In the ninth chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus comes across a young man that was born blind. He miraculously provides sight to the man, and what ensues is a calamity of people with physical sight who are spiritually blind. It amazes me how people will deny what is plainly apparent. Here is what happened.
He first appeared to “the neighbors” and those who “had seen him that he was blind.” They all were astonished that now he had sight, and yet they could not say with any certainty that he was the young man that had been born blind. It was not like he got a haircut that made him look differently or that he grew five inches. They knew perfectly that he was the man that sat and begged because he could not provide for himself and now had sight. The man confessed that Jesus had provided for his sight, and so if the neighbors confessed that the man before them was the one born blind, then they would also need to confess that Jesus had the ability to reverse the conditions of man from birth, which some were unwilling to do.
The young man was then taken to the Pharisees who also were not certain that he had been born blind. I’m fairly certain that they really did know, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. They called his parents to confirm his birth condition. The testimony of the parents confirmed that he had been born blind but they denied that they knew how he had received his sight. Are you kidding me?!!! Does it not seem reasonable that if you never had sight and suddenly you did, wouldn’t the first ones you would want to tell be your parents? So why would the parents deny knowledge of how he gained his sight? Verse 22 states that they feared the Jews and being put out of the synagogue. For them, maintaining the status quo of religiosity was more important than affirming truth.
The Pharisees then questioned the young man as to how he received his sight. The Pharisees were convinced that there had to be some other explanation of how this man received his sight. The reason? If Jesus had done the miraculous, then He was greater than them in ability from God. In the Pharisees’ mind, they were the most righteous and therefore closer to God than anyone else, especially this Jesus. They concluded that Jesus had to be a sinner because He performed the miracle on a Sabbath day, which, according to them, was a violation of Mosaic Law (It wasn’t). When they could not discredit the miracle, they discredited the character of the recipient, stating that he was born altogether in sins and therefore, they were still more righteous than anyone else and the authority of right and wrong.
Many today are like the neighbors who are unwilling to admit to the truth of Scripture that we are all born as sinners and in need of salvation. We do not become sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners by nature. Scripture is clear to that point (Psalm 51:5, 58:3). Anyone can see that, but all too few are willing to believe it. Many are also like the parents. They recognize a birth condition but deny believing in the cure for it. Scripture here, is also very clear. There is only one way in which the penalty of sin can be removed, and that is on the basis of one’s faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as payment for all of one’s sin. John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 are just two of many verses of Scripture that proclaim this truth, but too many do not want to leave their religious institutions that proclaim that someone or something other than or in addition to Jesus can provide salvation. I once had 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door. I asked them that since they believe in the existence of one God how their translation of John 1:1 that Jesus was “a God” could be accurate. “A God” necessitates the existence of more than one, so either their theology was false or their translation was. Unwilling to recognize truth, they left. Others, like the Pharisees deny the need for salvation because they are good people. Would God send a “good person” to hell? The problem is a false belief in one’s goodness because, once again, the Scripture is clear that there is not one that does good (Romans 3:12).
These three, the neighbors, the parents and the Pharisees all had physical sight but were spiritually blind because they would not believe the truth of Scripture. So, how well do you see?