Letters to the Prison - Week 102

Hello, everyone!  We miss you.  Last week, we saw the man born blind confessing his belief in and worshipping Jesus.  Jesus then says something profound:
•“For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” -John 9:39
Before we begin to consider even a small part of what Jesus is saying here and all that it implies, consider this:  Jesus and the man born blind are not alone here during this conversation.  We see that “some of the Pharisees near him heard these things” (John 9:40).  So, the man born blind has just professed his belief in Jesus as the Son of Man publicly.  Even more, the man born blind has worshipped Jesus publicly… in an environment that is entirely hostile to Jesus and his ministry (John 7:13)… right in front of some of the leading Jewish religious authorities… who, by the way, have still been unsuccessful in their efforts to silence, arrest, or kill Jesus (John 7:32, 8:59).  So, the man born blind has undergone a profound transformation.  He is bold and unashamed of his belief in Jesus to a point where he is willing to humble himself publicly in the presence of numerous hostile authority figures.  Is that like us?  Or not?  We need to consider this honestly.
What Jesus says (“for judgement I came into this world”) does not contradict what he says elsewhere.  The shortest, best way to understand this is to look back at John 3:16-19:
•16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.-John 3:16-19
Jesus, being the “Light that has come into the world” healed a man’s physical and spiritual blindness (John 9:5-7).  Yet, in order to understand the rest of what Jesus says, Consider this:
•“Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”  -Isaiah 6:9-10
This is the true blindness of the religious leaders who ask, “are we also blind?” (John 9:40) not in a curious way, but in a way that self-righteously assumes they are not blind.  Jesus makes it clear that, because of this self-righteous assumption, their “guilt remains” (John 9:41).
That’s a lot to consider.  Before we move on, we must realize that what Jesus has said here is just the “tip of the iceberg.”  Just because the chapter has ended, that doesn’t mean the conversation is over.  Jesus is just getting started.  As we approach John 10, we strongly encourage you to read Ezekiel 34 because where Jesus is going in his conversation with these religious leaders is nothing short of astonishing and links directly back to Old Testament prophecy that these people supposedly know so well.  Until next week!  We love you!

Dean A.

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