I’m back in John 9 for Monday School. Last week I asked if we really see what we need to see.
This week, I dive in deeper. John 9 is the story about the healing of the man born blind, but there’s more to the story. According to the text, the blind man didn’t ask to be healed, but made his way to the pool of Siloam and washed as Jesus asked. His neighbors and the rest of the community noticed the man and wondered if it was the same one who used to sit and beg. When the man said, I am the man, they asked how his eyes were opened.
The religious leaders asked the same question three more times in the story. The neighbors asked out of a natural curiosity, but the Pharisees asked because they wanted to know if the Sabbath laws were broken.
The first time the Pharisees asked the man, he gave them few details. The Jews did not believe he’d been blind, so they summoned his parents. They only verified he was born blind, and refused to tell them how his eyes were opened. The parents feared they’d be cast of out of the synagogue and said, Ask him; he is of age.
The Pharisees called the man again and asked how his eyes were open. I’ve told you already, the healed man said.
Have you ever grown weary of telling the same story over and over? Whatever the reason, the man was frustrated about it. Maybe all the talk about his miraculous eyesight hindered his new life of actually seeing all he wanted to see. Perhaps he realized the reason the Pharisees asked, and he didn’t want to be part of it. The self-proclaimed lawmakers were determined to find the law breaker who healed him. The Pharisees focused on the law and couldn’t see the One who fulfilled it.
The healed man then questioned the Pharisees. Do you also want to become his disciples?
The Pharisees threw the man out of the synagogue.
Jesus found the man after he heard he was cast out and asked him, Do you believe in the Son of Man? He said, Lord, I believe. The Jews and Pharisees cast the man out of the synagogue but Jesus brought him into the Kingdom of God.
There are several remarkable truths in this story.
- Jesus initiated the miracle. Before the man believed.
- Jesus opened the man’s eyes and his heart.
- The Pharisees emphasized their knowledge (v. 24, 34)
- The healed man emphasized his lack of knowledge (v. 25).
- Humility, openness, and recognition of need are core attributes of a true disciple.
While the healed man progressed as a true disciple of Jesus, the hardened Pharisees settled into their blindness without an openness to God.
The man recognized Jesus as only a man in verse 11. A prophet in verse 17. One worthy to follow in verse 27. And believed Jesus as the Son of Man in verse 38.
The Pharisees didn’t recognize their need. They didn’t know what they didn’t know. And they didn’t want to.
God, make us like the healed man. Open. Humble. Recognizing our desperate need for You. Willing to receive further revelation and grow in our understanding of Jesus.
All for Your glory and Yours alone.