Jump Start # 2506
John 9:29 “We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.”
Our verse today comes from a heated conversation between a man who was formerly blind and Pharisees who were spiritually blind. We are not told the man’s name. We know his parents were still alive. He was born blind. And, that is a thought. He never saw his mother’s face. He never saw a cloud. He didn’t know what a dog looked like. He never saw the color of blood. He wouldn’t understand the idea of a blue sky. He didn’t even know what he looked like.
When Jesus and the disciples passed this blind man, who was begging, a question arose. The disciples wanted to know who sinned. They thought he was blind because he was being punished. They saw a link between physical handicaps and sin. Had someone not sinned, then this man would not have been blind. They never asked if Jesus could heal him. They never looked with compassion. They were curious. They wanted to know why and that’s all. Their thoughts led them to one of two conclusions, either this man sinned or else his parents sinned. They could not think of any other way that this man was born blind. Sin had to be involved.
Now, if what they were thinking was true, and many have those thoughts, such as, Job’s friends, why would God punish an innocent baby for the parent’s sins? Didn’t Ezekiel 18 address this? And, as they thought, if this man had sinned, when did he sin? He was born blind. Did he sin in the womb? Are babies capable of sinning? The disciples were talking out loud when they should have been thinking more. We do the same. If we thought things out, we’d know better. Their theology was broken.
Jesus gives sight to this blind man. Then the questions come. The Pharisees can’t be still. They question the man multiple times. They question his parents. They question the man even more. And, it is in these rounds of questions, interrogations, and accusations that our verse is found. The Pharisees boasted that they were disciples of Moses. They accused this man of being a disciple of Jesus. Then our verse, “we know that God has spoken to Moses…”
Just how did they know that? They weren’t around to see Moses. Yet they could see Jesus. They could see what Jesus was doing. The writings of Moses was classified as “scripture,” which came to mean the writings of God. Tradition supported that. In the synagogues and in the Temple the writings of Moses were read. They were memorized. They were studied. They were taught. Through Moses, God had declared promises. Through Moses there were miracles. Through Moses the hope of the Messiah was to come. Yet, it came down to faith. It wasn’t a blind faith. It didn’t lack evidence. They knew that God had spoken to Moses. That was true. That was the right thing to believe.
But the eyes of these Pharisees could not see what was before them. The prophet that Moses prophesied was Jesus. The Messiah that the prophets talked about was Jesus. And, the proof was a blind man who now could see.
The eyes of some can become so clouded with what they think is right, that often they can never see what is truly right. Jesus was there right among them. Jesus was doing miracles. Jesus was teaching as no one had ever taught. Jesus was connecting the dots between the prophesied Messiah and Himself. Demons knew who He was. Others saw who He was. But, for these blind Pharisees, the truth was standing in front of them and they never saw it.
Now, from this, there are some lessons for us:
First, we can stand in the same shadows as these blind Pharisees. What we need to do is right there in the Scriptures. The answers to our questions are right there. Lesson upon lesson from the pages of the Bible about God being there. Yet, because we do not see it, we become crippled with fear and worry. We wring our hands in despair. We sing, “woe are we,” when the pages of the Bible teaches us to trust in the Lord.
Second, Jesus didn’t fit what the Pharisees were looking for in a Messiah. Where was the white horse? Where were the banners? Where were the legions of soldiers that would march on Rome and set things right? Jesus looked too much like one of them. He didn’t live in a palace. He didn’t even own a home. Surely, this wasn’t the one. And, for us, it’s not much different. We need an answer to our marriage questions. It’s not the answer that we were hoping for. It’s not what we were wanting. We have something else in mind. So, we keep asking around. We keep looking until we find what we wanted. Then, with great excitement we declare that we have found a new way of looking at things. We proclaim with joy that we’ve discovered something that no one has ever seen before.
Third, in a positive light for these Pharisees, they knew that God had spoken to Moses. They were right, He had. Do our young people know this? Do they know why we believe Jesus is the Son of God? Do they know what the church is? Do they know that God does not continually reveal and inspire things to people today? Our young people head off to college with simple faith and sit before arrogant professors who ridicule the word of God as nothing more than a collection of myths woven together by men through the ages. The miracles are reduced to unusual natural events. Jesus is lowered to being nothing more than a young radical reformer. Truth is turned into a cultural explanation that is fluid and always changing. Wrong is declared to be right. And, right is declared to be wrong because it is narrow and exclusive. These loose hinged professors use the examples of dying children as proof that there is no God. They pull passages out of the Bible about killing and slaughter and declare that God is evil. And, our young people, surrounded with peers who know nothing different, are swayed. They become confused. Many join the ranks of scoffers and unbelievers. The Pharisees in our passage knew that God spoke to Moses. They knew that. Do our young people know?
Maybe it’s time to move past talking about drugs and sex over and over and instill a deep faith and understanding in inspiration and in God Himself. Do we contribute to the loss of their faith when we send them off unprepared? Imagine taking these same young people and sending them to the front lines of a war without any weapons or any training. They wouldn’t make it. Yet, we send them into the arena of a spiritual war, much too often, without any spiritual training or weapons.
We know God spoke to Moses. You and I also know that Jesus is the Son of God. We know these things because the Scriptures teach us. It is our jobs now to be teaching others, so they will know.