Monday, January 30 2023

Bible Reading for: October 25

John 9:1-10:21

You have to be willfully blind to miss the self-evident evidence of God the Creator. At one point all of us were that blind. I was blind but now I see.

How can a person look at the world around them and deny the existence of a Creator? I have said before in this blog that the Theory of Evolution, if true, does not mean there is no Creator. If this theory, which is hotly debated among scientists, eventually is proved to be true it simply means we have a better understanding of how God created the world. You see even if we say that there was this big ball of mass and it exploded to create the universe and that a lightning strike in a pool of chemical goo somehow caused the first single cell of life to form and that all life then evolved from this single cell we still have a major question to answer – “where did the big ball of mass come from?” Even if you eventually discover where the big ball of mass came from you then have to figure out where that place or thing came from.

Do you see? The created can never come to the beginning point because a finite, created being cannot truly comprehend the infinity of God. The proof that God the Creator exists is the fact that you exist, that the plants and animals exist. Just because you discover how it was done doesn’t mean no one did it. Still, there are many who look at the world and do not see God. They are blind. In fact, every person who does not know Jesus Christ is blind in a spiritual sense.

In today’s reading we hear of a man who was blind from birth and to whom Jesus gave sight. Now this is an analogy for what Jesus does for the Lost in a spiritual sense. We are born spiritually blind. You see the Bible says that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. To discern the working of the Holy Spirit you must have spiritual sight. How do you get spiritual sight? Jesus provides spiritual sight. It is His Holy Spirit who calls to the Lost and convicts them of their need for a savior and, as He works in their heart, He removes the scales that cover their spiritual eyes; He makes them aware of God and helps them to see their need for a Savior. As the blind man in our story says:

John 9:25 ESV
“…One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

Some Lost people think that if there is a God, He must be cruel to allow pain and suffering to exist in this world. They find the idea of a person being blind from birth proof that God does not exist or that if He does exist He is cruel. Only the spiritually blind could have such misguided beliefs. Still, the question remains, why does God allow trouble to exist in our world? As I’ve said many times before, all of the suffering we see in the world exists because of the self-centered sinfulness of all mankind. God, however, can use even our sins and the sins of others to open our spiritual eyes. Below is the opening of today’s reading where the cause of the man’s blindness is discussed.

John 9:1-3 ESV
“As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Back in the day, Jews believed that if someone was born with some kind of birth defect that it had to be a result of sin. It was either because the parents sinned or the child sinned. Obviously, there is a challenge with the idea that a baby has sinned before being born. What exactly could the baby have done?

Jesus makes it clear that the man was not blind due to a specific sin committed by the man or his parents. He says that his blindness was an opportunity for the works of God to be displayed. Now it might be thought cruel to create someone with a handicap so that they can be used to glorify God, but you’d be wrong to think that. First off, we are all created to glorify God – handicap or not. Second, I don’t believe Jesus is saying that God cruelly inflicted suffering so He could be glorified. The sense I get here is that God can use even our handicaps and infirmities to His glory.

In other words, this man was born blind because he was born into a fallen and broken world, but suffering the consequences of living in a fallen world does not mean we cannot be used to God’s glory. Some who saw the bind man gain his sight became followers of Jesus the Christ. This man and these new believers glorified God. The man gained his physical sight, but many gained their spiritual sight.

How often do you look at yourself and think that God can’t use you to His purpose and glory? Do you think you aren’t good enough or that you have some handicap or problem that prevents you from being of use to Him? How foolish! Even a blind man can be used by God to glorify Him and build His kingdom. I remember flipping channels on the TV some time back and I paused on a show with a man playing a guitar with his feet. He didn’t have any arms. He would play and then he would stop and talk about the difference Jesus has made in his life.

There are times when I stumble and sin, and I am heart broken and certain that I could never be of use to God. That is a lie. None of us is worthy to be used by God, but He can and does use each and every one of us to His purpose and glory. Don’t feel bad for yourself and don’t believe the lie. You are precious in God’s sight and He has a plan for you. Go and glorify your Lord and Savior!

Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)

Your brother and servant in Christ,
Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Reading Plans
Bible Order: Luke 9-10
Old Testament Only: Isaiah 59–62
New Testament Only: 1 Thessalonians 4

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