When our Lord Jesus opened the eyes of the blind, His miracle illumined the spiritual reality of humanity. Fallen man is blind to the things of God (1 Cor 2:14).
The natural man lives in the domain of darkness (Col 1:13). Men love the darkness because their deeds are evil (Jn 3:19). It is the god of this world, Satan, who has blinded the minds of those who do not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:3-4).
Jesus is the Light that came into the darkness (Jn 1:5), but many did not receive Him as the Light of the world (Jn 8:12). They were not like the Greeks who came to Philip, wanting to see Jesus (Jn 12:20–21). They did not comprehend the identity of the promised Messiah (Jn 10:30), who was God enfleshed (Jn 1:1, 14).
Man was created with a body and a soul (Gen 1–2). He is both spirit and flesh. God is Spirit (Jn 4:24), but fallen man is dead to God because of sin (Eph 2:1). There is nothing in him that will cause him to look to Jesus for deliverance (Rom 3:10–12). The snake-bitten Israelites were healed by looking at the bronze serpent, set on a standard by Moses (Num 21:8–9). God showed them that He had the wisdom and power to deliver them, even so the Son of man be lifted up (Jn 3:14).
John the Baptist was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of a voice crying in the wilderness (Is 40:3; Jn 1:23). When he looked up, seeing Jesus as He walked, the wilderness preacher declared, “Behold the Lamb of God (Jn 1:36).” “Behold” is a word that means, “take a good long look.” It’s as if the preacher was saying, “Stop what you are doing…look at this Man…and keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Heb 12:2).”
Faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17). The elect hear the voice that causes them to look up from whatever lust has entranced them (1 Jn 2:15–17). This teaches us the essential role of Christian preaching. Without the voice, men will not look.
To hear the voice of the Good Shepherd is to know He is calling you to Himself. You listen and you follow Him in obedience. In order to follow, you must see Him as He is in truth (Jn 14:6; Eph 4:21). He is revealed to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see.
This is not possible for the deaf and blind. The deaf man never says, “Oh, I hear you.” The blind man never says, “Oh, now I see.” The gift of hearing and seeing come to some, but not all. Jesus walked among the invalids at the pools of Bethesda (Jn 5), but only one lame man was healed by Him, then and there. Jesus isolated people like Zacchaeus and Bartimaeus. He knew them, and He gave them sight. Zacchaeus repented because he saw the salvation of the Lord with spiritual eyes. The son of Timaeus also saw with his own eyes, the Savior Himself. Jesus made them to know Him.
We must not take David’s words for granted, “To Thee I lift up my eyes, O Thou who art enthroned in the heavens (Ps 123:1)!” To see Jesus, high and lifted up, is for those who have been given spiritual eyes. It is a stunning grace afforded to whomever God has chosen to receive their view of the exalted Christ.
Having been given eyes to see, the Christian now waits for his Master to move. The Christian life is one of waiting. We attend to the Lord, until He is gracious to us (Ps 123:2–3). Grace is God’s work, as it pertains to His chosen people. He is the One who accomplishes what concerns us (Ps 57:2; 138:8). The psalmist assures us, “He (God) will do it (Ps 37:5).”
Attending to the Lord is not passive. Jesus assured His detractors that He was at work even as His Father in heaven was (and is) at work (Jn 5:17). Still, Jesus always did what was pleasing to His Father. No doubt He received His instructions early in the morning, alone, on a high mountain. Christians should ever be in prayer, “Be gracious to us, O Lord, be gracious to us (123:3a).”
The children of light have defected from the dominion of Satan (Acts 26:18). Having been brought into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, there is contempt from the world (123:3b). The scoffer includes the Christian, along with Christ, as the object of his scorn. In his insolent pride, he looks down from his lofty perch, upon those who name Christ as Lord. The mocker laughs when the slave of Christ expresses his love for and desired obedience to the King of kings (Eph 6:6; 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14).
Those who are at ease on their self-made thrones, esteem themselves in blind arrogance. Remember, they cannot see the glory of the one and only Savior of sinners, who is Lord of all (Acts 10:36). In the midst of the mass of sinners, here are those whom God has chosen from eternity past (Eph 1:4–5), to receive so great a salvation. For these elect, we suffer in our service as unto the Lord (2 Tim 2:10).
Christian, never forget that the world does not know God. They cannot see the person and work of Jesus Christ. They have not heard, nor have they seen, but you have received mercy and grace for life and ministry. You have heard Jesus. You have seen Jesus. You know Jesus. You speak of Jesus. They have not heard, nor seen, nor do they know Him, in order to speak of Him.
As you wait for the Spirit of the Lord to guide you to your next conversation, listen to the voice of Christ on the pages of the Bible. He will surely be gracious, to show you more of Himself that you might hear, see, and know…all the more, in order to bear witness of Him, as He sends you into all the world, to proclaim His excellencies.
Spokane Valley, Washington
September 5, 2022