Iterrogation

“There are none so blind as those who will not see.”
In England this proverb is traced back to a man named John Heywood in 1546. The Prophet Jeremiah said the same thing centuries before. There is a natural blindness that is the result of failure of the eyes. There is another blindness that is the result of the will.

Called to Testify
The leaders cared nothing for the young man Jesus healed . It was a miracle for the fellow but it was a problem for them. The mistake (in their view) was to do such a thing on the Sabbath. The details of the Law were the stock and trade of these leaders, a toolkit for maintaining control. This was more important than having one less blind beggar in the streets. It was also something they needed to discredit if they could. Like an old courtroom drama, they put the young man on the witness stand.

His eyes were still tender so he blinked often and rubbed them frequently with the backs of his hands. Everything was new to him. Sounds so familiar now had sources: voices had faces, sunlight had a blue sky, shadows came and went as people walked by. Above all, he wanted to see his parents. Their love for him was constant from his earliest memory and their voices were always clear and kind. Their guiding hands were friendly on his shoulders, his arms, and in his own trembling hands. He wanted to see all of this, the structure of what was now a former life and the institution of a new life of light and color. With all of these images flooding His mind, he also wondered about the man who had spoken to him, dabbed his eyes with mud, and sent him to wash in the pool. He wanted to see that face, also.

The interrogation began.
The brightest of the lawyers began with an establishing question about how the young man received his sight. Blinking and shielding his eyes from the sun over the shoulder of the inquisitor, he gave the facts.

“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

The broad smile on his face was more effective than the words of his testimony. Applause broke out from the crowd. The questioner panicked.

“This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”

It took about two seconds for the absurdity of this remark to turn the applause into uproarious
laughter. This was not going well. A voice from the crowd sounded above the din.

“How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?”

The logic was inescapable. The case was as clear as could be for those who could see it. Quickly the Pharisee demanded an assessment from the man. Still blinking and shielding his eyes with his right hand, he looked into the eyes of the Pharisee. He saw a blindness deeper than the one he had known. There was only one answer.

“He is a prophet.”

Family Reunion
Getting nowhere with this line of questioning, they sent for the young man’s parents. On their arrival, the proceedings halted while a most touching reunion took place with hands on faces and tears freely flowing. The parents confirmed the identity of the young man and reported the obvious miracle. When asked their opinion of the man who had done this, they deferred to their son.

“He is of age; ask him.”

They were not blind—they could see the trap set for them.

Scriptures:
John 9:13-23

They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” ” Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
Jeremiah 5:20-21 NKJV
“Declare this in the house of Jacob And proclaim it in Judah, saying, ‘Hear this now, O foolish people, Without understanding, Who have eyes and see not, And who have ears and hear not:
Isaiah 60:1-2 NKJV
Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, Your light is true light. Your light drives all the darkness of the world to the margins of our lives. Isaiah predicted that deep darkness would cover the people but You would shine on believers and I have found this to be the case. Just as each day’s sunrise pushes back the night, Your entrance into a life pushes back the darkness of sin, the gloom of hopelessness, and the murky pessimism of despair. You are the Light of the World! Amen and amen.

Song:
Open My Eyes that I May See

Words and Music: Clara H. Scott

1. Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth you have for me;
place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unlock and set me free.
Silently now, on bended knee,
ready I wait your will to see;
open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

2. Open my ears, that I may hear
voices of truth you send so clear;
and while the message sounds in my ear,
everything false will disappear.
Silently now, on bended knee,
ready I wait your will to see;
open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

3. Open my mouth, and let me bear
gladly the warm truth everywhere;
open my heart, and let me prepare
love with your children thus to share.
Silently now, on bended knee,
ready I wait your will to see;
open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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