Today’s message is “FREEDOM”. THE LORD SAYS, “WHEN THE SON OF GOD SETS YOU FREE, YOU ARE FREE INDEED!” BUT BEFORE YOU ARE SET FREE, YOU NEED TO ADMIT YOU ARE BLIND. IF YOU SAY YOU CAN SEE (GOD) THEN YOU ARE DECLARED “GUILTY!” BECAUSE YOU ARE LYING.On the other hand, those who admit they cannot see God, they are telling the truth. God looks for a repentant, humble heart. A humble heart and a contrite spirit the Lord does not overlook. What did Jesus do to the blind man? He set him free, giving him his sight supernaturally. How wonderful it is to be able to see supernaturally, led by the Holy Spirit, walking in the power of God!
John 9 (The watchman’s comments are in brackets)New Living Translation (NLT)
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
(Disciples are humans who have no knowledge of the spiritual reality of matters of God and therefore rely on their knowledge and practice in the natural physical realm and come to conclusions based on human traditional belief and teaching).
3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
(Jesus corrected them. He told them about the “power of God”, in the spiritual realm and how he spiritual reality could affect the physical reality).
6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. 7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!
(The humble materials used in the physical realm showed that physical resources do not matter at all in this miraculous divine healing. The blind man believed and obeyed Jesus. So he received his sight. He could not see what Jesus had done in the spiritual realm but he believed. So he was healed.)
8 His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!” But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!” 10 They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?” 11 He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!” 12 “Where is he now?” they asked. “I don’t know,” he replied.
(A miracle arouses a lot of interests. No miracle can be hidden. People like to hear a good story. But they asked and listened without really wanting to know the truth behind the story. The same truth about God who came to this world, that set free the blind man can set them free too if they believe. But they were not seeking God. They were not interested in God.)
13 Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees, 14 because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. 15 The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, “He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.” Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?” So there was a deep division of opinion among them. 17 Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, “What’s your opinion about this man who healed you?”
(The Pharisees-religious leaders who were not led by the Holy Spirit responded with blatant unbelief towards the spiritual reality of God. Though seeing the physical evidence, they were not only not interested to know God, but they were ‘haters of God’. They reacted violently to the works of God, accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit, demonstrating the might of God, in the person Jesus, the son of God, the Messiah.)
The man replied, “I think he must be a prophet.” 18 The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?” 20 His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, 21 but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”
24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.” 25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” 26 “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?” 27 “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” 28 Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”
30 “Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32 Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”
(Even the ex-blinded man knew that God has healed him, and that Jesus was from God. He knew and believed the spiritual credential of Jesus who has the power of the Almighty and holy God! Indeed he found it strange that the religious leaders did not recognize this truth. His belief in and personal encounter with the true God gave him the courage to stand up and witnessed the truth regardless of what men could do to him physically. On the other hand his parents could not because they did not encounter God first hand, so they feared men more than they feared God.)
34 “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue.
Spiritual Blindness35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”
38 “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
(The first reaction when a man encounters God is to worship God immediately. The man had no doubt and had no option but to worship God when he realized that he had met God. This is the same experience the watchman had when he first encountered the might of God in the Holy Spirit. He attended a Spirit-led and Spirit-Filled worship and the moment he heard the Spirit song being sung he knelt down and was in awe of the presence of God. He knew God in his mind previously. But that was the first time he met God Who is Spirit just as Jesus said in John 4:22-23)
39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”
41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied.“But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
(This is a very serious charge. The truth is only God knows who can see. Some see and some do not. How do we see God? Jesus said only the pure in heart can see God. The watchman sees in his spirit by faith. He does not rely on vision (though sometimes he saw visions) to prove that he sees. He just believes. He advises his class to see in their spirits, by faith, through believing in the word of God.
The time when he was alone with God, in the small hours of the day, when all else are quiet and slumbering, he could perceive the closeness with the Father in heaven. When he knelt down or sat on the floor at his little corner, he believed he could perceive the presence of God. He was never disappointed with the promise that Jesus made to everyone who follows Him, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9-10)