A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
- John 9:24-33
“In many instances, Jesus healed maladies immediately with just a word. For the blind beggar, it was different. Christ made mud with dirt and his saliva, put it on the eyes of the man, and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. Obeying was not easy, but he did as he was told and received his sight.
“When the Pharisees, the religious leaders, grilled the man about how he got healed, he would not be dissuaded. With boldness, he spoke of his healer: “Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing” (John 9:32-33). The Pharisees rejected his message and expelled him from the temple. But Jesus sought him out…to encourage him in his faith and to confirm that his healer was the Son of God (John 9:34-38).
“Today, the Lord seeks you out to give comfort and confidence when you go through trials…and when your faith is questioned. Stand boldly and declare His goodness.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
In the novel, When Jesus Wept by Bodie and Brock Thoene, Lazarus meets a crippled beggar from Antioch. Lazarus had previously arranged a meeting between the man blind from birth (the Scripture above) and Jesus. He thought that Jesus could heal the crippled man, Jabez from Antioch, as well. First, Jabez hurls insults at Lazarus and Jesus, knowing that the religious leaders may be hearing the conversation and he’d lose his standing, thus lose his opportunity to beg while in Jerusalem. Then Jabez urges for Lazarus to get lost, because he did not want to be healed. Being a beggar was his means of an income.
Jesus asked the man by the Pool of Siloam if he wanted to be healed. There are reasons why people did not want to be healed then and now. I have been to India a few times. In front of the Taj Mahal Hotel near the south end of the Mumbai peninsula, legless beggars line the entrance to the hotel. I have heard that many of these beggars have their legs removed in childhood so that they make more money as a beggar. I had to weave through the beggars to get to the entrance. There were guards at the entrance who do not let beggars pass.
The Scripture above is utterly delightful in one respect. The young man, blind since birth, could see what the religious leaders could not see or refused to see. Each time I read it, I see this man, wise beyond his years, and even more so since he has been a beggar up to this point. Beggars don’t need an education. How did he get so smart, so fast?
How can the recently sighted person see so clearly? The Holy Spirit was guiding his words. In reading this Scripture, even on the hundredth time of reading it, I get goosebumps. When you see what God can supply in times of trouble, how could you not have faith in Him? My wife and I have both experienced talking to people who are angry and others asking afterwards where the words came from – and our response was “What words?” We could not remember what had been said, because it did not come from us. It came from the Holy Spirit.
Jeremiah and Moses did not want to get in front of anyone to talk, but they went anyway. In the case of Moses, he had Aaron. Jeremiah relied on God for the right words. Isaiah was bold, but only after the angel had cleansed his tongue with the hot coal.
We must remain in a state of prayer, but when adversity is at our door, God can provide the words to say.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.