Are We Blind Also?

A man who was born blind had been miraculously healed by Yeshua. The miracle happened on the Sabbath, and in the Temple environs. Despite the miracle being confirmed by the Temple authorities they decided to cast out the man who had received his sight. The reason, they claimed, was a violation of the Sabbath.

Yet, in truth, the miracle was a work of God, because no one could perform a miracle of such magnitude without the authority of the Father. Indeed, both the miracle and the One who performed it could not be easily ignored. And since the miracle was validated by the authorities, one must conclude, that He who performed the miracle was the Messiah. But, if Yeshua was the Messiah, why didn't the Jewish authorities proclaim Him as the One?

Yeshua spoke to a group who had gathered to see for themselves the man who had been healed, "For judgement I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind." (John 9:39)

Here then was the purpose of the Father. God was at work, not only in the man who had been born blind, but also in those who witnessed the event. The miracle was designed to speak truth, which was powerful indeed. Just as in the beginning, when God created light, He divided the light from the darkness, so too, when the man born blind received his sight, God divided the sons of Abraham – not all would be sons of light.

For centuries the sons of Abraham, the people of Israel, had waited hoping to see the days of the Messiah. Now that the Messiah had come, not everyone would believe in Him. Some would see the work of the Father in the Messiah, and rejoice, while others would not. As it is written, "When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD shall be known to his servants, and his indignation to his enemies." (Isaiah 66:14)

Those who believed rejoiced because they saw the Spirit of the law fulfilled in the work of God. Because they were not restrained by the letter of the law, they entered and experienced the blessing. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8)

Because this miracle was a work of God those who rejected it found themselves opposing God. Moreover, the miracle exposed their pride and stubbornness. Their hardened hearts revealed that they were blind to the things of the Spirit.

Some Pharisees understanding the implications were curious. "Then some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these words, and said to him, 'Are we blind also?'" (John 9:40)

The Pharisees were highly esteemed in the community because their lives were exemplary in the study of God's Word and in their devotion to good works.

Whilst the Pharisees enjoyed this respect, sadly, not all were worthy of such honour.

"Yeshua said to them, 'If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, "We see." Therefore your sin remains.'" (John 9:41)

There are none so blind, as those who choose not to see.

Having physical sight does not guarantee spiritual sight. These Pharisees could physically see, but were blind to the things of the Spirit.

All who hear His voice will follow after Him. They know the way and their works glorify the Father.

Then Yeshua told a parable.

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheep-fold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the door-keeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. Yeshua used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which he spoke to them." (John 10:1-6)

The setting was typical of what the Sages had taught. The people of Israel are God's sheep, and He is their Shepherd. Like the Shepherd of Psalm 23, He leads His people to green pastures and beside still waters.

However, there was more.

"Then Yeshua said to them again, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know my sheep, and am known by my own.

"'As the Father knows me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. Therefore my Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from my Father.'

"Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. And many of them said, 'He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to him?' Others said, 'These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?'" (John 10:7-21)

The parable points to Yeshua as the true Messiah. A clear distinction is made between the true Messiah and other false messiahs. The true Messiah brings life to Israel, while false messiahs scatter the sheep.

The true Messiah is the door through which the people of Israel are saved. The false messiahs, on the other hand, provide neither life nor the way of salvation, but lead the sheep on a path of destruction and death.

The miracle which gave the man born blind his sight was a demonstration of the life in Yeshua. He is the Good Shepherd, and He would lay down His life for the people of Israel. His life would not end in the grave, but be raised to life again.

No other messiah, leader or king of Israel could do this for Israel – His people. Only the true Messiah could and would. Only the Messiah, the Good Shepherd could bring other sheep, those who hear His voice, from the nations to the Father. Only the Good Shepherd could lay down His life for Israel.

For this reason, the Father commanded Yeshua to lay down His life and gave Him authority to take it up again, after the third day. "This command I have received from my Father ." (v:18).

In the following year, at Passover, Messiah Yeshua, the Good Shepherd, did just that. He gave His life for His sheep. And exactly as promised, three days later, He rose from the dead. The prophet Isaiah also foretold of this spectacular Passover event, "When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days. . . " (Isaiah 53:10)

Messiah Yeshua was sent by the Father – the miracle clearly demonstrating His uniqueness. He is the door through which Israel will be saved. He is the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life, and rose again to life for Israel, and for all who hear His voice. Even as He declared, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)