One Sabbath, Jesus and His disciples saw a blind man on the street and Jesus’ disciples asked him whose sin was responsible for the man being born blind. Jesus answered that the man’s blindness was not a result of sin but rather it was allowed so that God’s might can be shown. Many times we equate sickness, disabilities or tragedies to some sin which a person committed and that such unpleasant situations are mere punishment and deserved. While it is true that unpleasant things can be the consequence of our sinfulness, it should never be generalized because there are times that God allowed unpleasant things to happen to us so that His name can be glorified as was the case here. (v.3) . Let’s not be quick to judge or gossip when something unpleasant happened to someone because for all we know we could be very wrong.
The Pharisees were the religious leaders during Jesus’ time and they were always quick to broadcast their deep religiousness and extreme observance to the religious laws they made. Being religious doesn’t mean a person is better or superior. Many times our “religiousness” and extreme observance of the religious laws make us inflexible, legalistic and very unloving. The Pharisees were quick to judge Jesus as a sinner because He performed a healing miracle on Sabbath. The Pharisees were so strict about Sabbath that they are not allowed to even light a flame to warm themselves or save someone whose life is in danger. Since Jesus “worked” on a Sabbath, they were quick to dismiss Him as a sinner. They ridiculed His miracle and refused to believe the blind man even after questioning him several times. The Pharisees were so powerful during Jesus’s time. They had the power and authority to cast people out of the synagogue or temple. And during their time anyone cast out of the temple was socially and economically crippled. Nobody wants to associate or have anything to do with a cast out person. But even after trying to intimidate and threatening to cast out the blind man, they couldn’t make him budge and change his story. The reason was because he was an “eye witness”. He experienced firsthand the healing power of Jesus and there was no one nor anything that could make him deny what he personally experienced. It’s like when someone walks up to us and tell us that sugar taste salty, no matter how hard that person tries to convince us, he might as well be talking to a wall because there is simply no way he can convince us that sugar is salty when we know for a fact that sugar is sweet because we have tasted it and known for ourself that it is sweet.
Today we live in a world where there are a lot of competing views, opinions and philosophies. Moral standards shift with the wind and it is sometimes quite confusing for us to know what to believe and where to stand. How then can we stand firm and not be deceived? Bank officials train intensively to be able to spot counterfeit currency. They do so not by spending time studying the counterfeit bill, but rather, they study the real currency intensively so much so that they can tell its authenticity simply by how it feels in their hand. In the same manner, the only way we can avoid being deceived is by knowing God, studying His words and walking with Him closely. When we experience first hand day in and day out God’s truth, love, mercy and faithfulness in our lives, no amount of convincing can persuade us to believe something that is not in accordance to God’s truth. Because we are eye witnesses and have experienced firsthand what is the truth.
The best way to know God’s truth is by diligently studying His words, do not just rely on the pastor’s sermons on Sundays or devotional books. Dive in to the Bible itself, taste and see for yourself God’s amazing truth and let it guide you, your thoughts, you actions, your speech and the way you live your life. Then start living it out. We are eye witnesses, our testimonies are powerful and can change/influence other people’s lives.