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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Giving Sight to the Spiritually Blind

I cannot imagine being born blind.

I remember when I had eye surgery to correct my vision. A machine was placed on my eye and pressed down so hard that everything went dark in that eye. I still had vision from the other eye and it only lasted a few seconds but I suppose that is what blindness is like. There was no vision from that eye.

I try to create that scenario when I think of those who are born blind. Maybe some of them see light. Maybe some of them see nothing at all. How do they think of the world? How do they even know that eyesight exists?

Suppose that mankind someday finds a world in which the inhabitants have no eyesight. They are reasonably intelligent otherwise. They have keen hearing, smell, touch and taste. They can maneuver through areas with these sense alone. In fact, they have advanced in science and other areas without sight.

They learn our language and we start communicating with them. We tell them of sight. What do you think would be their reaction? Would they believe that it exists?

Now also imagine that we discover that the only reason they cannot see is the absence of a nerve that would transmit the data to their brains. A simple operation would give them sight. Would they accept this gift?

Can you imagine some of these people denying that sight exists and others warning their brethren that "sight" will totally change their way of living? Some of the negative party are saying that they can "see" clearly with their other senses. How do we convince them that sight is good? Should we urge them to accept our gift?

Isn't that what we are doing when we tell people about the gift of Jesus? Aren't we telling them that they will "see" for they have been blind? Aren't we telling them that it will change their lives?

I suppose there will always  be people who will refuse the gift of Jesus. They are right. It will upset their way of life. They will no longer be able to live like they have lived. They will have "sight" which will enable them to see things they never could see before. This "sight" will not allow them to be content with what they were contented with before.

When "sight" comes, those who are blind receive it and are changed forever. Those who claim that they can see are blind because they claim to see without sight. While Jesus did not come to judge the world, the act of seeing is a judgment in itself. The blind are left seeing and those who claim they can see are left blind.

I still will love people so that they may believe that the One who loves them with an everlasting love will give them sight.

And I pray they will accept the gift.

John 9:39 (ESV) 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”


Anonymous said...

Turning a blind eye?

A blind who does not see, when become possessed of sight, see.  In the physical realm, this is not too difficult to understand or comprehend.  In that John 9, indeed a blind man was given sight by Jesus, physically.  But that man received not just physical sight, he had an understanding, not just a logical kind of understanding, but also had a correct value-discernment kind of understanding.  The latter is an understanding of the preciousness of the "treasure" before the person.  And so, in the physical realm, we are talking about the physical eyes, those on our face, but value-discernment is not made with the eyes on our face, and so, the eyes involved were referring to the eyes of the heart. So, here, Jesus was referencing a physically blind man had had an encounter with God; from the encounter, the eyes of his heart were able to see the preciousness of acknowledging Jesus as the Lord.  

Jesus said in that v39 that He came that the blinds might see.  It was not all would see, but some might see, or some might see the preciousness of having Jesus as Lord.  In the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13), the first soil, of the pathway or wayside, it represented those who have no value-discernment and were unable to see the preciousness of the Word or gospel (represented by the seed) and therefore would not accept it or believe it.  Such may encounter the Lord or His Word, but still would not see.  Jesus came, but only some blind would, as a result see, not all.  For the blind man in John 9, ministered by the Lord, for his case, he received sight of the heart, in addition to physical sight.

In like-exegesis, the second part of that v39 of John 9 is explained.  In this case, Jesus was saying that He came, some who were with physical sight, were able to see what was going, all the signs and wonders and miracles that accompanied the preaching by Jesus, but they were not seeing from the heart; they exercised not, value-discernment, which we have said, could only be done with the eyes of the heart.  

There are 2 possible scenarios of the people with physical sight, but did not discern of the preciousness of Jesus as Lord and Saviour.  One is that these people were with eyes of the heart, but they turn a blind eye, not of the physical eyes, but the heart's eyes.  For such, Jesus said they seeing (with physical sight), they did not see, did not exercise value-discernment. For such, God might give in to their desire, and let their heart be hardened.  Such persons, they might end up with God giving them over to the sinful desires of their heart (Rom 1:24).

The other scenario was that such people, they had physical sight, and they had no sight of the heart, but they claim they had that value-discernment.  In other words, these, they were deluded; they actually had not, value-dicernment, to begin with.  But because they insisted they had, and that Jesus was no Lord or Saviour that they should embrace, God said they remained guilty of sins (v41).  All people before or after hearing the Gospel,  if they were without the right preciousness understanding of Jesus as Lord and Saviour, they were guilty of sin, and would remain so.  


Anonymous said...

Cont. From above

It has to be one, arrived with the proper understanding of the preciousness of Jesus as the Lord and Saviour, that he will embrace the gospel  and believe it.  Until the gospel is embraced and believed, no one enters into salvation, and so, is still guilty of sins.  In  John 9:41, Jesus said such remained guilty.  Elsewhere, in John 3:18, It is said Jesus did NOT come to condemn; those who believed NOT, they remained condemned.

Jesus said in that verse, John 9:39, it was for judgment He came. It is not right of people to think that there is only one point of reckoning, that God judges only once.  Some think that the point of entry or not entry, into salvation, is the only time.  According to such people, if you give your life, you become saved, and you are always saved; you can never again be "not saved"; God cannot even re-judge or judge you again!  No, when you enter into salvation, you entered into salvation, but you are NOT saved, regardless.  Similarly, it is also possible, that someone might NOT have given his life over to Jesus at one point of hearing of the Gospel, and subsequently still give, in another time, his life over to Jesus.  See, God would be making judgments over and over again, at all the points of entry of salvation, a person come to.  Just because the first time you heard the gospel, and did NOT give your life over to Jesus, does not mean, subsequently you cannot still accept Jesus, in another occasion.  Other important points of reckoning, included the point of physical death, and the Judgment Day.

When the gospel is preached, the Holy Spirit, I believe, necessarily give basic understanding of the gospel to the unregenerate man, but the man still need to see with the eyes of his heart, the preciousness of the gospel.  If he does not, even with  basic understanding of the gospel by the Holy Spirit, he won't embrace it, and he won't believe it. The Holy Spirit, I believe, does NOT necessarily must give (can give, but NOT must give) the value-discernment to the hearer, for it were the case, all who hear, would become a believer; which is NOT the case.  Men are still with volition to see the preciousness of the gospel and embraced it, or turn a blind eye to the preciousness.  The parables of the treasure or pearl gives us the picture of the entry into the Kingdom of God as someone seeing the preciousness of the treasure or pearl found, that he would give up everything to possess the treasure or pearl; there is volition that the man must make.

We can only do so much (and we should do) to help  someone, ultimately he must see with the eyes of his heart, the preciousness of the gospel, and accept it, and believe it.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions