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April 9, 2019

21 Days with Jesus: Day 9 – Rejected by Religion

“Then Jesus told him, ‘I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.’” John 9:39 (NLT2)

The story in John 9 is a favorite of mine.  As you read it, picture yourself there with this poor man born blind who encounters Jesus, receives his sight and now must stand on trial for it.  You’ll laugh and be alarmed at how indifferent and unkind religion can be when it is exposed for what it is.  The blind man experienced physical eyesight and spiritual insight.  Notice how one led to the other. It is a beautiful illustration of the way God awakens the soul and brings spiritual birth. 

Perhaps, you’ve been rejected by religion too.  Or, perhaps, you’ve rejected religion for the sham that it is.  In John 3:16, we read that God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son, not some new religion.  Christianity may be classified as one of the religions of the world, but make no mistake – Christianity is a relationship with the living God. When our eyes are opened to His love, our lives are forever changed! 

When the blind man in John 9 received his physical sight, his soul was awakened. He had encountered a work that only God could have done.  It was undeniable despite the attempts of the religious leaders to repudiate it. At this point, the man was an awakened soul but not yet a Christian.  He didn’t know who Jesus was.  He had not yet come to that moment of faith where he had to make a choice, to say yes or no to Christ.  Only after he was rejected by the religious leaders and kicked out of the synagogue was he born again.  I love the tenderness of this part of the story.

“When Jesus heard what had happened, He found the man and asked, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ The man answered, ‘Who is He, sir? I want to believe in Him.’ ‘You have seen Him,’ Jesus said, ‘and He is speaking to you!’ ‘Yes, Lord, I believe!’ the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.”  John 9:35-38 (NLT2)

This was the moment of decision!  His soul had been awakened to the reality of that which had no other explanation but God.  Who else could have healed a man born blind?  With his eyes opened, he was introduced to the Savior and given the opportunity to make that moral decision to put his trust in Jesus.  At once, he responded, “Yes, Lord, I believe!”  We know his faith was genuine and that he recognized the truth about Jesus, as God Himself, because verse 38 tells us,

“… he worshiped Him.” 

Have you made such a decision in your life?  Has your soul been awakened to the reality of God and His love for you?  Are you at that threshold of faith where you are ready to say, “Yes, Lord, I believe”?  This is the moment of spiritual birth. 

Read John 9 and give yourself an eye examination. How do you see Jesus?