“Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” (John 9:41 NKJV).
No other miracles performed by the Lord Jesus generated so much controversies, debates or arguments as the giving of sight to the man who was blind from birth.
It all began with Jesus’ disciples asking, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2 NKJV).
Their religious belief or mindset was that the man’s defect was God’s severe punishment on the terrible sins of his parents, or perhaps the terrible sin which God knew the man would commit in the future.
But, the disciples were greatly surprised by the Lord’s answer: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” (John 9:3 NKJV).
This was apparently contrary to the popular religious belief or philosophy of those days!
There is no doubt that this man who was born blind and his parents were sinners like the rest of the people, and sickness can be linked with sin (Rom. 3:23, John 5:14, Deut. 28:21-22). However, in this case, Jesus said it was not their personal sins that had caused this blindness.
What then was responsible for the man’s blindness from his birth? Sin in general!
“This man was not born blind because of any one person’s sins but because sin in general had corrupted the perfect balance that God had created in nature. Therefore, some maladies happen, not as a direct result of an individual’s sins, but as an indirect result of sin in general” (Andrew Wommack’s Commentary).
Moreover, Jesus did not imply by His reply to His disciples’ question that it was God who made this man blind so that He could heal him at a certain time and so be glorified. Unfortunately, this is the belief of many religious people today.
The good God wouldn’t do such wickedness!
Jesus simply wanted His disciples to know that no matter the cause of this man’s blindness, it was the work of God to heal him. No matter the cause of your infirmity or sickness today, it is God’s work and delight to heal you (1 John 3:8, Matt. 8:17, 1 Pet. 2:24).
Immediately after the miraculous healing of the man who was born blind all the people who had known him before were amazed, saying, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.” (John 9:8-9 NKJV). Afterwards, they brought the man to the Pharisees who then asked him how he had received his sight.
The man’s testimony generated more controversies.
The Scripture states: “Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.” (John 9:16 NKJV).
As their custom was, the Pharisees were totally displeased that Jesus had performed the miracle on the Sabbath. They were totally blind to the spiritual significances or implications of the sign.
According to the account of John, all the miracles the Lord Jesus performed were simply signs pointing to something far greater than the actual miracles. Obviously, the giving of sight to this man who was blind from his birth was another sign intended to unveil Jesus and His mission to the Jews.
What did Jesus intend to show or say to the Jews then and to us today through this sign?
Let us carefully examine them!
First, Jesus wanted the Jews then and all men today to know that we all were spiritually blind from birth.
As it was in the case of this man, our spiritual blindness was not caused by our individual sin, but by the original sin, the sin of Adam. Our spiritual blindness was the direct result of our alienation from the life of God from the womb (Eph. 4:17-19).
Our spiritual blindness is responsible for our constant straying from the right path to the way that leads to death and destruction. This is why the Bible often refers to us as “the lost sheep of God.”
The Scripture states: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa. 53:6 NKJV).
Anyone who fails to admit that he is a sinner by birth or by nature is still spiritually blind. Similarly, anyone who fails to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life, or as the only Saviour sent by God to save us from our sins, is indeed spiritually blind.
This is why when the Pharisees asked Jesus, “Are we blind also?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” (John 9:40-41 NKJV).
Although the Pharisees, like all men, were born sinners, yet they would not admit it. They were completely blinded by their self-righteousness to their sinful nature.
They were so spiritually blind that in spite of all the signs Jesus wrought before them to prove to them that He was indeed their Messiah, yet they rejected Him and called Him “a sinner, a blasphemer, and Beelzebub” (Matt. 10:25).
They said to the man whom Jesus gave his sight, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.” (John 9:24 NKJV).
“We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.” (John 9:29 NKJV).
They were truly a bunch of spiritually blind men!
Like the Pharisees, anyone who thinks that he can ever earn, merit or deserve God’s love, acceptance, salvation, favour or blessings by observing or keeping some religious laws, rules, regulations or rites is spiritually blind and ignorant.
Beloved, the Mosaic Law was given to open your eyes to your utter depravity, bankruptcy, or sinfulness, so that you may cry: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24 NKJV).
The Mosaic Law was intended to expose your inherent but hidden weaknesses, deficiencies or inadequacies, so that you may humbly turn to and wholly trust in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:19).
This is why the Scripture says: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24 KJV).
Regrettably, after the Lord Jesus Christ has come as the Saviour into the world, many religious people today, like the Pharisees of old, are still religiously observing and keeping the Old Testament laws as a means of obtaining God’s love, acceptance, salvation, favour or blessings.
These are spiritually blind people today!
Anyone who is still seeking, striving or struggling to please, impress or compel God, or to earn, deserve or merit God’s love, acceptance, salvation, favour or blessings by his good or religious works, performance, adherence to some religious rules, or self-righteousness is totally spiritually blind and ignorant.
Beloved, God’s blessings are only available in and through Christ Jesus. It is faith in Christ that pleases God. Salvation and God’s blessings are available to you today purely by grace through faith alone in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ at the cross.
The Scripture clearly states: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9 NKJV).
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.” (Rom. 3:20-22 NKJV).
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:1-2 NKJV).
What are other spiritual significances of this miraculous sign?
Find out in the next piece!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I give you praise for sending Jesus as the Light to heal me of my spiritual blindness from birth. I acknowledge today that I was born spiritually blind and I surrender to Jesus, the true Light, and I begin to see and walk in His Light, in Jesus’ name. Amen.