If you have not read this story please take time now to open your Bible and read John chapter 9.
John devotes an entire chapter to the story of the blind man who was given the gift of sight, but he is not the only character in this story. As Jesus is leaving his time of worship and his humiliation of others who scoff and deride him, the blind beggar may have overheard the incredibly insensitive questions by the disciples about his condition. Yet, Jesus puts aside his own hurt to minister to this one who also has felt the stinging remarks of the disciples. He lovingly explained in his hearing that he was innocent of sin but now God would get the glory for the miracle He would do for this sightless man. He had “passed the test”of faith and Jesus would now prove it.
Mixing mud and then applying it to his eyes might seem rather crude but we are made of dust and to dust we shall return. Why is it any wonder that Jesus would use the very material of which he was made? After obediently following Jesus orders to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, the man awoke to sunshine that he could see, birds in the air that were not just sounds but also visual images of the very freedom he was experiencing. He saw, not just heard, people jostling others as they rushed about in their work. And oh! So much more. As he joyously returned to his home and his neighbors parents with this great news, he was met not with praises for God’s work but a silent astonishment. Instead of praising God, his parents would later tell the priests; he is of age ask him how he was healed. They all “failed the test.”
The neighbors, the city dwellers, the priests all had opportunity to give God praise. Instead they scoffed and turned him away.
So how did he respond?
Overcome with praise for seeing that which he had only heard, the man goes to the very place of worship where he would not be turned away; the Temple. Even if everyone else has “failed the test” he has not, for once again he hears the Master’s voice. The Master says you have heard but now you will see Me. Once again Jesus allows the man to not just hear but now to see him. Unlike those who saw the miracle but scoffed, he bent in humble adoration, believed and worshiped the One who gave him sight.
When Jesus touches your life do you allow others to scoff and seek to deny your gift of spiritual sight or do you return to the Gift giver and believe and worship?
What will Jesus say about you? Have you passed the test?
John, in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, continues to share with the reader his vision of heaven and its activities. In Rev 1 John saw : “Jesus Christ – the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free from our sins at the cost of his own blood,” and now in chapter 5 John saw the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Lamb of God as John the Baptist had declared. The Apostle John writes “You [the Lamb of God] are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were killed, and at the cost of your own blood you have purchased for God persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation.” In both chapters John reminds the reader that it was his precious blood that paid the ransom. Heb 9:22 Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Now notice what John tells us beyond those descriptions. The Lion-like Lamb/Lamb-like Lion is standing. He has finished his work and now is worthy to take the scroll of judgment and to open it. No one else is worthy and thus John is found weeping at this realization. Secondly, he has 7 horns symbolizing strength and power. He has conquered sin, death and Satan not just because he was a Lion but because he was a Lamb-like Lion who was willing to allow man to take his life that he might redeem them from the jaws of death and sin and the power of Satan.
To those who have bowed the knee and accepted this gift of the Lamb’s blood is given a promise which John repeats in ch 5 as he had written in ch 1: “has appointed us as a kingdom, as priests serving his God and Father/You have appointed them as a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Our Savior is both Lion and Lamb and he is waiting for us to stop and with the angels, living creatures, elders, whose number was then thousand times then thousand, thousands times thousands sing: “Worthy is the lamb who was killed to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and praise!”
Have you bowed the knee and are thus able to join the chorus today?