THE GOSPEL GIVES SIGHT TO THE BLIND AND BLINDS THOSE WHO REFUSE TO SEE

From the gospel of John we read how the Jewish leaders persecuted Jesus and sought to slay him because he had done such things as healing on the Sabbath and claiming that God was his Father.

And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. ~ John 5:16-18

His life was in the Father’s hand and no one could take it from him prematurely. Yet John tells us that at one point later in his ministry he chose to leave Judea because he knew that the Jewish leaders were plotting his death.

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. ~ John 7:1 

At that time there was a real unrest among the Jews because of him and it had become public knowledge that the religious leaders wanted to kill him. They tried on numerous occasions to arrest him but, could not because his time had not yet come.

Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. ~ John 7:30

These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. ~ John 8:20

On more than one occasion they tried to stone him for declaring that God is his Father.

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. ~ John 8:59

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. ~ John 10:31

The confrontation between Jesus and the religious authorities, who wanted to silence him, became so intense that they would stop at nothing in their efforts to destroy him. The Jewish leaders were so adamant in their opposition of Jesus, that they agreed together to expel from the Synagogue anyone who confessed or believed that Jesus is the Messiah (John 9:22). They publicly ordered that anyone seeing Jesus must report it immediately so they could come and arrest Him (John 11:57).

They were so obsessed in their desire to destroy him that they eventually decided to kill Lazarus also because many people had believed in Jesus because of Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. ~ John 12:9-11

The religious authorities did not know him nor did they know God who had sent him. The truth in Jesus angered them so much they chose to harden their hearts against God rather than to believe that Jesus was sent by God.

But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. ~ John 12:37-41

In John 9:1-6 Jesus had healed a man that had been born blind and because it was done on the Sabbath there quite a backlash from the Pharisees. It was already enough that they hated Jesus but the fact that he had done this miracle on the Sabbath only incited their hate even more. They were so against Jesus that they refused to believe the man’s testimony and expelled him from the Synagogue for testifying that it was Jesus who had given him his sight.

When Jesus heard how the man had been treated He sought and found the man and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” The man responded by saying, “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?” Jesus then said to him, “You have both seen him, and it is he that talks with thee.” The man then replied, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Jesus.

Jesus then made this incredible statement, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind” ~ John 9:39 (TNLT).|

When some of the Pharisees heard Jesus say this they asked him, “Are we blind also?” In response to their question, Jesus said to them, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” ~ John 9:41

They claimed to see, but refused to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and they refused to believe the works which he did in his Father’s name.

Consider how then how serious their rejection of Jesus really was.

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