Filling in the Blanks
Monday, November 5, 2018
So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.” “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know, one thing I do know; that though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:24-25
What a powerful moment this must have been to witness. All eyes are on this man. His parents are cringing with every pointed word aimed at him by the Pharisees, but he doesn’t buckle under the pressure. In fact, he seems completely unfazed by it.
That isn’t surprising. Jesus has just intervened in the very laws of nature to give this man back his sight; what could a place in the synagogue mean to him now?
Can you think of other examples in scripture where a person was immediately changed upon seeing Jesus’ power? I think of Saul, who was a zealous persecutor of the church until he received a blinding vision from Christ. He then became an apostle and one of the greatest missionaries in church history!
I also think of James, who grew up in the same house as Jesus and in disbelief mocked him for years. But when he, too, received a vision from the resurrected Lord, he went on to become a leading pastor in Jerusalem and an eventual martyr.
The change Christ makes in a person’s life is undeniable. As the apostle Paul wrote:
And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
Don’t miss the way this blind man responds to these cynics, by the way. He effectively says, “Look, I only know one thing for certain. All I know is I was blind, but now I see!” I love that honest confession. It takes the infinitely complex truth of the gospel and simplifies it in the most practical terms: I was once ________; now, after meeting Christ, I’m __________.
How would you fill in those blanks today? Where were you before you met Christ? How drastically different has your life become after that eternally significant conjunction, “but now?”
I’ll never forget having the privilege of hearing Dr. Jacob Gartenhaus, a converted Jew, speak in New York. He told us emphatic stories of God’s grace, all of which are written in his biography, Traitor.
I still remember what he said about his conversion. He told us that after receiving Christ he cried out with sheer excitement, “I have found the Messiah!” But when he began sharing the news with his Jewish friends, a mob gathered around him and beat him.
Did that shut him up? Did it make him turn back? Not even close! Like the blind man in John 9, Gartenhaus had found the one thing he wanted more than anything else, and no amount of threats or persecution could change that.
I pray that will be true of our lives as well. As the pressure to conform mounts on us from all sides; as society continues to make its rapid plunge away from God, our lives remain a demonstration of the transformative power of Christ.
May blind men and women see Christ in us, and come to know Him as well!