Tag Archives: Son of Man
Focus! Keeping Your Eyes on Jesus in a Near-Sighted, Distracted World! (The Blind Man in John 9 – Part 15)
Focus! Keeping Your Eyes on Jesus in a Near-Sighted, Distracted World! (The Blind Man in John 9 – Part 14)
Being kicked out of the synagogue was about the worst thing that could befall a Jewish person. And these religious leaders threw the man born blind out! Being excluded from the center of religious life meant, to many, that one was under the judgment of God. What the man born blind’s parents feared has happened to him.
In this series of blog posts on FOCUS I want to examine my own vision and ask if my spiritual eyesight is getting dim, distracted, or damaged by choices I make. We will be looking at a number of key biblical passages which emphasize this sense of sight. I am particularly looking forward to pondering the healing miracles which turned blind people into sighted people.
Sought Out by the Savior: We read that Jesus heard that the man born blind had been thrown out of the synagogue. And He seeks him out. Jesus doesn’t say to the man, “I’m really sorry for the third degree you had to endure!” Or “How’s it going with your vision?” No. Jesus goes directly to the most important point of all: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (v. 35).
The expression “the Son of Man” was a Messianic title. “Any Bible reader will instinctively recognize that all this takes its place in the larger sweep of Messianic expectation that finds its fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah, the uniquely qualified divine-human king. And in fact Jesus himself confirms this for us, explicitly associating himself with Daniel’s “son of man” (Matt. 26:63–64). This is in fact his favorite self-designation, recurring some eighty times in the Gospels, and becomes on his lips a Messianic title. Jesus is the Son of God. He is also the Son of Man.” (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/jesus-christ-son-man/).
A Direct Claim of Messiahship: The man born blind asks who the Son of Man is so that he can believe in him. Jesus declares, using third person language, “You have now seen him; he is the one speaking with you.” I’ll bet the word “seen” meant a lot to this man who had been born blind! Jesus is saying, “He is standing right in front of you — and you can see Him!”
A Logical Response: We read that the man said, “‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped him.” (v. 38) Worship is the natural response of personal faith in Jesus. While the religious leaders of Israel rejected Jesus, this man, this one “steeped in sin at birth,” worshiped Him!
Today’s Challenge: Are you worshiping Jesus as the promised Messiah? Faith is not mere intellectual assent. Faith shows itself by worship. How might you express your worship of the Lord Jesus today?
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Speaking of preaching, I want to give away some of my favorite sermon outlines and we are completing the first — the story of the man born blind in John 9. We have seen from this incredible story the truths that
I. Tragedy Has Its Reasons (vv. 1-5)
II. Obedience Has Its Reward (vv. 6-12)
III. Boldness Has Its Price (vv. 13-34).
Let’s notice, lastly in this sermon, that
IV. Jesus Has His Mission (vv. 35-41)!
The man-born-blind has received his sight and has been tossed out of the synagogue because he participated in Jesus’ making mud on the Sabbath and because he stood up to the closed-minded religious authorities. With the words, “You were steeped in sin at birth! How dare you lecture us?!”, he is unceremoniously thrown out of the center of Jewish life.
For many Christians, being asked to leave a local church would be no big deal. They would just go down the street to another church (which would probably not ask why they were kicked out of the first church). But news travels fast and Jesus heard that they had thrown him out (v. 35) — and goes to find him!
Jesus seeks him out. He has a habit of doing that, doesn’t He? How did He seek you out? And please notice that Jesus doesn’t apologize to the man for healing him on the Sabbath and getting him thrown out of the synagogue. He also doesn’t ask him, “How’s the eyesight doing?” No. He asks him a profound spiritual question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
John Piper has a helpful article on the expression “Son of Man.” This title (used often by Jesus, see Mark 10:45) shows Jesus’ true humanity, but also aligns Him with the exalted figure of Daniel 7. In fact, we read in Matthew 26, “The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Piper says, “He was quiet. He was subtle. And he would make claims that were explicit in certain settings and implicit in others. And only when the time was right—mainly when he was on trial for his life, and they said, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the living God?”—did he say, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man coming with great power and glory.” So he confessed his open deity right at the point where he knew he would be crucified for it.” (https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/why-is-jesus-called-son-of-man)
Jesus leads this man to saving faith then and there. And the Pharisees overhear Jesus’ comment about “those who see will become blind” (v. 39). “What?”, they say, “Are we blind too?” It appears they still considered the man-born-blind as blind, even though Jesus had given him sight! The world and its skeptics hasn’t changed all that much, has it?
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)