There’s a great story, a lower story, in John 9 regarding the division between believers and unbelievers in the world. Jesus met a man who entered the world as a blind beggar. Simple enough, but as we’ve studied John we know there’s ‘more to the story’, it’s called the upper story and its powerful.
As we’ve walked through this gospel there’s been a repetitive theme: in God’s eyes the world is divided. Chapter nine is a beautiful and yet provocative lesson; we are all born blind beggars.
When someone is totally blind they live a life of darkness, a fitting description, and requires healing in order to distinguish light from darkness; that’s the only cure. Jesus’ parallel is clear: He is the Light of the World, the only healing for blindness.
The story goes like this. The disciples notice a blind man and ask about the cause; did he or his parents sin and blindness was the punishment? Yes and no. Jesus uses this encounter to teach us again about the division of the world. He sent the beggar to a pool to wash away the mud, a unique healing method, that He had applied to the man’s eyes. We read the result in verse seven: the beggar responded, obeyed, and was healed. It’s not about individual sins but being born a sinner. We require mercy from the Sovereign God Who draws people to Himself and our response must be the same as the beggar: obey and be healed.
The religious leaders, who represent unbelievers in the world, could not comprehend this miracle. They questioned the man twice, insulted him, and in their blindness declared Jesus a fraud. Unbelievers can be like that. It’s impossible for a blind man to perceive light; that’s a physical fact and that’s Jesus’ point at the end of the story.
People who refuse to admit their blindness will suffer God’s judgment for their sin.
Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind. John 9:39 NLT
Admitting blindness requires humility and unbelievers, in their pride, think they see just fine. They remain in their sin.
If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see. John 9:41 NLT
I love the way Jesus spoke to the blind beggar. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Using this title was Jesus reminding this Jewish man that He was the Messiah from Daniel 7, the Judge and King Who was prophesied as coming into the world? The man again responded to Christ, “Lord, I believe, and worshiped Him.”
We all suffer from spiritual blindness at various times, even after salvation. Will we choose humility or pride in those times? Let’s pray for God to apply spiritual mud to the blindness of those areas and experience His healing.