CHRIST AND THE LIND BEGGAR, #599
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. (JOH 9:1).
There is an intimate connection between the circumstances described in our text and what transpired in Chapter 8. Notice JOH 8:59: "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. Our text says, "as Jesus passed by." See the connection here. He passed by as He had hid Himself from the self-righteous Jews, and as He was passing them by He saw a man who was blind from birth. Out of this spiritually blind multitude, He saw a man physically blind from birth.
As He was passing by those whom He had hid Himself from, He saw a man. The man did not see Him. We need to see Gods electing love in these circumstances. He revealed Himself unto a man who would openly admit that he was born blind.
The Holy Spirit's use of this little connecting word and deserves our close attention. Notice that JOH 9:1 begins with the word and. The Holy Spirit is making a connection between that and JOH 8:59, where they took up stones to cast at Him, Jesus hid Himself from them, went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them and so passed by. Chapter 9 begins: "And as Jesus passed by "
Notice the striking contrast that again appears in our Saviour's art gallery! I have explained before that when you see colors in an art gallery that have a striking contrast you often see the most beautiful pictures. What do we see here? We see a generation of Gods chosen people, the Jews. That generation had the oracles of God, the Word of God, and the daily sacrifices, which were types and shadows of the sacrifice of Christ. They had the priests office. They were making the daily sacrifices, which pointed to the blessed atonement that Christ would make. He would come to take the wrath of the Father on our sins. They had all of this, and they were the ones from whom He hid.
Here is a blind man who made no profession of any knowledge of the way of salvation. He was born blind. Man is by nature spiritually blind. We are born blind. The Lord is passing by and in His sovereign, electing love, He sees those whom He has loved from eternity, and He looks upon them.
Again, our Saviour uses the present circumstances as an occasion to reveal His most blessed truths of His sovereign, electing grace. It is remarkable as we take a study through the Gospel of John to see each one of these case scenarios. The Lord uses each set of circumstances to teach us an essential doctrine of salvation. He is teaching the blessed truth of His sovereign electing grace.
Do you see the beautiful illustration of Gods electing love? With one word He could have enlightened that multitude, and they would have all seen. However, in His sovereign will, He leaves men to their own blindness, except for those whom He has chosen. He loves whom He looks upon and He draws them out of that darkness unto His marvelous light.
As Jesus prepares to perform His miracle of grace upon this man who was born blind, He reminds His disciples of what He had told those spiritually blind Jews in JOH 8:12. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Here we have a man who is naturally blind, physically blind, and we see how Jesus corrects that. He gives him the light of life. He uses this miracle to illustrate the spiritual need for the spiritual light.
Jesus reminded His disciples of this when they had asked: "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"
We can read Jesus answer in JOH 9:4-6 where He shows that it was not His choosing. The works of the Father who sent Him was not to turn the light on to this multitude. It was to turn the light on to one man. The big multitudes are not where we see the light of life. There was one man out of this whole multitude that the Lord had chosen. "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. [As long as the Lord Jesus Christ is still setting the light in the hearts of the children of men, as long as it is still the day of grace, He is the light of life.] 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." JOH 9:4-6.
He could have just said, "Receive your sight," but He uses means because the Lord wants gospel obedience. He wants the heart to come in unconditional surrender to His will. He wants the heart to come into obedience to His Word. Our evidence that we have salvation is that our will is subdued, that we are brought into subjection to the will of God. This is our evidence and that is why He uses means.
The chapter before us again reveals such a striking contrast with the case scenario that Christ used in Chapter 8. There we behold Christ as the light exposing the spiritual blindness and darkness in the heart of natural man. We see that as He turned on the light the Jews told Him He had a devil and called Him a Samaritan. They picked up stones to throw at Him. The light that He shined unto them was a condemnation to them. This is their condemnation that light came unto them, and it revealed unto them the evil nature of their hearts. The light was not accompanied with grace. Because the light condemned them, they were furious and wanted to kill Jesus. They wanted to put out the light because Christ was the light. They wanted to put out that light because it condemned them.
In Chapter 9 we see His sovereignty in communicating light to one born blind. Now, the heart of those who are spiritually blind is filled with hatred for the light, and rejects it. In JOH 9:39-41 we read: "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."
He is talking to those Pharisees who say they see. They claim they understand the gospel. They have the oracles of God. They have a great religion. They have a Pharisaical religion with a heart that is like a sepulchre filled with dead mens bones. Their hearts have never been renewed. They have never seen the depravity of their own heart, and yet they are the most religious people in the world.
"And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." JOH 9: 40-41.
What they were saying is: "We know the gospel. We know the truth." He said, Now you are chargeable for what the gospel teaches. When you and I are brought up under the gospel, we know the truth. If the truth does not make us free from the power of sin, it is because we are blind to see the depravity of our own heart. We are still blinded to the truth of the gospel. The work of regeneration brings us to understand the spirit of the law and have the desire to live in the law of love. We then have the desire to do unto others as we would have them to unto us. Here we have a generation that is a very, very religious people. They are very pious. They are very quick to condemn everybody else except themselves. Jesus says that they say they see. Therefore, their sin remains. They are accountable for what they do because they claim to understand.
The heart that has been renewed by grace not only receives the light, but worships Christ as its source. Then as we see the sinfulness of sin and the depravity of our heart, the love of God leads us to repentance. It is the love of God that gives us a new desire. We learn to see the sinfulness of sin. We learn to understand the spirit of the law.
Look at JOH 9:35-38; "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? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him." The man who was blind didnt call Him a Samaritan. He didnt tell Him: Thou hast a devil. No. He called Him Lord. He worshipped Him.
See the contrast: He hid Himself from these self-righteous Jews and He brought the light into the heart of one who was born blind. What was his response? He saw the light, and he worshipped Christ as the source of that light.
The professed believers stooped down, not to worship Jesus. They stooped down to gather stones to cast at Him to kill Him because the light was condemnation to them. They were not able to cast a stone at Him and hit Him. You can cast all the stones at Gods people you want to. You will miss them because you are not charging them with the truth.
He says in JOH 8:46-47: "Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth Gods words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." He had charged their consciences honestly and straightforwardly. He had not made any attempt to save their feelings. They were not able to hit Him with one stone. He was not convinced of sin. They could not lay charge to one sin that He had committed.
Jesus hid himself from these spiritually blind, and as He was "going through the midst of them," He condescended to stoop down to make the anointing clay to bestow grace on one of His chosen vessels of mercy. There is a beautiful picture here. In ROM 5 we read that while we were yet sinners Christ died. While He was right in the midst of their fury, their wrath and their jealousy, He stooped down. He condescended so low. He came down and He made anointing clay to bestow grace on one of His chosen vessels of mercy.
Jesus has His heart set on honoring the Father, and He is going to honor the Father by doing the work that the Father had given Him to do. That work was to redeem that blind man, to give him the light. Jesus was not making Himself concerned about this multitude. He hid Himself from that unregenerate generation. JOH 9:4-6 says, "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. 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." He used a means, an instrument, of clay to open the eyes of one born blind.
When I ordained my brother, I admonished Him of the danger today. So frequently people take servants of God, instruments of clay, and want to make them more than just a man. We have a tendency to want to polish them and make them some object of worship. We want to do something to make it that they are something more than other men. What happens? They are no longer mellow. They become brittle. When we drop them, we break them. Then next thing you know, instead of making an object of worship of them, we go out to destroy them.
When the Lord anointed that instrument of clay, He used spittle and clay. The clay was soft and mellow. It was fit to be anointed to the eyes of one born blind. It is so important that we dont try to worship the instrument that the Lord uses to turn the light on. We have to worship Christ. This is what we see here: Jesus condescended to stoop down and by the instrument of clay, He opened the eyes of one who was born blind.
As our Saviour "hid" himself from those self-righteous Jews, He revealed Himself to this blind beggar. He verified His perfect submission to His Father's election of grace. Christ had a perfect human nature.
When Christ was coming into Jerusalem and they were saying Hosannas, in His human nature, His heart went out to His fellow man because He had a perfect human nature. His heart went out to His fellow man, and He wept and He wailed. He said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem." MAT 23:37. He was weeping over the lost, because He saw what was coming upon them. In His human nature, His heart went out to these blind people who would not see, but He submitted to His Fathers will. He said He came to do the will of Him who sent Him. What was that? That was to bestow grace on those whom the Father had chosen.
See how Christ verified His perfect submission to His Fathers election of grace in MAT 11:25: "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." The Father hid these things from those Jews, from those religious Jews who were the leaders of His people, the blind leaders of the blind. The true light was hidden from their eyes and was revealed unto babes, unto those of no significance.
Those who are outside of grace have no place for Christ's words. This is where the problem was. The Father had not worked His grace in their hearts. The Father had not chosen them. They were outside of grace and they were therefore enemies of the truth.
In JOH 8:58-59 we read that Jesus was revealing unto them who He was. He was that Great I AM. He was that Great Jehovah, and for this they took up stones to cast at him. They would kill Him for revealing that wonderful station that He held by the appointing of His Father. There was no place for His words in their heart. "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." JOH 8:58-59.
On the other side of that same principle, when the Holy Spirit's divine influence moves upon the heart, we find that as we obey His Word, the miracle is performed. That is the difference. If you examine your own heart, you will see whether or not you have evidences of Gods grace in your heart. You have to examine if you have been renewed in the spirit of your mind. Do you have a desire to hear and obey His words? The miracle is performed as we obey.
It is so important that we understand this principle. Jesus said to the man who was born blind, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." (JOH 9:7). The Lord is teaching you and me that it is by gospel obedience that we find the power of deliverance from sin. The power of darkness was broken as the blind man obeyed. The Holy Spirit had moved upon the power of his will. He was willing to do that which pleased his Father. He was willing to obey, and as he obeyed, enabling grace was given him to perform. Enabling grace was given to get him to where He was told to go. There was an obedience of faith. It is very important that we understand the connection between the obedience of faith and the assurance of our salvation.
As Jesus taught in the temple, those professed believers refused to submit to His teachings. He was teaching in the place that was ordained of God, where the people were gathered together for the teaching of the gospel, for the teaching of Gods Word, and they refused to submit. This is why they remained under the power of darkness.
We read in JOH 8:47-48, "He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?" They couldnt think of words humiliating enough to describe Him. Why? He told them the words of God. He told them the word has no place in you. You are not willing to hear it because ye are not of God.
Jesus "hid" Himself from them. It is so important that we understand why they remained blind. We may have a loved one with whom we may so earnestly plead. We may try to bind them with the Word of God and fail just as we read in MAT 8:24-34 about the lunatics. They could not be bound. Day and night they are among the tombs, among the things of death. The stench of death is upon them, and they can not be bound. Why? There is only one thing that will break those bonds, and that is, they saw Jesus. When the eye is opened and the Lord comes with His grace, we are given sight and our eye is opened to see the Lord Jesus Christ. All the strength of death is broken. Now we learn to smell the stench of death, and we no longer desire to be among the things of death.
Jesus passes by those who are not chosen of His Father. This object of God's sovereign grace owned Him as Lord as we see in verse 38, "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him." That is the distinction between those who are the Lords and those who are not. Those who are the Lords have no stones to throw. They have no desire to kill Him. They have a desire to worship Him.
So, the central truth taught here is how man by nature is rebellious to the revealed will of God. Consider the natural man. Those people dont want the Bible taught in schools. They dont want the Ten Commandments on the wall. They dont want the Ten Commandments in the courthouse. They want God eliminated from the world. They want the television shows to show how to murder, be cruel and to show violence. They are violent, and they want to teach violence. They dont want to teach the law of love. They dont want the law of love taught to their children. They dont want submission taught to their women. They dont want the Word of God. They rebel against the revealed will of God. They are blind to see their own spiritual blindness.
In JOH 9:41 we read, "Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." If you didnt know the truth and had not received the Word of God, you would not know what God tells you in His Word. Where there is no law there is no transgression. However, Jesus said you know it, and you are sinning willfully. That is the caution He is giving. You are chargeable for what you are doing because you are acknowledging that you know you are doing wrong.
The secret will of God is revealed in the willing obedience of those whom God has made willing. By nature, man rebels against the revealed will of God. Now we look to the secret will of God and see Gods secret will revealed in this man born blind. Do you know how we see the secret will of God? We see that the blind man was made willing. We see how that by the grace of God he became willing and obedient to do what Christ told him to do. Christ made clay, anointed his eyes, and told him to go wash. He obeyed. This now was his evidence and this was the means, this was the conduit, whereby he received the grace of God. You and I are never going to earn or merit salvation, but the conduit whereby we receive it through is through the obedience of faith. As he obeyed, he received his sight.
Look at PSA 110:3, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth." It is by the power of Gods grace that you and I are made willing. The Lord doesn't use compulsion. The Lord has no pleasure in you or me serving Him out of compulsion. Anybody who is going to obey the Lord against his will is not pleasing the Lord. The Lord wants willing servants. When the power of grace, the power of the Spirit, works grace in the heart, you become willing. It becomes your chiefest desire and delight to do His will. You learn to see the beauties of holiness when we receive our spiritual sight. The beauty there is in holiness is seen, and that is what makes us willing and gives us the desire to do His will.
When the Light of the Word shines upon the heart of man, his depravity is revealed. Now natural man, when the depravity of his heart is revealed, becomes angry and furious. The great desire is to put out the light. When that light shines upon the heart of man, his depravity is revealed. Outside of the grace of God, this only results in rebellion and open blasphemy. No person loves to have his sins revealed. No person loves to have you come to him or her and tell them what they ought not to do. Doing such a thing not only makes the person angry, it is against the Word of God. You should not do this. That rebuke infuriates a natural man. One who has learned to love Christ and has a desire to serve God appreciates it if you help them to see an area of sin in need of repentance.
Jesus told the Jews He was the Great and Eternal I AM for which they attempted to stone Him. He revealed to them with what authority He spoke to them and by what authority He showed them their sins and the depravity of their hearts. He said to them in JOH 8:58-59, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." Jesus said that to show them and give them to see and understand the authority with which He spoke. It made them furious, and they took they up stones to cast at him.
This furnishes such an accurate picture of the mind of one who remains unconverted. I have heard a lot of people talk about being converted, and I have heard just about that many recipes of what constitutes being converted. I will tell you what it is to be converted. It is to repent. True repentance is a change of mind. Rebellion is broken. The desire to do His will is the work of conversion. That is being converted-from rebellion to submission.
True conversion begins with repentance, i.e., a change of mind as we see in EPH 4:22-23: "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind."
That is being converted. Ive heard many people talk about a certain given experience that you have to have which they call conversion. As you talk to these people, you find that their heart is still filled with bitterness and hatred. They are not walking in the law of love. They have never come to a change of mind. Conversion is to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Righteousness is the second table of the law, in other words to love your neighbor as yourself, to do unto others as you would that they do unto you. The first table of the law is true holiness. What is holiness? It is to love God with your heart, your soul and your mind. That is conversion. It is a change of mind and a change of heart. It is a change of the inner man with new desires to know and do His will.
A person may be very religious, as these Jews, who were professed believers. See this in JOH 8:31; "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him."
In the rest of the chapter Jesus is talking to those Jews who believed on Him. Lets consider these people who were professed believers. You can be very religious and may even appear to be very pious. You may appear to live a holy life, but let the light of Christ shine upon your depraved heart and the true nature of your heart, as it is by nature, is revealed. Pride may be revealed. Someone may put a finger on the object of your pride, on your idol. That bubble of self-righteousness gets broken and revealed. This awful depravity is exposed.
When Christ's claim for gospel obedience pressed upon a professed believer, he will not only become skeptical, but furious! Those that are so holy in themselves and pious and so religious, become totally furious when you put a finger on their walk of life and point out to them that they are violating the Word of the law of the gospel. Press for gospel obedience, and that person is not only going to become skeptical, whether or not he can trust your doctrine, he is going to go out and destroy you with every straw of might hes got. Do you know why? Such a believer has never been converted. He has never come to understand the law of love.
Between the chapters of JOH 8 and JOH 9 we see a blessed contrast. That contrast is between the professed believers and the blind man healed by Jesus. The example of Jesus is in direct contrast to the religious men who would throw stones at Christ because He violated the Sabbath. He healed this man on the Sabbath. Because Jesus had healed a man on the Sabbath, He had broken their concept of the Sabbath. They were so holy and so pious that they would destroy the great Jehovah, the Great I AM, because He had violated their concept of what constituted religious, pious living.
We see this contrast. We see how this background of rebellion and unbelief reflects the bright luster and the beauty of Christs love and grace. Do you know what is amazing? If we had never seen and understood those professed religious peoples great enmity against the truth, then we would never understand the beautiful contrast between that and those who have been taught by grace to become willing servants to the Lord. Their willingness to serve Him unconditionally regardless of what they have to suffer to do His will is the mark of the true believer.
Think about this striking contrast. The background of rebellion and unbelief emphasizes the bright luster and beauty of Christs grace and love. Now when called Him a Beelzebub; they said He had a devil. They had called Him a Samaritan. They had showed Him all kinds of bitterness and hatred and had gone out to kill Him. Does Jesus retaliate with revenge? No. What did He do? In His condescension, as He was passing through, right among them, while they were standing there with their hands full of stones, He still administers the spittle and the clay to the eyes of one who was born blind, one who never made any attempt to come to Him.
Every title or right to God's favor has been forfeited. When we learn to see how we have sinned against such love, then sin becomes exceedingly sinful. We see His longsuffering patience in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. His example makes us think how exceedingly sinful sin becomes, and we can unconditionally resign to God's sovereignty. Now we can see that it is of His sovereign grace that He has chosen us. Now, He has given us to see and the desire to do His precious will.
Look at ROM 9:15-16. Sometimes this is a difficult passage to accept unconditionally. "For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." Sometimes we look at some of our loved ones. We look at some who are so near and dear to us, and we have such a desire that God would work His grace in their hearts. We have come to an unconditional surrender and marvel that He gave us grace. It is difficult to say with true surrender to His will, "if He does not give my loved one grace, His will be done." Yet Paul offers great hope in ROM 11:32, "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all."
Knowing that Jesus would hide Himself from those professed believers, that He would do so eternally, tells us that He would leave them over to their own destruction. If He would do this, that was His sovereign pleasure. That brings us to a place of very deep submission, but that doesnt mean we stop praying for others. We have to pray for them: "Thy will be done. Gracious Father, if it be thy will, work thy grace in their hearts." Now we come praying within the will of God. If it be thy will, work thy grace in their heart, but also knowing He says, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
Isnt there a tremendous contrast between those Jews who sought to destroy Jesus and the blind man. In one case the Lord had not chosen to show mercy, in the other He showed mercy to one who hadnt even come to Him but would testify to the truth.
Now, our text in its context, is such a blessed demonstration of His sovereignty! JOH 9:1-3 says, "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."
It wasnt for some particular sin that that man was born blind. It was just as you and I are by nature. If grace were automatic to the whole human race, if we could come to the Lord and ask for grace as a matter of right, where would we ever see submission? How humbling it is to see and to understand that it is only by His free sovereign choice, that He has chosen that He would have His works made manifest in us. Then we might be a light; we might be trophies of His grace and be as jewels in His crown. It was of His choosing.
JOH 9:4 continues, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." In Christs human nature, in His perfect human nature, His love would have extended to all men, but in His submission, as the Son of God, He submitted to the will of the Father. He must hide Himself from those professing believers, and He must reveal Himself to this man who was born blind.
It is God for His own sovereign pleasure, who works in you both to will, and to do of His good pleasure. This is what we need to understand as the fact of His grace. We see that in verse 7; "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." Why did he obey? The Lord made him willing. It is of His good pleasure. The Lord sent Jesus and He obeyed.
Those who are yet under the influence of their father, the devil, will remain filled with rebellion. This is where we all are by nature. Those who are under grace, i.e., the divine influence of the Holy Spirit, find that the miracle of enabling grace is bestowed as they obey.
Even as Jesus was passing among those who were trying to stone Him, He was not preoccupied with His own safety. Later, the very officers whom the Pharisees sent to take Him were overcome by His gracious words. Right in the midst of their bitterness, and hatred, and their trying to destroy Him and to kill Him, His gracious words still overcame them.
In JOH 7:45-46 we read, "Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man."
I want you to see Jesus gracious words of love as He was speaking to those who were standing there with murder in their hearts. JOH 9:7 says, "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." The Pharisees condemned the One who had healed the blind man on the Sabbath. Jesus was not preoccupied with the blasphemy just used against Him as we see in 1PE 2:23, "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."
In the very midst of all their lack of love, right while they stood all round Jesus with their hands full of stones to kill Him, against such a dark background of hatred, Jesus continues His un-wearied labor of love.
1CO 13:4-7says, "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
I want you to see the perfection of love that we see in Christ. He was enduring all of this. Satan and all his angels were not able to put out the flame of our Saviour's love. We see in SON 8:7, "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." See the perseverance of His love. While in the midst of such hatred, all the gates of hell were not able to quench His love.
Where our text says, "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth," it most accurately reveals man's spiritual blindness by nature. His understanding is darkened, and his heart is blind for the truth. From birth man is spiritually dead.
EPH 4:18 explains, "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." This shows us the nature of man. For this cause natural man cannot see his awful condition. He cannot see his eminent danger. He cannot see his need of a Savior.
In JOH 3:3 we read, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." One who is spiritually dead needs more than just the light, he needs the capacity to see the light. This cannot be corrected by outward reformation. It cannot be corrected by education, or by mere religion.
In ISA 48:17 we read, "Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go." That is the element that is needed before we will ever understand salvation. Now we start to understand that it is all of grace. When the Lord teaches us to profit, by the influence of the Holy Spirit upon the heart, it will be revealed in our attitude and actions.
Jesus said to the man which was born blind, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) [And as he obeyed the miracle was performed] He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." (JOH 9:7). Amen.
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