ARE YOU BLIND LIKE THE PHARISEES, OR DO YOU HAVE FAITH IN JESUS?
John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, if ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
This account in The LORD’S Word shines a spotlight on the difference between legalism and total trust in JESUS CHRIST. In the book of John chapter 9, we read that JESUS encountered a man that was born blind and His disciples questioned Him about this man. They wanted to know the reason this man was born blind; was it because of his parents’ sin or the man’s sin?
In John 9:3-5 JESUS answers His disciples: Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
The LORD JESUS clearly states the reason He had this encounter with the blind man was so the mighty works of GOD the FATHER working through Him would be shown. This would bring glory to the LORD GOD so the blind man and all those who witnessed this miracle could experience the healing power of ALMIGHTY GOD.
In John 3:16 GOD’S Word states: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
In John 10:30 JESUS states: I and my Father are one.
These Scriptures provide us a clear statement that The LORD GOD loves ALL of us so much that He provided us with JESUS CHRIST, who is GOD made flesh, to die on the cross for our sins. Otherwise, we would all be condemned to hell. We are ALL born sinners, no matter how good we think we are. In Romans 3:23-24 GOD’S Word states: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God: being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
What we think is “good” in our minds and what GOD the FATHER knows is good are two different things. This is why nothing or nobody but JESUS CHRIST can save you. This is where our worldly reasoning leaves off and total faith takes over.
In John 9:6-7 GOD’S Word states: When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent. ) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
When this man encountered his neighbors and those that had known he was blind, they realized he was able to see and then questioned among themselves.
In John 9:8 GOD’S Word states: The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, is not this he that sat and begged?
Then they asked the man how he received his sight. In John 9:11 the man answers them: He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
Up until this point, the blind man did not know who JESUS was, but he had faith and followed the instructions that JESUS gave him, no questions asked. He just did it. Because of his obedience to JESUS CHRIST, this man received his sight through a miracle that only The LORD GOD is able to accomplish.
These people were intrigued and had never witnessed anything like this before. They wanted to know where this man, JESUS, was and sought to find out more about him. These people sought out the Pharisees and brought the blind man that was healed by JESUS with them.
The Pharisees were considered the religious elite in the Holy Land during this time. This was basically a social movement and a school of thought in the Holy Land during the time of Second Temple Judaism. These people were focused on themselves and practiced legalism rather than focus on the truth that was right in front of them, JESUS CHRIST. They lacked faith in the Savior and chose to invent their own ways, mixing in truth with lies.
There are many accounts in The LORD’S Word of JESUS calling out the Scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. One account is in Matthew 23:13 when JESUS states: But woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
The practice of legalism means strict adherence to law or formula. This is no different than what goes on in today’s society with the various worldly religious denominations that exist. Each of these “religions” follows their own set of rules and regulations. This has absolutely nothing to do with having a relationship with JESUS CHRIST and following His ways in our lives. Yes, the bible is discussed in many of these “church” services, but in the end, it is a dead religion, much like the Pharisees did when JESUS walked the earth.
I was raised Catholic and it certainly doesn’t get any more legalistic than this! I was raised believing that simply because I was Catholic meant a free ticket to salvation. I never experienced any joy attending a “mass” within this cult before I was saved. I was drowning in all of the false doctrines, rules, and regulations that men had conjured up for their own use, much like the Pharisees did. This is no different within any other denomination such as Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc.
There is no mention of any of these denominations in the Holy Bible. Do you know why? Because they originated from man and NOT The LORD GOD. In the book of James 1:27 GOD’S Word states: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
There is only one true church that exists and that is The Body of Christ. Anything else is fake and fraudulent.
When the Pharisees heard of this blind man being healed, instead of being happy for this man and rejoicing for the healing power of The LORD GOD, they questioned this blessed occurrence and turned to their legalistic minds to figure all of this out. The first point to keep in mind was that it was the Sabbath when JESUS CHRIST healed this man. In John 9:16 GOD’S Word states: Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
Not only were they focused on their own intellect instead of faith in The LORD GOD, who blessed them with the very breath that kept them alive, they also started to doubt that this man was ever blind at all. In John 9:18 GOD’S Word states: But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
When this man’s parents were questioned by the Pharisees, they confirmed that this man was indeed their son, but they knew nothing about who healed him and then suggested the Pharisees ask him themselves. In John 9:22 GOD’S Word states: These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
This man’s parents are like many people today, focused on their worldly religion and not truly seeking JESUS CHRIST. They were afraid if they confessed that JESUS had healed their son that they would be put out of the synagogue.
It’s very important to realize that these passages and many passages in The LORD’S Word speak of the Jews turning away from JESUS and not believing that He is the Son of GOD. Not all of the Jewish people were like this during that time or in today’s world. The ones that turned their back on JESUS were those who were spiritually blind and followed the ways of legalism, rather than having faith in the MOST HIGH GOD. The Pharisees chose to believe only what worked for them. They gave the blind man that was healed the third degree and questioned him over and over about JESUS, wanted to know just how this healing took place.
In John 9:24 they spoke to the man: Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. This man asked them if they would also be JESUS’ disciples, meaning that he now considered himself a follower of JESUS CHRIST. In John 9:28 GOD’S Word states: Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
These “religious elite” were so self-righteous and legalistic they did not even recognize that JESUS CHRIST was the Son of GOD the FATHER.
In the book of 1John 5:5 GOD’S Word states: Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? Also 1John 5:12 when GOD’S Word states: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
There are so-called church leaders, spiritual leaders, ministers, pastors, etc that I have witnessed praying “in his name” or only speaking of God and never mentioning JESUS. Wow, this is a person that is in a position to share the truth of JESUS CHRIST and they don’t? What is wrong with this picture? Apparently, they are focused on legalism and are afraid to offend people, much like the blind man’s parents were afraid of offending the Pharisees and being put out of the synagogue.
When the Pharisees questioned the blind man that was healed, he actually witnessed to them and showed faith in
JESUS CHRIST. He was not afraid of being put out because he was obedient to The LORD and rejoiced in the fact that he was healed. In John 9:30-31 GOD’S Word states: The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
Continuing on in John 9:32-33 GOD’S Word states: Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
Wow, this man was humbled before The LORD and knew the Scriptures because he may have been physically blind but was certainly not spiritually blind. The LORD used this man to convict the Pharisees of their self-righteousness and they were angry and cast this man out of the synagogue. In John 9:34 GOD’S Word states: They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
The “religious elite” were not able to handle this conviction. This man was a pain in their sides and they saw themselves as being above him and better than him. Obviously the man born blind was not concerned about being cast out of a dead religion. He then was blessed with another encounter from JESUS CHRIST.
In John 9:35 GOD’S Word states: Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? In verse 36 the man answers JESUS: He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? In verse 37 JESUS states: And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. In verse 38 the man answers: And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. What a wonderful example of the relationship we all can have with JESUS CHRIST if we only believe in Him as the only-begotten Son of GOD the FATHER, accept Him as our LORD and SAVIOR, confess our sins to Him and ask Him for forgiveness. It takes total trust in JESUS alone.
IT’S ALL ABOUT OUR LEVEL OF FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.
When this man born blind confessed that JESUS was the Son of GOD he worshipped him and his life was transformed both physically and spiritually because of his obedience and faith. This encounter with JESUS delivered this man from the bondage of legalism. Praise the LORD!
In John 9:39 JESUS states: And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
The Pharisees were offended by this statement and questioned JESUS in John 9:40 when GOD’S Word states: And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus answers them in John 9:41 when He states: Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
The LORD JESUS mightly convicted these men by stating they were blinded by their self-righteousness and their worldly intellect. They stated they could see; maybe physically, but certainly not spiritually. Because of their arrogance, their sin remained upon them.
Folks, it’s time to take account of what’s most important to you. Is it pleasing man, or pleasing The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY? Do you want to remain blind and drown in legalism, or do you want to fully embrace JESUS CHRIST and have total faith in Him alone?
Your answer will determine your eternal life. I pray you will consider this right now. May The LORD richly bless you. In the Name of JESUS CHRIST I pray, Amen.