Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
John 9:8-12 (Holman) His neighbors and those who formerly had seen him as a beggar said, AIsn=t this the man who sat begging?@ Some said, AHe=s the one.@ ANo,@ others were saying, Abut he looks like him.@ He kept saying, AI=m the one!@ Therefore they asked him, AThen how were your eyes opened?@ He answered, AThe man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, >Go to Siloam and wash.= So when I went and washed I received my sight.@ AWhere is He?@ they asked. AI don=t know,@ he said.
The blind man=s neighbors were so astonished at the cure that some of them refused to acknowledge he actually was the same person. They could not believe it was really him. Jesus is always doing things for people which seem too good to be true.
This is especially true of regeneration. When born again, a person becomes a new creature. The change is often so drastic that even family and friends can hardly believe it.
As onlookers gawked and squawked, this man simply used the same line of reasoning over and over again. He emphasized the contrast in his life, persistently declaring what he had been versus what he was now. AI am he@ (v. 9), AI went and washed, and I received sight@ (v. 11), AI washed, and do see@ (v. 15), AI was blind, now I see@ (v. 25).
AWas@ and Ais@ were the bedrock foundation of his testimony. He didn=t understand all the particulars of what had happened to him, but he knew something remarkable had occurred. He had experienced a radical change, and kept emphasizing it.
The man remembered what he had been. We should too. If people ever forget where they came from, their testimony loses its effectiveness. Our elevated position in Christ can be appreciated best when contrasted to the degradation from which we rose.
David remembered. AHe brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure@ (Psalm 40:2). Isaiah 51:1 admonishes us to Alook to the rock from which you were cut, and to the quarry from which you were dug.@ Never forget. Remember where He brought us from.
Our was/is story is a powerful soulwinning tool. We don=t need shrewder ingenuity to win the lost. The main prerequisite is living, walking, talking, breathing monuments to God=s grace.
Produce one converted person, one genuine turnaround, and Christ will win battles. Tell others what Jesus has done for you.
This blind man was obsessed with his new found sight. Nothing else mattered. He didn=t know how his eyes and brain functioned, or how the salve cured him. He simply knew he could see, and refused to quit talking about it.
The best evidence for Christianity is not good preaching, effective Bible studies, or increased knowledge. Our best hope is the contrast the new birth spawns in a person=s life. We forget this too often.
An elderly woman once applied for membership in a local church. The Pastor asked her numerous theological, Biblical questions. She failed the exam and was temporarily disqualified. As she left she said through her tears, AI cannot speak for Him, but I could die for Him.@ She passed the test that mattered most.
When D. L. Moody was converted, he applied for church membership. The Pastor quizzed Moody, who knew almost nothing about the Bible. Moody had, however, heard this story and kept repeating, AWhereas I was blind, now I see.@ Moody applied to the church three times before he was accepted. They were asking the wrong questions.
A learned lady once tried to convince a crowd Jesus was a myth. After her lecture a man stood and said, AFriends, you know me. I have lived among you for twenty-five years. Twenty-five years ago I was a drunken brute. I beat my wife and made my home a hell on earth. This lady says Jesus of Nazareth is a myth. Now, my friends, twenty-five years ago, when I was a drunken, wife-beating rascal, Jesus of Nazareth met me and opened my eyes. I saw I was a sinner, and He forgave my sins. You know what a change took place in me then, and you know what sort of a man I have been for the last twenty-five years. Perhaps the lady will be kind enough to explain me.@
The lady said she could not explain it. The crowd=s reaction was so overwhelming that she gave up delivering two other lectures she had scheduled that day.
Jesus changes lives. What greater words could be spoken? What happened physically at the Pool of Siloam pictures the spiritual healing that flows from Christ.
They who come to the fount weak, return strengthened; doubters find answers; mourners leave rejoicing; tremblers find triumph; the blind go away seeing; the broken go away singing; sinners find forgiveness.
John 9:13-17 (Holman) They brought the man who used to be blind to the Pharisees. The day that Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes was a Sabbath. So again the Pharisees asked him how he received his sight. AHe put mud on my eyes,@ he told them. AI washed and I can see.@ Therefore some of the Pharisees said, AThis man is not from God, for He doesn=t keep the Sabbath!@ But others were saying, AHow can a sinful man perform such signs?@ And there was a division among them. Again they asked the blind man, AWhat do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?@ AHe=s a prophet,@ he said.
The man born blind had been healed by Jesus on the Sabbath. Since this was an unlawful act, the healed man was brought before the religious leaders for investigation.
It was dangerous to speak well of Jesus, but the healed man had no choice. He couldn=t hide the evidence. Something had happened which he could not deny.
None of the Pharisees asked, ACan you see?@ The answer to this question was obvious. The same is true of what Christ does for us spiritually. Its results will be obvious.
This is especially true of conversion. Our acquaintances will know we are converted if we really are. They will detect it. When God changes us, we can not keep it a secret, even if we consciously try to squelch the evidence.
Ashamed of the outward results of inner conversion, we often act like something we are not. We have the obligation to be what we are as believers.
It is an indictment on our society when cursing and pornography are socially acceptable, but religious talk and the Bible are taboo. Despite this sad state of affairs, we believers should cultivate a habit of open boldness. We don=t need to be pushy or a nuisance, but should live in the world as people who have nothing to conceal.
I heard of a husband who was converted, but was afraid to tell his wife. He feared she would ridicule him. He would sneak upstairs to pray so she wouldn=t see or hear him, but his scheme broke down. His wife soon figured out something had happened.
Genuine conversion is hard to hide. We can=t hide a cough; if we have a cough, we have to cough. Likewise, if we have grace in our heart, it will show forth in our life.
Has regeneration happened in our heart or not? If it has, then alert your body to the fact.
Let yourself be what you are. Behavior needs to be conformed to our heart condition. Then we will be a living testimony.
The way we eat will show it; the pause to thank God will be obvious. Our weekends henceforth will belong to God and the church. Our reading habits will include the Bible. Our interests will change. Compassion will begin to shine through us. We will find it natural to tell people we are praying for them.
Some say AI am too shy to be a witness.@ Drop your indecent modesty. Be braver. We should assert ourselves more. Something radical has happened to us. Let=s reveal the evidence.