In the 9th chapter of the book of John, Jesus heals the blind man on the Sabbath. This is a perfect example of Organized Religion, both then and today.
Key Scripture: ‘They [Pharisees] answered and said to him [blind man], “you were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.’ John 9:34
- The man was blind from birth (sin) 9:1
- Jesus opened his eyes (point of contact with the Holy Spirit, Restoration) 9:6
- The man witnesses to the Pharisees (organized religion) 9:13-14
A Type of Salvation:
- We are all blind from birth before we ask Christ into our lives
- Our eyes are opened when we accept Christ
- We become a witness of Christ
Opposition – Pharisees (Organized Religion & most Mega Churches):
- Redefine the Finished Work of Christ (Cross)
- Puts all of or part of their faith in appointed men (false doctrine)
- Replaces the Bible
Summary: Basis of Christianity on the Word of God alone nullifies most organized religions and sects.
The story of the Blind Man is a type of Salvation, one that illustrates how one must be born again. It is also a story of how organized religion tries to redefine God, Jesus Christ, Salvation and Sanctification.
While reading John chapter 9, I was particularly struck by the 34th verse, or I should say that God pointed it out. Organized religion has been the dirge of what Christ did at the Cross. In fact, if you take the time to read an organization’s position papers or ‘what we believe’ or ‘purpose and vision’ you will see what they SAY they believe; read between the lines. More often than not, you will see a fog of nicely written somewhat biblical looking stuff that has nothing to do with what they actually do.
We are in a fog…a fog of self-righteous appointed men that try to take Christ and the Cross out of the Salvation equation. You can’t get any closer to apostasy than that, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)
The Blind Man was used to show the Glory of God through Christ; he was meant to show the organized religion of the day (Pharisees) that the Son of God was in fact within them, the Messiah. The Pharisees should have known he was the Christ because Old Testament Scripture had prophetically pointed to Christ’s arrival (such as Isaiah 53:1-12). The Pharisees chose not to believe Christ and called Him a sinner. It took quite a bit of time ‘between the testaments’ for man to build its self-imposed religion; little by little the need for the Messiah was replaced with the Law much like what organized religion is doing today. Man takes away, God shows off, man says NO.
In John 9:18-23, the Blind Man’s parents was questioned by the Pharisees about their son’s recent miracle. They acknowledge he is their son and that he was born blind but won’t give Glory to Christ for it, in fact the parents passed the buck back to their son because of their fear of being ‘put out of the synagogue’. Incredibly, the parents chose their ‘church’ (religion) and not their own son and his miracle. The Pharisees called Christ a sinner! And the Blind Man’s perfect response is one that every truly saved Child of God knows: “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
What did the Blind Man see? He saw that the Pharisees (organized religion) were wrong. He saw Who opened his eyes and then saw division immediately after his salvation, even with his own parents and church. This is so paramount to today: We will gain what we lose if we just believe.
The Blind Man was so happy and thankful for his miracle and salvation that he tried in vain to make the Pharisees understand what happened: “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!” (v.30) The Blind Man questioned the Pharisees’ capability and hierarchy which caused immediate revile; the Pharisees let him know he was a sinner and could not be heard, but the Blind Man reminded them that ‘if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.’ (v.31) The Blind Man had the Truth; the Pharisees had and kept the Law.
After the Blind Man was cast out (excommunicated), Jesus went to him. Jesus provided His strength and love even when the no one else would:
“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)