me:
I once was blind, but now I see!
I was in bondage: now I’m free!
For the man they sent to Calvary,
What will your decision be?
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