Jesus healed a man born blind, and it made the religious leaders of His day really mad. Why?
Here were the most knowledgeable, powerful experts of their day. The Pharisees believed they knew God. They saw everything through the lens of their traditions and laws handed down generation to generation that they believed were essential to being called righteousness before God.
When Jesus did miracles and claimed to be the Son of God, they violently rejected Him. They couldn’t see how blind they were.
Walking in Darkness
When I was growing up, mine was a typical American family. Mom and Dad were schoolteachers. Both were nice, smart people from good homes. Dad was a veteran. We lived in the little cul-de-sac communities. We went to church regularly. On the outside, the family looked perfect.
But we were walking in darkness. Everyone had wounds and blind spots. My dad was an alcoholic, and he smoked three and a half packs a day. My mom was the enabler of enablers, making sure everyone looked okay on the outside. My sisters had issues. I was the overachiever, pushing to perform in sports and to get a scholarship.
We would have said we were followers of Jesus, but we had no clue, truly, who He is.
Unable to Hear
Before Jesus healed the blind man, He spent a long time in the temple going head to head with the Pharisees and the curious crowd, laying out just why they – we – should follow Him. Through classic argument and persuasive speech, Jesus made the case for the following:
He is the Light of the World. • If you don’t believe in Him, you’ll die in your sins. • He is one with God the Father. • The Father confirms who He is. • He has never sinned, ever. • He is going to be the judge of every soul that ever lived. • He is God.
Not matter what He said, what proofs He offered, what miracles He listed, what witnesses He called on, the religious elite and most of the crowd rejected Him. They had “no room” for His Word (John 8:37).
He bluntly told them that “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God…. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:42-43, 47)
It comes down to this. Blind people who know they are blind are looking for light. Blind people who think they can see believe they already have the light and aren’t seeking it.
Obeying His Word
So how do we know if we’re blind to the truth or if we walk in it? How can we be certain we’re following Christ?
After all, everyone follows something. Family traditions. A life philosophy. Intuition. Whatever is popular at the time. A formula for success.
The acid test of true discipleship (John 8:31-53) is to obey His Word. The Apostle John writes in one of his letters that “we know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.” (1 John 2:3)
I’m not talking intellectual knowledge. I mean knowing God by experiencing God. Living life as Jesus did — dependent upon the Father and seeking to please Him. Walking daily with Him, so that He can shape your thinking, your decisions, your actions, your attitudes.
Trust Jesus and He will guide you into the light, His light, and you will walk in the light forever. That’s what He wants for all of us.
For more information on this topic, take a look at Chip’s series, “The Real God.”
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip