October 31, 2014

Born Blind Pt 3, After Healing

Preacher:
Passage: John 9:8-23, Acts 17:11, John 20:29

After Healing We See Wisdom in Action

Download Born Blind Pt 3 - After Healing
After healing the man born blind, Jesus seems to walk away and leave him without guidance or any further help.Yet surely, our Lord knew what was to come, and of the confrontation with Pharisees this man once blind would soon encounter.
But let us move forward, leaving the behind the moment of healing and setting focus instead on the wisdom in action that occurs after healing.. If you do not have a bible before you, I urge you now to pause this message and equip yourself with the word of God. Text comes from the gospel of John, chapter 9. Picking up with verse eight, we will finish out this lesson in a verse-by-verse exposition.
 
Start by looking at the reaction of the blind man’s neighbors. Reading from verse eight to verse 12:

“The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, this is he: others said, he is like him: but he said I am he. Therefore said they unto him, how were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, a man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. They said unto him, where is he? He said, I know not,” (John 9:8 through 12).

After healing, sometimes comes confusion and doubt. Herein we are given the first reactions of the general public. Notice the nature of disbelief. See in these verses the natural reluctance to accept the existence of real power. Here are friends, neighbors and casual acquaintances that recognize this healed man as one who was previously blind yet they are unable to trust in their own senses. Does it not make you wonder how often a miracle passes by without being acknowledged As we read on, we see that the blind man confirms his own identity, wherein the people accept his words.
How strange that men will resist the testimony of their eyes yet receive the testimony of their ears. Perhaps it is merely the collaboration effect wherein both eyes and ears affirm the same information. But I’m not going to linger on this distinction. Consider it a thought for pondering. The Scriptures declare that faith comes by hearing. Yet we know that those words do not exclude the deaf from entering heaven. Wherein would be justice? So we must conclude that faith comes also through sight.
In John 20:29 Jesus said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” Humorous, isn’t it, that God should use hearing to supplement vision in a tale that involves sight to a blind man.
But let us move on. Poke your mind into verse 11. Notice the after healing testimony of the man once blind from birth. His statement is short and sweet, and it speaks of what the “man called Jesus” did. And then the “man once blind” defines the result of obedience. Notice also the term, “a man that is called Jesus...” This implies that the man once blind did not yet know that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Later in verse 36 the Scriptures will more boldly confirm this truth.
Right now, we see a host of confusion, doubt, and excitement moving through the people in the city. This of course attracts the attention of the Pharisees, the spiritually blind who are always seeking to take away from Jesus that they my have attention upon themselves. Resume the story at verse 13. Read down to verse 16.

“They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, ‘He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.’ Therefore some of the Pharisees said, ‘This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?’ And there was a division among them.”

If comes as no surprised to read how the man’s neighbors sought after the opinion of the Pharisees. Even today, we do likewise. Discernment seems seldom to be a divider within the modern church. Spiritual leadership, so-called, proclaims healings that our eyes, our ears and our neighbors cannot confirm, yet we trust the leaders more than the obvious truths as presented both physically and spiritually. Likewise, denominational leadership will just as quickly rebuke the work of God if that work occurs not under their personal banner of Christianity.
The Pharisees followed protocol by asking for the facts pertaining to the healing. Yet that seems merely a means to an end, for some of them are quick to deny the validity of the healing on the grounds that it conflicts with religious traditions and ill-conceived interpretation of Holy Scripture. Thus, being that he is a man who will not conform to a distorted and wicked application of known Scripture, Jesus is branded a “sinner.”
Yet division erupted among them. Was it division between the Pharisees wherein some did accept the miracle, or was it division that was designed to maintain a better face of piety before the onlookers and the questioners? After all, with so many witnesses willing to attest that a healing has occurred, some of the Pharisees must surely have recognized the danger of appearing rash in their judgment in this matter. It is, I believe, those who were most cautious among the Pharisees who lead us into the discourse that takes place between spiritual leadership, so-called, and the parents of the man who was once blind. The text runs from verse 17 to verse 23 and reads as follows:

“They said to the blind man again, ‘What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?’ He said, ‘He is a prophet.’ But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, ‘Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?’ His parents answered them and said, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.’ His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, ‘He is of age; ask him.’”

Imagine the rage that must have risen from the hardened hearts of these blind Pharisees when the blind man said unto them concerning Jesus, “He is a prophet.” Yet notice in the very question that they asked, the verbal acknowledgment that they believed that the man had been healed. See it in the words, “because he opened your eyes.” Perhaps, had the man not call Jesus a prophet, the Pharisees would have dropped the matter at that point. But anger and frustration provokes greater pride and argument. More often than not, it also forces leaders to shift attention from one area to another. In the face of the general public and lacking skill to deal with the issue with elegance, the Pharisees sought out the parents of him who had received his sight. They were seeking for a place to distort the shadows.
They asked three questions:

  • 1) The first was designed that the parents must confirm their intimate relationship with the man who had received his sight
  • 2) The second was designed to evidence that the child was blind but now could see
  • 3) The third question was an attempt to evoke a different version of how the healing had taken place.

But the parents of the “man once blind” were careful people. Furthermore, the Scripture reveals that they were aware of the dangers associated with publicly acknowledging the person and the works of Jesus Christ. And this, off course, is yet a problem in the world of modern Christianity. So many of us are fearful of speaking, writing or even thinking in a manner that is contrary to church doctrine. Thus our testimony lays dormant, our knowledge of what is true and real remains unspoken, and submission to misapplied Scripture dominates the day. This should not be. Learn for yourself what says the Spirit concerning things revealed through the word of God (Acts 17:11). Learn for yourself and be not deceived by false teachers, deceivers, or those who deny the effects of sin. And above all, resist those who teach in prideful display.
But on to the parents of the man once blind and how they may have viewed their son both before and after healing . In reviewing these verses, I get a feeling that the response of the parents involves more than a mere fear of the current spiritual leadership. It seems that the phrase, “he is of age to speak for himself” expresses a measure of trust in this man’s natural wisdom, honesty, and sufficiency to stand in the right regardless of consequences. Now I don’t want to add to Scripture, for we know that these parents were fearful of the Jews and of the enforcement of Jewish traditions and laws. However, as the text proceeds forward and we see both natural and spiritual wisdom at work in the mind of a man once blind, the wisdom of the parents in calling that he should speak for himself seems obvious.
Throughout the Scriptures, some men, and women, are called to set a plate full of shame on the dinning table of the spiritual leadership of the age.
Quick Link to Blind Not Dumb, Pt 1, The Noetic Effect of Sin
Quick Link To - Blind Not Dumb Pt 2 - Turn On The Light
Quick Link To - Blind Not Dumb -t 4 - Wisdom Rejected
 
 


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