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Monday, March 31, 2014

Maybe They're Blind

John 9:24-34 (ESV)
24  So for the 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.”  25  He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”  26  They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”  27  He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?”  28  And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.  29  We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”  30  The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.  31  We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.  32  Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  34  They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.  

I have known a few blind people. Some of them mask their blindness. One was in a drama group I helped direct many years ago. He became a lawyer. He memorized his lines before anyone else. He could see enough light that he would walk through doors and even tried riding a bicycle. He had to stop because he kept running into parked cars. He couldn't tell if they were moving. He was over at my house one day and knocked over one of my children. I snapped at him to watch where he was going. I forgot he was blind.

Not every non-Christian is blind. Some have never been confronted with who Jesus is. They have not had the opportunity to identify with Christ. They are more like puppies who  haven't opened their eyes. They will see once their eyes are opened.

Many people don't know Christ because they are blind. Their blindness comes from a predetermined mindset. They are determined not to believe no matter how much truth is placed before them. They are determined to be right and will dismiss anyone who says otherwise.

Religious people are infamously this way. They believe they know more than others and therefore fail to listen to what people are telling them. They can easily miss what the Lord is doing simply because they don't want their faith to be challenged. Thus, we have people making methods of doing church immutable. They find reasons to determine that they do not fit the biblical pattern and declare these things as evil. I have seen people try to make the type of clothing worn to church, when the offering is taken during a worship service and the type of music played during worship spiritual mandates which determine whether the leaders are following the Lord. These new pharisees were blind to what God may be doing in the church because the pattern of church habit had become worship regardless if God ever spoke to them. They worshiped the method and determined whether or not anything was sinful by the way it matched their established habits.

These religious people aren't much different from those who refuse to believe in God. They have predetermined what is right and wrong by comparing it with what they have previously determined to be so. They are blind. Sometimes I forget this because they pretend to be sighted so well that I forget.

I find it ironic that the formerly blind man in the above scripture is the only one who can see. He has been blind since birth and sees much better than those who have seen since birth. Sometimes smart people are the dumbest people in the room.

I have to remember that people who refuse to see should be considered blind. I cannot heal their blindness but I know Someone who can. I must continue to expose them to Him. If they are willing to let Him take mud and put it on their eyes they will be able to see too.


Anthony Chia said...

Well, I will put it more dramatically, “They are more blind than the blind man!” Look again what this blind man had said for us all (John 9:31-33) - 31We know that God does not listen to sinners, BUT IF ANYONE IS A WORSHIPER OF GOD AND DOES HIS WILL, GOD LISTENS TO HIM. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

I put up the above para. the moment I read the scripture text, but after I have read through your entry, I must say, you said things so succinctly of the “religious people”, of how they conduct church, compared to I wanted to say, along the same line, in so much more words, in, incidentally, my comment to your preceding entry. We even cited the same healing event Jesus did – using the mud to heal the blind man!

Back to the 1st para., it is interesting that the blind man was blind from birth, and so, read NOT any scriptures (or religious writings), but still knew the important truths that he had expressed. How did he acquire those truths. He was NOT deaf, and so, he must have heard it being preached, and maybe the religious people themselves had preached them, but yet they themselves never really believed in or applied, what they preached! It comes back to a statement you, Ps Prentis, put down for us, in one of your recent entries (March 24, 2014), “They agree with what they must do and never do it.”

This once blind man applied the truths of God most superbly.

First, there is the truth that apart from the Lord we can do nothing. Jesus was recorded as saying it in John 15:5, ““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Second, this man recognised opening the eyes of a man blind from birth is a supernatural act. When we looked at the 1st 7 verses of the account (John 9:1-7), we will learn that Jesus and his disciples had a conversation in front of this blind man. This man was blind but he was NOT deaf, for Jesus spoke to him, instructing him to go wash off the mud in the Pool of Siloam, and the man did as instructed. A supernatural act can only come either from the Devil or God. This man heard the disciples and Jesus talking about God, and he heard Jesus saying, “so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (v3).

So, thirdly, this man accordingly believed that the miracle on him was from God. And so, the man who did it, must be a representative of God, a prophet (in those days, and even today, such is called a prophet; a true prophet represents God; such as Moses, which the religious leaders also referred to, in their conversation with this once blind man) – John 9:17. He was a prophet then, and He was more than a prophet, he was and is the Son of God, and has since been restored (after resurrection) as the Divine God, the Son.


Anthony Chia said...

cont. from above

Fourthly, when religious leaders talked to him about Moses, he quickly put two and two together, and said that (v31) “We know that God does not listen to sinners, BUT IF ANYONE IS A WORSHIPER OF GOD AND DOES HIS WILL, GOD LISTENS TO HIM.” What characterised the life of Moses after he was formally called? He was a worshipper of God (an example showing this: How furious he was when he came down from the Mount and saw the Israelites had made and worshipped the Golden Calf), and he did the will of God (albeit a failure, at the Waters of Meribah, doing the will of God characterised the life of Moses from the time he was called to lead the Israelites), and God listened to him, Moses. In the Exodus, God travelled with the Israelites, in the Tabernacle; and Moses often went into the Tabernacle to talk to God, and God would converse with Moses. God listened to Moses. If we want an incident showing strongly God listened to Moses, you need to read the account of the Rebellion of Korah, where Moses spoke that the ground would open up to shallow up the camp (group) that was wrong, God did precisely as Moses said! IF ANYONE IS A WORSHIPER OF GOD AND DOES HIS WILL, GOD LISTENS TO HIM; it is awesome, is it NOT! Do NOT be blind: Do you have to worship God? Do you have to do His will?

Lord, I agree I need to recognise you for who you are, God, and worship you, and
I agree I need to do your will.
Help me, God, so that I do NOT just agree what I must do but never doing it.
Help me, God, so that I will practise what I agree as your truths.
I dare NOT ask you to listen to me, but I ask that you give ear to me, and teach me to walk in your way, doing your will.
Lord, let me hear from you.
Lord, forgive me that I do NOT hold you with highest regard, and worship you so scarcely.
Lord, remove the scales from my eyes, that I may see you and your truths, clearly. Amen.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions