Canceled and Cast Out
Read John 9:24-34 (ESV)
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
How is the formerly blind man’s growing faith in Christ revealed in this passage?
Here we go again. In today’s passage, the Jewish religious leaders are still investigating the case of the man who was born blind but was miraculously healed by Jesus. As we said yesterday, they were simply unwilling to accept the evidence right before their eyes. Their spiritual eyes were shut to the truth of Christ.
Today, they told the man that they knew Jesus was a sinner, probably referring to Jesus’ track record of doing healing “work” on the Sabbath day. To his credit, even in the face of hostility and unbelief, the man didn’t change his testimony. He didn’t have to know it all or have all of the answers to everyone’s questions. He was certain of one thing—he was born blind but after his encounter with Jesus, He could suddenly see.
Once again, the religious leaders were not satisfied with his answer. They wanted to know how Jesus healed him. I would bet the man was getting pretty annoyed at this point. Good grief, people, he told you already! Why were they asking him again? Why were they unwilling to accept what he had already testified to? By this point, the man knew their curiosity wasn’t genuine and his response drips with sarcasm. Why did they want to know? So they could become disciples of Jesus, too?
Try to picture this scene and imagine the tone of the Jews’ response. He had insulted them. They self-righteously responded that he was a follower of Jesus but they were followers of Moses (I imagine their noses were high in the air at this point). But the man still didn’t back down. Instead, he lectured them. Point number one, God doesn’t listen to sinners (Psalm 66:18) but He does listen to those who worship and obey Him. Point number two, Jesus was able to do what no man had ever been able to do before. Thus, Jesus must be from God because God heard and empowered Jesus to give him his sight. This man who had been born blind and was forced to beg for most of his life won the battle of wits against the educated religious elites using simple, undeniable logic.
Naturally, they didn’t appreciate this but they didn’t have a good comeback so they insulted him and tossed him out of the synagogue. Remember from yesterday that the man’s parents were too scared to answer the Jews as to how he’d received his sight because they had threatened to excommunicate anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Messiah? Well, the religious leaders made good on that threat and cast the man out for his logical testimony that Jesus must be from God. This was a big deal. This would have meant that he was essentially disowned and cut off from his people.
Friends, the reality is, some people will refuse to believe all of the evidence that Jesus is Lord, no matter how logical our arguments are. They may even insult us, threaten us, cut us out of their lives, or in today’s lingo, “cancel” us. But the man who was once was blind, didn’t back down. He didn’t change his story to appease the people that didn’t like it. He courageously and honestly told the Truth that has the power to save lives, even in the face of hostility. The question is, will we?
Lord, make me courageous. Even if I’m mocked and insulted. Even if I’m threatened with cancellation or getting cast out of the lives of my family and friends. Even in the face of unbelief and opposition, may I speak the truth about who You are and what You’ve done for me. Amen.
Reveal: Today, I challenge you to courageously speak the truth about Jesus in love (Ephesians 4:15), even if you run the risk of being cast out and canceled.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford