161 Rulers persecute me without cause,
To recap: Jesus performs an incredible miracle for someone who knew next to nothing about Him. Jesus seeks the man out after he has been excommunicated by the religious leaders and questions him about BELIEF. Specifically, belief in the “Son of Man.” The man born blind believes and worships. An obvious example to all who read this story. Do we allow for process when we are sharing “the Son of Man” with others?
Jesus knew that He would divide people into the believers and the non-believers. He was not One about whom someone could respond, “Ummmm. No opinion.” He declares, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Interesting that we read in John 3, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” His mission is salvation. For those who reject His salvation, judgment.
If we think of man as spiritually neutral, then judgment seems arbitrary. However, if man is actively rebelling against the Creator of the universe, and the Son of God comes to rescue, what should happen to those who refuse to be rescued? If the metaphor being used is that of a person drowning in the ocean, one could argue that a wise rescuer (lifeguard) would bonk a victim on the head and forcibly take them to shore if they fought the rescuer.
But we are far worse than an innocent drowning victim, aren’t we? (to be continued)
153 Look on my suffering and deliver me,
for I have not forgotten your law.
154 Defend my cause and redeem me;
preserve my life according to your promise.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they do not seek out your decrees.
156 Your compassion, Lord, is great;
preserve my life according to your laws.
157 Many are the foes who persecute me,
but I have not turned from your statutes.
158 I look on the faithless with loathing,
for they do not obey your word.
159 See how I love your precepts;
preserve my life, Lord, in accordance with your love.
160 All your words are true;
all your righteous laws are eternal.
For reasons I don’t quite understand, Jesus responds to his question in the 3rd person (“he”): “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
I think there was the hint of a smile, a twinkle in His eye, when He said “you have now seen him.” How in the world liberal “scholars” can say that Jesus never claimed to be the promised Messiah is beyond me!
The man’s response? “Then the man said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped him.” BELIEF followed by WORSHIP. This man’s thinking about Jesus has progressed from —
THE MAN THEY CALL JESUS >>>> HE IS A PROPHET >>> I DON’T KNOW IF HE IS A SINNER >>> I WANT TO BECOME HIS DISCIPLE >>>> A GODLY PERSON FROM GOD >>>> THE SON OF MAN WORTHY OF MY FAITH AND WORSHIP!
To recap: Jesus performs an incredible miracle for someone who knew next to nothing about Him. Jesus seeks the man out after he has been excommunicated by the religious leaders and questions him about BELIEF. Specifically, belief in the “Son of Man.” The man born blind believes and worships. An obvious example to all who read this story. Do we allow for process when we are sharing “the Son of Man” with others? (to be continued)
145 I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord,
and I will obey your decrees.
146 I call out to you; save me
and I will keep your statutes.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I have put my hope in your word.
148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promises.
149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love;
preserve my life, Lord, according to your laws.
150 Those who devise wicked schemes are near,
but they are far from your law.
151 Yet you are near, Lord,
and all your commands are true.
152 Long ago I learned from your statutes
that you established them to last forever.
He’s being shunned, put under God’s judgment, discarded by the highest religious authorities on earth. In a real sense, the story could end there — with the man born blind’s excommunication from the synagogue.
The Pharisees had made their ruling — he was steeped in sin at birth, was unapologetically lecturing these men of God, and deserved the harshest punishment short of stoning! But at least he had his sight!
I wonder what was going through his mind as he is alone, kicked out of the synagogue, thrown out with words of judgment and rejection. I wonder if his new eyes could only look in one direction — down.
And then Jesus came. I wonder who told Jesus about the man’s excommunication. And I wonder if they also might have become a follower of Jesus after the event.
At any rate, we read those precious words, “and when he found him.” Jesus is looking for people. He is seeking the least, the last, and the lost. Here He looks for and finds the outcast, the heretic who called Jesus a prophet and the One whose prayer God heard. He finds him. Jesus took the time to seek this man out and to engage him in an eternity-changing conversation.
If I had been Jesus, I might have said things like, “I’m really sorry for all the trouble my healing you has caused. I should have known that doing that on the Sabbath would have gotten you — and me — in trouble! How’s the vision, by the way?”
That’s not what Jesus says. In fact, He simply asks the man a question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” John’s gospel, the “gospel of belief” as one commentator labels it, emphasizes the more important issue. What others deem critical and vital Jesus ignores. He goes directly to the most vital question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (to be continued)