John 9:24 – 34
24 The leaders called the man back and said, “Swear by God to tell the truth! We know that Jesus is a sinner.” 25 The man replied, “I don’t know if he is a sinner or not. All I know is that I used to be blind, but now I can see!”
26 “What did he do to you?” the Jewish leaders asked. “How did he heal your eyes?” 27 The man answered, “I have already told you once, and you refused to listen. Why do you want me to tell you again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 The leaders insulted the man and said, “You are his follower! We are followers of Moses. 29 We are sure that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where Jesus comes from.”
30 “How strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from. 31 We know that God listens only to people who love and obey him. God doesn’t listen to sinners. 32 And this is the first time in history that anyone has ever given sight to someone born blind. 33 Jesus could not do anything unless he came from God.”
34 The leaders told the man, “You have been a sinner since the day you were born! Do you think you can teach us anything?” Then they said, “You can never come back into any of our meeting places!”
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This passage is the third segment of this story about when Jesus healed the man who had been blind since birth. It is easy to see that this seriously rattled the religious leaders, the Pharisees. It was their job to not only teach the Laws of God, as they were handed down by Moses. But it was also their responsibility to guard the people from false teachings which could draw them away from God.
Thus, there was nothing wrong for them to start out by saying, “Swear by God to tell the truth!” Now this is not the same as cursing or using profanity. Rather, just as it was with legal cases, a witness was to testify under oath by the highest authority, namely God Himself, that his testimony that he would give was in fact the truth.
No, the problem here is that the Pharisees had already made a decision in their minds about Jesus, and they tried to force the man to agree with their assessment. The leaders, who were so upset about Jesus breaking their religious ritual of not working on the Sabbath Day, made the conclusion that such a man must be a sinner, guilty of breaking a law of God.
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The man who had been healed though would not give in to this religious prejudice. Instead, he simply stated what were obvious facts. Before, he had been blind. After Jesus touched him, then he could see. And based on all the religious knowledge he had, the only possible conclusion for him is that Jesus had to have come from God. That is, Jesus had to have the blessing of God and the authority of God to perform such a miracle.
You know, this story is filled with such irony. The one who was blind could now see clearly that Jesus was a man of God. And he challenged these leaders who should have been able to see, but were blind to the truth that was right in front of them. There was a simple man teaching those who were thought of as the “Teachers” of their society the truth about where Jesus came from.
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As amazing as this story is, with all of its irony, I believe we still have people today who are very much in the dark when it comes to understanding who Jesus really is. There are many people today that say that Jesus was a good man, and he was a very good teacher. They consider all the good things Jesus did, and the ethical teachings he taught, but they cannot go further to say that He is “from God”. Or more importantly, that He is God, the second member of the Trinity.
And yet, if we really look closely at all that Jesus said and did, I believe we cannot hold on to the claim that He was “just a good man, and good teacher”. In the gospel accounts, Jesus claimed more than once that He would rise from the dead after being crucified on the cross. (See Mark 8:31; 9:31 and 10:34) He also made claims of being the Promised Messiah, and that in fact He is God. (Read carefully John 4:25-26; 5:17-18; and 8:53-59)
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Now if you and I were in a courtroom and heard all the testimony which Jesus gave concerning himself, then we would have to agree with some Christian authors who have said that there are only three choices available to us. Either Jesus was a lunatic, to believe such grand egocentric ideas that he could rise from the dead and call himself God. Or he was a liar, who has deceived millions of people over the past two millennium.
Or we have to accept him as Lord, the One who truly has the power to overcome death and is in fact God who has come to live among us. What we cannot believe is that Jesus was simply a “good man”. For his claims have to be false, making Him a very bad man. Or they are true, which makes Him God. The Pharisees could not see this and accept this. But the man who once was blind, was now coming to see the truth concerning Jesus and where He came from. How about you?
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