Summary: The blind man over came the problem of the Pharisees; they could see, but could not believe.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Doest thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, for judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
There is little doubt to the fact that every person here has most likely heard the old adage, “Seeing is believing.” In a world filled with insatiable claims it has become commonplace for a person to respond, “I won’t believe it, until I see it.” It is this very principle that brought Robert Ripley to open his first odditorium in Chicago, Illinois in 1933. It was the birth of what we all know so well as “Ripley’s Believe it or not.” The problem with this old adage, “Seeing is believing,” is simply that it doesn’t always hold true. Have you ever seen something that even though you were an eyewitness to it, you still just couldn’t believe your eyes? We have all come face to face with unbelievable things.
There was a group of people we find in the Scriptures with a similar problem. The Pharisees were eyewitnesses to many of the miracles that Jesus performed, but even though they saw, they did not believe.
In our text today, we are presented with a classic case of these Pharisees seeing the evidence, but refusing to believe the truth. It is because of this very reason that Jesus gives us an important principle found in verse 39. “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” It is this principle that you need to see today as we examine the text, and bring to you God’s message, “Believing is Seeing,” not “seeing is believing,” but “Believing is Seeing.”
It is in this chapter of John that you find the account of Jesus healing the blind beggar. To understand the portion of the chapter read for the text, you must be introduced to this man, and understand how he got to the place we find him.
In the beginning of the chapter you would see that the disciples wrongly assumed that this blind beggar was blind because of either his parents sin, or a sin of his own. After Jesus healed this blind man, everyone was amazed. Some recognized him, others said it looks like him, but must be another person. Those who recognized the beggar decided to take him to the Pharisees. This was no little deal for one big reason; it was the Sabbath day when Jesus gave this man his sight.
The Pharisees investigated the man and his claim. However, they did not believe him. So, they do the next best thing, and ask the man’s parents. The parents did attest to the fact that this was their son, and yes he was born blind, but they refused to go into any details concerning the miracle because of a fear of being excommunicated from the synagogue.
The Pharisees again turn to this man, but cannot reason within themselves how that Jesus could heal this blind man, and break the Law of the Sabbath at the same time. You see, because the Pharisees, who were supposed to know the Law, and were the religious leaders, misinterpreted the Law, the assumed Jesus to be a sinner. Frustrated over this fact, and the fact that this man would not deny that it was in fact Jesus who healed him, the Pharisees excommunicated him from synagogue. It followed the principle found throughout the Old Testament of being cut off.
Being excommunicated from synagogue carried some heavy implications. It essentially meant that the community was forced to shun you. It meant that you lost all privileges to synagogue worship, and as well lost all privileges of the sacrificial system. This was major because the life of the Jew was defined by their religious system. Essentially, being excommunicated meant that you have found yourself in the place of having no true identity, and no means of finding forgiveness of sin. There was no way that you could approach God, or have any relationship with Him, because God cannot have fellowship with sin.