“A second time (the Pharisees) summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man (Jesus) is a sinner.” He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” John 9:24-25
With Easter weekend upon us, I think it’s important to look at what I think are the two most significant of Jesus’ miracles. Two miracles that set him apart from anyone that’s walked this Earth and, if true, point to him being who he claimed to be — the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.
The recollection of Jesus healing a man who had been blind from birth is significant because it underscores what he came to Earth to accomplish. He came to remove the true disability that everyone ever born is inflicted with from birth. The disability of sin and the blindness that keeps us from knowing the only true healer that can wash away our sin by removing the scales from our eyes, the scales that keep us from seeing Him.
I don’t want to get too sidetracked here on actual faith healing as we see it practiced today. But I will say that it’s out of step with scripture as today’s so-called “faith healers” put the emphasis on the affliction, rather than pointing people to Jesus, and they do so usually with less than pure motives. Yes, Jesus healed people of their various illnesses and diseases. But he did so to point people to his Lordship as he established the new covenant which became the foundation of the Christian faith.
We see this in the exchange between Jesus and the recently healed blind man at the end of John 9 — “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see …”
For me, it’s that simple: I’ve been healed of my disability. After years of learning the hard way to share Christ’s love as opposed to avoiding the temptation to go into debate mode, the only thing I can tell you; the one thing I do know is that I was blind but now I see!
As for the resurrection, if it were not true then how could a mere mortal, a poor carpenter, basically a homeless man with no means, who only lived for 33 years, who never traveled that far from his birth place and only had a ministry of 3 years have that kind of impact on the history of mankind?
How do you explain the supernatural work that Jesus has done in my heart? In my wife’s heart? In our marriage? And how do you explain the supernatural work that He’s done in the hearts and minds of tens of millions of believers on every continent over the course of the last 2,000 years?
In every single generation, so-called messiahs have come and gone. In every single instance in recorded history, except one, that “messiah” is killed, imprisoned or dies off while his followers either are killed, imprisoned and ultimately the movement disbands. Only one time in the history of the world has a messianic movement not died off after its leader was executed. Only one time in the history of the world has a messianic movement gone from a dozen or so scared followers who thought they were next to meet a brutal end, to the dominant faith of the modern world at that time within 200 years — strictly spread by peace, often under the threat and execution of a horrific death, and almost entirely by word of mouth. How is this possible?
From a historical perspective, the birth, life and certainly the death of Jesus of Nazareth were insignificant events. He was born into poverty in meager surroundings like billions of other babies before and since that time. Like other messianic movements during his day, Jesus led a cult band of uneducated followers and ultimately was put to death in the same manner of crucifixion that thousands of others suffered at the hands of the Romans. Given the day in which he lived, his death was a rather ordinary event witnessed by only a handful of people and should’ve been forgotten within days or weeks by all but his closest friends and family members. And yet, not only was it not forgotten, it became the single most important historical event of the last 2,000 years.
His followers didn’t disperse as they did in every other messianic movement throughout world history once the so-called messiah is imprisoned or killed. For the only time in the history of mankind, a messianic movement went from a dozen or so scattered, disillusioned and very scared followers to the largest religion in the modern world within a couple hundred years, spread almost strictly by word of mouth and solely by peaceful means.
Today, billions of people – even if they don’t quite grasp or understand the significance of Christmas or Easter – celebrate the birth, life, death and resurrection of that baby born in an unassuming way over 2,000 years ago.
How could that happen, if both he and his movement was of human origin?
Bill is on staff with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a Deacon at Eagles Landing FBC in McDonough, GA. He lives in Locust Grove with his wife Amy and their three children. You can learn more about him at his website www.achosenbullet.com.