Summary: We’re all born blind, and need His healing touch to see eternity’s first rays.
Of all the physical handicaps that can curse men and women, blindness must be one of the saddest.
Yet there is something infinitely worse than physical blindness, and it is spiritual blindness. That is why God became man, bringing His divine light into the world, that those who believe in Him might receive spiritual sight, and behold the first rays of dawn.
Ephesians 2:1 tells us that prior to coming to Christ in faith, we are dead in trespasses and sins. In His discourse with Nicodemus, Jesus told the Rabbi that until one is born again (or born from above), he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven. We understand that to mean that until one is spiritually born through faith in Christ, he cannot enter Heaven, but also that until one receives that birth of the spirit he cannot comprehend spiritual truth.
There are many other passages of scripture to support this fundamental doctrine, that until we receive spiritual birth from God, we are all cut off from Him and from understanding Him, because of the effects of sin.
One writer said (and this is not a direct quote), that God, being Spirit, Who communicates with the spirit, had fellowship with man on a spiritual level. But when man sinned, God had to turn him over to the same biochemical forces that rule the rest of nature. Therefore, since God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth, and since spiritual truth must be spiritually discerned, we are more acutely blind to spiritual matters than this man in John 9 was to the world around him.
At least this beggar had four other senses with which to function in and realize the world around him. Those who are spiritually blind are without hope and apart from the grace and mercy of God, who sees us as Jesus saw this man, and has compassion for us.
Romans 5:6 says, “...while we were still helpless, Christ died for the ungodly” (That is, ‘those without God’)
We’ve all seen movies or television shows where someone was blind, and they’ve been given an opportunity through some new medical development to receive an operation and maybe get their sight back.
The day comes for the bandages to come off; the doctor, patient and family members all stand in a room and the doctor orders the lights to be dimmed because he knows that the patient’s eyes will have to adjust gradually to the light. Then, as suspense builds the doctor slowly unwraps the bandage, and finally the patient looks at the faces of his loved ones and shouts, “I can see! I can see!”
Well let’s look closely at the steps Christ takes, to lead this man out of darkness into light, one step at a time, finally leading to worship, which is always the final step in true conversion.
First, we have this somewhat baffling method Jesus uses...although it shouldn’t be that baffling to us, since He used mud in the first place to create the first man...but He mixes dirt and spit, makes it into mud and spreads it over the man’s eyes.
Y’know, over the years I’ve learned to be more accepting of the fact that Jesus just doesn’t do things the way we expect Him to do them.
Some years back my wife and I had occasion to talk with a man whose chief complaint against God was that He is deceptive. That was the man’s claim. God is deceptive.
When we asked what he meant by that charge, he explained that as he read the Bible, or observed life around him, it just seemed like God didn’t do things the way they’re supposed to be done. He said, “Just when I think that God will do something in a certain way, He does it in a totally different way. He just won’t let you know Him”.
The man was missing the point entirely. It’s not that God doesn’t want us to know Him, In fact, if this man would really read the Bible I don’t know how he could miss seeing evidence on almost every page, that God wants very much indeed for us to know Him.
It’s just that He won’t let us box Him in; which is what Lynn’s answer to him was at the time.
Just when we’re expecting God to do what we think an ordinary God doing miracles would do, in our own finite imaginations, He tosses in the ol’ shock factor and does something in a completely different way than we even dreamed.
I like it that way. I like letting God be God. I don’t want to know everything. I like surprises.
When we try to analyze our Lord’s methods or motives too deeply we miss the point. What do we have in this story? A man who is blind, not from disease or mishap but from birth (as attested to by his own parents right here in this chapter), sees for the first time in his life because the One who at the Creation said “Let there be light” and it was, has seen him and felt compassion for him, and touched him. That’s the point.