ATP Blog #67 Gospel of John
We all love affirmation. Some long for it more than others, even pushing for it. Affirmation builds us up, helping us know what we are doing right. Thankfully, this gentle push in the right direction is not just a selfish desire, but is something that God wants for us. God desires for us to live holy and righteous, so He gives us what we need to get there, including affirmation. Other words used in Scripture include assurance and encouragement.
To Know ‘Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”’ (v35) The Jewish religious leaders had cast this man out of the Temple in Jerusalem for crediting Jesus with healing him, bringing sight despite the fact that he had been born blind. The man had never met Jesus, and didn’t even know what He looked like (since he was blind until he had washed his face). His crime had been stating the facts, despite the fact that they flew in the face of what the religious leaders taught. Now Jesus comes to introduce Himself to the man, and asks a strange question: ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ In other words, ‘Do you believe in the Messiah, and that He is here?’ The man’s answer reveals the truth of his heart, and his desire. ‘Who is He sir, that I may believe in Him?’ He did not know, but he sure was interested in knowing, and believing. It was time to connect the dots, and move to the next stage of his testimony.
To Believe ‘Jesus said to him, “You have seen Him, and it is He who is speaking to you.”’ (v37) This was the affirmation the man, formerly known as blind, needed. He believed in the power of the man who had healed him, and the authority of this man called Jesus (thanks to the conversation with the religious teachers). He believed in the teaching of the OT prophesies regarding the Messiah. Now, the man who had healed him connected the dots, telling him that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, and the One who had healed him. It was not a big stretch for him then to respond by saying, ‘Lord, I believe!’ He then worshipped Jesus Christ, demonstrating the fact of his faith. Faith is based on fact or evidence (Hebrews 11), and this man now had the evidence that helped his faith to grow.
To Live It is interesting to see the various responses of the people who witnessed this interaction. Jesus turned to the crowd, and stated, ‘For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.’ (v39) This statement affirmed the man, formerly known as blind, by saying his physical blindness was healed that his spirit could also see the truth, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It also challenged the teachers that their physical sight had turned into a spiritual blindness, keeping them from seeing the truth, out of the hardness of their hearts. Those who see the truth, may live in the truth, and be affirmed by God. Those who reject the truth, are blind, and are not really living!
To Discern Where are you at when it comes to the truth? God wants to affirm your faith, and help it to grow. Will you open your eyes, allowing Him to help you discern the truth? Jesus told the Pharisees (who asked if He was saying that they are blind), ‘If you were blind, you would have no guilt, but now that you say, ‘We see!’ your guilt remains.’ By denying the truth, they had become willfully blind, and were guilty before God! Let us learn to discern, not allowing anything or anyone to distract us from the truth.