When I was in high school our teacher in physics quoted a law of life: “For every action there is opposite and equal reaction.” For that reason I can walk because I have the strength to react against the pull of the earth’s gravity. Such physical evidences are easily seen once we understand them and accept them.
In other areas of life we are often very slow in admitting or accepting the evidences which are available to us. Often we are stubborn, reluctant, sometimes rebellious about WEIGHING EVIDENCES that may be right before us. So it was in Jesus’ days in the text in John 9:24-34.
24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?
27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?
28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.
29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.
33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
That’s what they did. This formerly blind man’s experience furnishes us with certain REALITIES with which we must deal to be able to weigh the evidences.
The first Reality:
Assurance Comes by Experience.
Empty arguments can never satisfy. What has happened is far more basic. So this man said, “I know one thing; I was blind but now I see.” Do you understand that an improper affirmation can only lead to a false conclusion? You can’t start wrong and come out right. You must start right if you expect to come out right.
And this man said, “I know one thing; I know that I was blind and now I see.” He could have said, “When you ask me to enter into the theological discussion of the background, I am not equipped for that. But I can tell you that I was once a blind man and now I can see.”
I am telling you, my friend, that assurance comes by experience. What you have experienced cannot be denied.
But there is a second Reality:
Ignorance May Come by Evasion.
We may plead ignorance by avoiding what has been told. They asked the healed man to please report and please repeat. Perhaps there was a flaw in the first report. But then the man came through and said exactly what had happened; in fact, he would not even tell them. He said he had told them once before and they did not hear. Why did they want him to repeat it?
You see, he had told the truth. He had said exactly what had happened. Jesus took clay and anointed his eyes and sent him to the pool of Siloam to wash. He went and washed and came seeing. But they were trying to cross examine him, you see, and put him into a position where he would say something other than what he had said before.
I was really interested in how he responded. He said, “Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also desire to be his disciple?” So he gave himself away and they caught him immediately and began to revile him, to humiliate him.
Now ignorance sometimes does that: humiliates the opponent, reviles the opposition and asserts a superiority. But they were not open to the truth. They would not open their minds to what the man said. They closed their minds. You see? Willful ignorance is never the mark of intelligence. I must run that past again: Willful ignorance is never the mark of intelligence.
But there is a third Reality:
Certainty Comes by Admitting the Effects.
What is done bears it’s own testimony. The opening of blind eyes is not a sinner’s work. That everybody certainly ought to be able to acknowledge. This was a bona fide miracle performed by Jesus of Nazareth. These men who were accusing the man of being a disciple of Jesus would not admit what had happened. They kept insisting that whoever performed that miracle, because it was done on the Sabbath day, must of necessity be a sinner.
But the man began to lecture to these who were supposed to know. He said, “This is a marvelous thing that you do not know where he is from and yet he has opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners. But this man has opened my eyes.”
Surely the effect must be convincing. Certainty comes by admitting the effects, what can be seen. The effects must be accepted if truth is to be obtained. You can’t simply close your mind to what is clearly evident.
I urge you to be sure to weigh the evidence. Here are the realities that will help you to do this: assurance comes by experience; ignorance may come by evasion, not being willing to face up to it; certainty comes by admitting effects. Do not close your mind. Keep your mind open to the truth.