Believing is Seeing (John Part 29)
Text: John 9:1-41
There’s an old saying that goes, “Seeing is believing.” But you know sometimes, old sayings are just that… old sayings. The reality is, sometimes, seeing doesn’t equal believing. Sometimes, a person can see something, and still not believe, or believe the wrong things. Some of you… if not all of you have experienced this when you’re trying to witness. A person can be shown the evidence, they can be shown the facts, they can be shown the truth, and still, despite all of those things, still refuse to believe what those facts, and evidence, and truths are pointing too.
And so it’s an interesting thing when you encounter someone who has a belief that’s not based on evidence or facts… or you meet someone who has a world-view, or opinion, that’s contrary to the evidence or that’s not based on the truth. It always makes me ask – “Why do you believe what you believe?” “How do you know what you think you know?” “Why do you hold this view, even though it’s contrary to the evidence?” Especially when something as important as eternity is at stake!
We’re in John 9 this morning, and we’re going to see this exact sort of thing happen. All the evidence, all the facts, all the signs are pointing to the reality that Jesus is God. That’s He’s the Messiah that God promised way back after Adam and Eve fell into sin. But in-spite of all that, the Pharisees are going to continue to believe a lie.
Let’s go ahead and look at our text (READ John 9:1-41).
So what John is saying, and has been saying since chapter one – is that people are blinded by their sin. They are blinded to the truth. They could see the miracles and the signs and wonders with their physical eyes, but they didn’t believe. Men love darkness rather light, so they won’t come to the light, because they love their darkness. Man in his natural state is dead in sin and trespasses. He is blind to spiritual truth. He is an enemy of God. He is totally against God, in every way. He does not seek God… in-fact Paul tells us in Romans that there are none who seek God, no not one.
That’s why salvation is all of grace. God gets all the glory. And Jesus has already taught that in John’s Gospel… back in chapter six. Let me just read what He said to refresh your memory.
John 6:37, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out.”
John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”
John 6:65, “And He said, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father.’”
Or… if you want to go outside of John’s Gospel, you could look at Luke 10:22, “All things have been handed to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”
And this messes with people. They say, “Why? Why does it have to be that way? Why does Jesus have to reveal Himself? Why can’t a person just put two and two together and come up with this truth on their own?” Well, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that, “The natural person DOE NOT accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he IS NOT able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” In other words, when you’re spiritually dead, you can’t resurrect yourself to spiritual life. You need someone else to do that. When you’re spiritually blind, you can’t see spiritual things… When your mind is darkened by sin, you can’t understand OR ACCEPT spiritual truth.
And so we see Jesus doing signs and wonders and miracles. Things that the long promised Messiah is said to do when He comes. We see Him walk on water, miraculously feed thousands of people, heal the sick, raise the dead, and give sight to a man who was born blind. But the Pharisees still reject Him. They refuse to believe.
Men love darkness rather than light. And because they love darkness, they reject the Light.
Even the Light of the World.
And that’s actually the key to all of what we’re reading here. Jesus says it in verse 5… He said it earlier in John 8:12, “I Am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” So what we see here in this chapter is that this man… this formerly blind man; both literally and figuratively sees the Light. And the Light is going to INCREASINGLY dawn on him… while paralleled to that, it’s going to INCREASINGLY be missed by the Pharisees.
I love how John shows us his progress here.
Verse 11 – he receives his sight. Verse 17, he confesses that Jesus is AT LEAST a prophet.
Verses 30-33, he tells the Pharisees that Jesus is obviously from God. Verse 38, he comes to full; saving faith and worships the Lord.
And it’s terrifying how John shows us the Pharisees moving toward complete rejection.
Verse 16 – they say Jesus is not from God… because He broke the Sabbath.
Verse 24 – they say that Jesus is a sinner.
Verse 29 – they say, “We don’t know where He comes from.” Meaning they can’t say Jesus is from God at all, or that He’s even doing the works of God. This is the downward spiral of people whose hearts are continually being hardened against God. They have no clue; because their minds are so darkened by sin, and their hearts are so hardened against the truth, that they’re rejecting their one and only hope of salvation.
I wish I was a better preacher. I wish I could express how horrible this is. These are men who are religious. These are men who THINK they’re right with God. They think that God’s going to accept them when they stand before Him. They have totally and completely deceived themselves.
And isn’t it interesting what they do? Here’s this man, who has been given his sight. For the first time in his life, he’s seeing the world as it is… and the Pharisees want to drag him back down. They want to shut him up. And it works on the man’s parents. They’re afraid, so they just kind of throw their son under the bus… but the man… he’s not going to back away from this. He knows the truth – I WAS BLIND, BUT NOW I SEE.
Their first attack against the guy’s testimony is that “He can’t be from God. He broke the Sabbath.” And they ask him, “What do you think about Him?” And the guy… unafraid… says, “He’s at least a prophet.” And what do the Pharisees do… they think this guys a liar. They think he’s obviously faked being blind all these years. They call his parents, his parents confirm that he was blind… but they’re cowards and unwilling to stand up for the truth.
So… the fact that the man was born blind, but now has his sight has been established… so what do the Pharisees do? Well… again they come out with “He can’t be from God… He’s a sinner.” And the guy comes back with facts, “Here’s what I know. I was blind, but now I see.” The Pharisees attack him; he presents the facts. Basically he’s saying, “Listen; I was born blind. I’ve been blind my whole life. Now I see. You work out how that happened. You tell me how someone who’s supposedly a sinner, and who’s supposedly not from God does that.”
So in verse 26, they try another tactic. The man has silenced their first attack with the facts… so they come at him from another angle. And that’s what the devil does. If he can’t get you one way, he’ll come at you from a different angle. He’ll drum up some other lie, or some other thing to try and catch you off guard. And the devil’s relentless. He’ll do anything he can to silence your testimony. He’ll do anything you can to get you uninterested in Jesus.
Do you see that here in the text?
There’s a battle for this man’s soul going on right here. Jesus has given him physical sight, but at this point, the man’s not quite born again yet. He knows he’s been physically healed, and he knows that someone named Jesus did it, but he’s not sure who Jesus is just yet. He thinks that Jesus might be a prophet… sent by God. But he doesn’t fully know that Jesus is the Son of God, come in the flesh. That Jesus is the prophesied Son of Man… the Messiah… the Savior.
So this guys on the verge. He’s moving towards true, saving faith, and the devil’s trying to stop that from happening. He’s really digging in to his bag of evil tricks.
But you know what? The guys eyes are opened now. He sees what’s going on. He realizes that the Pharisees aren’t interested in the truth. They’re not interested in worshiping Christ. So he’s like, “I already told you how He healed me. I’ve already told you what I know. Why do you keep asking? Do you want to become His disciples too?” Now in case you don’t see it… he’s being sarcastic. He’s like, “I’m not going to play this game.”
And once he does that… once he comes to that point… Where he’s not going to get suckered in… where he’s not going to fall for the lies and tricks of the devil. The Pharisees loose it. They just start outright attacking him. They start insulting him and reviling him… But you know what? This man… the guy who was blind, but now he sees… now he’s also bold. He’s seen the truth. He knows the truth. And he flat out says to them, “Never since the world began has it been heard that ANYONE has opened the eyes of one born blind.” And the Pharisees; with their agenda exposed, they can’t keep their masquerade up… they’re enraged. They completely forget what the Old Testament teaches…
Isaiah 29:18 (READ)… sign of the Messiah… the deaf will hear and the blind will see.
Isaiah 35:5 (READ)… again… a sign of the Messiah who is to come, The blind will see and the deaf will hear.
Isaiah 42:6-7 (READ)… A Light for the nations… and He will open the eyes of the blind.
Healing blindness is what the Messiah does.
Church; if you’re spiritually blind, then you don’t know where you’re going. And like the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” But Jesus said, in John 14:6, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Our only hope is to be given sight by Christ the Lord. Our only hope is to be rescued from the kingdom of darkness and placed into the kingdom of light. Our only hope is Jesus. He’s the only hope for this world. He’s the only hope for our nation. He’s the only hope for our church, for our families, and for ourselves.