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Sunday, October 28, 2018

posted Oct 28, 2018, 8:23 PM by Site Administrator




John 9:8-41

Key Verse 9:25


He replied, Whether he is a sinner or not, I dont know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!


First, I was blind but now I see (8-34). In the previous passage, we saw Jesus opening the eyes of the man born blind. For the first time in his life, the man could see. For the first time in his life, he saw the beautiful sky: the blue sky was marvelous; and the white clouds were amazing. He could not help but open his mouth in amazement and say, Wow! Wow! Beautiful! As he stood on the street, he saw people passing by, and he was amazed, because each face was different. Some long, some short, some with high noses, some with low, but no matter what each persons face was a miracle to him. In his eyes, each person was a masterpiece of Gods creation, wonderfully and fearfully made. As he was enjoying Gods creation this way for the first time in his life, Jesus grace that had opened his eyes to see all these things welled up in his heart. He was happy and was thankful to Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. It was a new life, a new beginning to him. 


But, the townspeople were confused. They said, Isnt this the same man who used to sit and beg? Some claimed that he was, and others said, No, he only looks like him. But he said to them, I am the man. Then, they asked, How then were your eyes opened? He replied, The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see. Then, they asked him, Where is this man? I dont know, he replied. This former blind man powerfully testified to what Jesus had done for him. His neighbors did not feel good about him at all, because he was not begging them with a sorrowful voice any longer, but was talking to them freely and confidently. Their pride was hurt. So instead of rejoicing together with him, they took him to the authorities for investigation.


They brought him to the Pharisees – the law enforcement. Unfortunately to the former blind man, the day his eyes were opened was a Sabbath, a day on which it was forbidden to receive any kind of surgery. What was his testimony? He said to them, He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see. Some Pharisees discriminated Jesus as a lawbreaker, but others said, How can a sinner do such miraculous signs? So they were divided. Finally, they turned again to the former blind man and asked, What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened. Then, he simply replied, He is a prophet. The religious leaders had already decided to put out of the community anyone who would recognize Jesus as the Messiah. It was very dangerous for the former blind man to acknowledge Jesus as a prophet, a man who came from God. But he boldly testified that Jesus was from God.


Look at verse 18. The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight. Actually, everything was clear, because the man testified to what had happened very clearly - Jesus opened his eyes. But thats not what the Pharisees wanted to hear; they pressured the man continually, but it seemed that this man would not give up his integrity. So they sent for the mans parents. But his parents quickly slipped away from the sticky situation by saying, Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself. They were afraid if they would be kicked out of the community by offending the authorities, so they simply dumped all the burdens and dangers on their son. Then, finally, the Pharisees summoned the former blind man again and threatened him theologically, saying, Give glory to God. We know this man is a sinner. So far, this man gave glory to Jesus, saying, Jesus opened my eyes. He is from God. But now they said, Give glory to God, meaning, Dont give glory to Jesus, but to God. Dont say that Jesus opened your eyes. Then, what else could he say?Either, he could say, I was not born blind, but I just pretended to be blind from my birth, or he could say, I was blind, then, one day, while I was praying, suddenly, God opened my eyes!Because of their jealousy against Jesus, they twisted the truth, and they were not willing to acknowledge what God was doing through him. When Gods work goes powerfully, there are always this kind of people who are not willing to acknowledge what God is doing through his servants. All these people eventually stand against God and live as enemies of God. 


Now everything became very clear to the former blind man. Now he understood what the authorities wanted to hear from him. Now, he needed to make his choice, to either stand on their side by betraying Jesus grace and cheating his conscience, or stand on Jesus side by holding on to his grace and going against them. When his eyes were opened by Jesus grace, for the first time in his life, he saw the world and was happy. Jesus took away his sorrow, and now, gave him a new life. New hope for his life arose in his heart. For the first time, he began to think about having a decent life as a normal citizen. Maybe, he thought about getting a decent job first at Taco Bell, then, at the post office, then, finally, becoming a general manager at UPS. Also, he thought about enrolling at JCC, Jerusalem City College, and pursue Psychologymajor or sociology to become a social worker to help many lowly people like the blind. For the first time in his life, he even began to dream about getting married to a beautiful lady, having three kids and buying a house with a large backyard, with some fruit trees. Yet, the world did not leave him alone to enjoy Jesus grace and his newly found life in him. Instead, the world challenged and threatened him beyond his imagination to choose either of two ways: either to pursue all his newly found dreams by betraying Jesus grace and his conscience or to give up all these dreams by holding onto Jesus grace. These newly found dreams were so precious to him, but now he was driven to the corner. Holding on to Jesus grace meant for him to lose all his dreams, and it would be really painful for him to lose such dreams. So far, the former blind man had testified to Jesus grace very boldly. He testified to the townspeople and to the Pharisees not only one time but three times. But the world still did not accept his testimony or loosen their attack; instead the world challenged him to make his choice very clear. Would he stand on Jesus side by holding on to his grace to the end or would he betray Jesus grace to keep the newly found dreams of his life? What was his response? Lets read verse 25 together:


He replied, Whether he is a sinner or not, I dont know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!


This mans answer was utmost clear. He said, Whether he is a sinner or not, I dont know. The religious leaders tried to poison his mind by saying that Jesus was a sinner not a prophet. When these well-known Bible scholars and theologians said that Jesus was a sinner, it could have been so confusing to the man. Technically, the former blind man did not know who Jesus was. He had not seen him even once; he had never studied the Bibleeither. His understanding of the Bible was so little, and his knowledge of Jesus was almost zeroIf he tried to figure out the answer theologically, or if he argued with them logically based on what they saidsurely, he would have been confused and lost. But he simply answered these doctors and experts in the Bible, Whether he is a sinner or not, I dont know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see! When things were confusing, when others showed different opinion about the one whom God used to help and bless him, he didnt go by what others said, which he didnt know about, but he simply held onto what he knew for sure - what God had done for him through that person - he was blind, but now he could see because Jesus came into his life. No matter what, it was a fact that neither his parents, the religious leaders, his townspeople, nor he himself could deny. Even if the whole world were to go upside down, and even though everything was confusing, he was sure that by Jesus grace he could see. By saying, I was blind, but now I see, he showed his utmost thanks and trust in Jesus. No matter what others might say about him, to him, Jesus was a man whom God sent to him to bless him. In that way, he held onto Jesus grace even when these theologians tried to poison his mind and threatened him. By holding onto this one thing he knew for sure, he overcame the world and kept his purity before Jesus.


When, by the grace of Jesus, we are saved from our terrible life – the life of sorrows, the life of meaninglessness and emptiness, the life of sin, it seems that there are so many things for us to do and the things we want to do – dream for a new career, or sweet home or even success. But when we remember Jesus grace upon our lives, we know what to do, that we must love him with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our strength. We must keep his grace no matter what, at any cost. The former blind mans confession of love and faith lingers in our ears: Whether he is a sinner or not, I dont know. But one thing I do know. I was blind but now I see. Indeed, this is our confession of thanks to Jesus. I was lost but now I am found. I was dead but now I am alive. I was a sinful man, but now I am a servant of God. This is one thing no one can deny.


Look at verses 26 through 34. The Pharisees, however, did not accept his testimony. Instead, they asked him again, How did he open your eyes? Then, the man was a little angry because they asked him the same question. He said, 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? Wow! What an awesome man! This former blind beggar pointed out the problem of these prestigious people, saying, I have told you already and you did not listen. Then, these prestigious men lost their temper. They were enraged and said, You are this fellows disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we dont even know where he comes from. But the man calmly said to them, Now that is remarkable! You dont 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.At this, the Pharisees, men of prestige, went crazy. They screamed at the top of their lungs, saying, You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us! And they threw him out.


The former blind man was cool. The Pharisees tried to intimidate him, but he was invincible; he was untouchable. Even though he was nothing but a poor beggar, he became so cool and awesome when he just held onto Jesus grace upon his life. With that one thing he knew about Jesus grace upon his life, he overcame all the intimidation of the religious leaders and temptation from the world. He kept his conscience pure and clear. Even though he was thrown away from the community, he was indeed free in his conscience. When we think about him, we are reminded of the word, integrity. He was a man of integrity with strong backbone. When he held onto Jesus grace absolutely, he was no longer an ordinary man, but a great man. Everyone who holds onto Jesus grace absolutely is no ordinary person, but a great person. Despite such great threats, dangers, risks and temptations, they do not cheat their conscience; instead, even at the cost of losing all in this life, they keep Jesus grace. Such people are not push-overs, but men and women of integrity. They possess a real quality as children of God. Here, we are also reminded of Jesus parable of the sower. There, Jesus describes good soil, saying, But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. (Lk 8:15) They are the people with a noble heart. Those who hold onto Jesus grace despite such threats, dangers and temptation are the people with a noble heart – they are noble people. Dont you want to be noble people? Then, keep Jesus grace absolutely, saying, One thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see.


Second, Do you believe in the Son of Man? (35-41)Now, the former blind man was thrown out of the community. He became an undocumented illegal resident. It seemed that his situation became even worse than before only because of Jesusgrace. He lost his job, and he could not return to the society. People kicked him out of their society and he was abandoned. But he was not alone. Look at verse 35. Lets read this verse together:


Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, Do you believe in the Son of Man?


When this man was faithful to Jesus grace, Jesus too remained faithful to him. When Jesus heard about his struggle and how the religious leaders mistreated him, he searched for him and found him. But when he found him, he did not sympathize with his difficult condition; he didnt say, I am sorry. Instead, he asked him, Do you believe in the Son of Man?


When you lose all things – your future dream, your legal status, your chance for success, and even your job – only because of your struggle to keep your purity before God, Jesus asks you, Do you believe in the Son of Man? Even when things go that way, do you still believe in Jesus? What is your response? I pray that we all may say, Yes, Lord. I still believe in you. Yes, Lord. Even if I lose everything, I will believe in you.


Also, when we think about this question of Jesus carefully, we can see that in Jesus eyes, faith in him is the most important and precious thing. In his eyes, we must keep our faith in him even when we lose everything. This faith in Jesus is like the certificate he issues for us, which we can present at the gate of heaven; when this certificate is presented, we will receive a rich welcome into the kingdom of God, and there we will reign with God forever. This faith will change a lowly beggar into a ruler in the kingdom of God. Moreover, this faith in Jesus is the only asset we can earn in this life and carry to the next life. We came into the world empty-handed, and we leave the world empty-handed, leaving everything behind – degrees, money, titles and positions, and even family. But we can carry our faith in Jesus to the next life in the kingdom of God. So, we must keep it at any cost. If we lose this faith in Jesus only because of some losses or difficulties, we lose everything in this life, and thereby, we have nothing to carry to the next life. Our faith is the most precious thing we can get in this life. I dont know whats going on in your life. Yet, no matter what, despite all challenges and difficulties, do you still believe in Jesus? Faith in Jesus is the victory that overcomes the world and challenges of this life. 


Then, the man asked, Who is he, sir? Tell me so that I may believe. Even if he lost his dreams, I mean, his life in the world, he was not sorrowful; he was not afraid. Instead, he was thinking about who that person, Jesus, who had opened his eyes, might be. He wanted to know who Jesus was. Then, Jesus said to himYou have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you. At a first glance, it seemed that Jesus was telling him that he was the very one who had opened his eyes. But actually, it was more than that. Originally, this man knew Jesus as a prophet. But when Jesus said to him, You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you, the man said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him. Worship is not toward a prophet, but toward God. When Jesus said to him, You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you, Jesus was revealing himself to him as He. The Jews were afraid to call Gods name directly. So, instead of calling out his name freely, they used other expressions, such as, Adoni, which means, my Lord or El Shaddai,which means, the Almighty. To the Jews, God was simply, He. Jesus here revealed himself as He, the God of Israelwhom they had been waiting for. 


At this, the man, as if he had been thinking about it, said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him. How happy he was! What an exciting moment it was to him. He found his God who had opened his eyes and talked with him. The world rejected him, but they did not know that he was the happiest man in the world because he had found his God and talked to him. When this man remained faithful to Jesus by holding onto his grace, even at the cost of losing everything in the world, God remained faithful to him also; God found him and revealed himself to him, and this man rejoiced at his God and worshiped Him. Thus, this man became the most blessed man who met his God personally. This is how God blesses those who remain faithful to him. Those who are not faithful to him may get what they desire - money, or success, or family, but as they have not valued their God so highly, God does not value them so highly either. But those who are faithful to God get what they desire - Gods love and blessing; God blesses them by revealing Himself to them, and once they meet their God personally, they are overjoyed and they worship Him; they come to know God more and more, and their life of faith no longer is conceptual or religious, but it becomes real and concrete. Remain in Jesus, and he will remain in you; then, you will bear much fruit, and that will be glory to the Father in heaven.


Look at verses 39 to 41. Jesus said, For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind. Those who think that they are okay because of some Bible knowledge they have, cannot see God in the Son of Man, because in their eyes, the Son of Man is merely a human being. They never see that God is working through many of his human servantsThey are blind. They never see what God is doing and what God wants them to do. But those who are humble because they do not know God or those who acknowledge their blindness toward God, toward themselves and toward life, pay attention to what others have to say about God and about life. They meditate on what other servants of God teach them, and thereby, their eyes are opened to see what God is doing and what God wants them to do. They open their hearts toward Jesus and accept his words. Jesus said to the Pharisees who insisted that they were not blind, If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. They knew the Bible, but they didnt follow what the Bible said, so their guilt remained. The ones who are great are not those who know the truth, but those who do what the truth says.


In todays passage, we saw an awesome man of God, the former blind man. Against a whole bunch of prestigious people of the time, he stood firm and testified to what Jesus had done for him, saying, Whether he is a sinner or not, I dont know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see. When he held onto Jesus grace absolutely, he could overcome all difficulties and temptations. When he remembered Jesus grace, he knew what to do with his life. He was a truly great man, and Jesus revealed himself to him as the Creator God, and the man believed and worshiped Him.


One Word: I Was Blind But Now I See!