John 9.6-33 – God’s Revelation and our hardness of heart
Posted: 4 January 2012 in John

When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing….. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet….. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see….. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

This passage is a good indication of the way in which people can resist believing something they don’t want to accept, no matter what the evidence. The events related in John 9 happened at a time prior to the age of science, so the scribes and Phatisees could not come out with, “oh well, science will explain it someday,” which is an assertion regularly heard from the new atheists. The only explanation they had available to them for such a miraculous event was the direct intervention of God into history, but still they didn’t want to believe it had happened. That is what is meant by “hardness of heart,” and it is always culpable in the eyes of God, who thereby reveals his power and glory to us. We, who live after the time of Christ, and also after the time of the great prophets, have God’s revelation made available to us primarily through the scriptures. The test for us is whether we are prepared to submit ourselves to the evidences and wisdom of God contained therein, or whether we prefer our own “wisdom” and limited understanding, because some of what we read makes us feel uncomfortable. If the latter is our preference, we stand an extremely good chance of calling God a liar.

It is noticable how it is the blind man – the person who has no power or position to lose – who had no trouble in first reading the signs of the times, and then submitting himself to God. Those of us whom God has providentially maintained in a state of relative poverty (despite of our attempts to defeat his intentions) ought perhaps to be thankful to him for that. Otherwise we, who live in a state of original sin, might too easily have been seduced by the false idols of power and prestige.

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