There are some passages of scripture that stand alone in the demonstration of the glorious Gospel story and the transformational power of Christ. John chapter 9 is one such chapter.
In it we see the Good News of Christ established—the Truth of the Word of God made abundantly clear. There was a man—likely minding his own business and not seeking to find anything life-changing that day—but as he went about his own life, Jesus Christ passed by. And when the Lord came into contact with this man his life forever changed.
9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was.
Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.
11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said.
This man was blind from birth, and by simply obeying the words of Christ and doing something that seemed so strange with simple faith the man was healed—his eyes were open and for the first time in his life he could see.
After this encounter with Jesus Christ, he was very noticeably changed. Often when sinners first come to Christ they too are very obviously changed as well, and it is through this change that our neighbors come to hear of the Lord—this was the case for this man as well. His neighbors could not deny the difference Jesus had made in this man’s life, and it was by his testimony that they began seeking the Lord themselves.
But the reach of the once-blind man’s testimony did not stop with his immediate neighbors. The news of his healing spread all the way to the Pharisees. He was brought before them for questioning, and this man was bold in declaring the truth, even before the skeptical audience. May we never fear to speak the truth as well! The man didn’t have all the answers, but what he did know beyond a shadow of a doubt the Pharisees could not take away from him—and what we know all the naysayers in the world and all the self-righteous modern-Pharisees cannot steal from us either.
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
We too know that God hears our cries and answers us—that He provides for our needs. We know that God has been faithful to save us, and that our lives bear witness to the power of God. We know that, regardless of our past alliance with the cult of William Branham, we know that we are Christians. We know that we have had a personal experience with the Lord. Some of us were saved while sitting under false teaching, but the truth of our salvation is real and that fact cannot be taken from us!
People much older, more studied, and vastly more respected than us can attempt to belittle our experience and try to paint our motives or heart’s conditions as something they are not, but they cannot steal the Truth we know away. We are saved. We are walking in the Light of the Word, and we are faithfully committed to living a life pleasing to the Lord. We know the Word of God does not lie. We know that man’s word can fail, but God’s word can NEVER fail.
We know the facts—and this man likewise knew the facts. We know that the message William Branham taught was based upon false teaching—it was foundationally flawed because it rejected the Truth taught in scriptures, promoting instead the myths and fables devised by men. We know that William Branham’s life story was a lie, and we know that the ‘vindications’—the cloud, the bridge, the tent, the bear—were fabricated, or in some cases complete failures. We know that we make the right choice by walking away from the false in order to follow Jesus—we know because it is undeniable truth.
Regardless of the insults hurled in our direction, we can stand steadfast in the knowledge of the truth, just as this once-blind man did. He never wavered from his testimony because he was completely honest with himself and with others. He didn’t claim to have all the answers, but what he did know, he held onto with all he had.
And that was enough.
Not long after the man made his stand against the Pharisees, Jesus sought him out once more:
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
And so, Jesus concludes His dealings with this blind man by extending to him the clear revelation of Truth. Jesus made Himself known to the blind man, opening his physical eyes, but also opening his spiritual eyes to who He was. The man’s response? He fell down and worshiped Jesus!
The Pharisees, however could not be bothered to humble themselves. They could not admit that they were lacking in any way, and because of their arrogance refused to admit the Truth. It was their pride that caused their blindness—they were blind, not because they lacked the ability to see the Truth, but because there were fundamentally opposed to the concept that they could be wrong. Jesus says if they were truly blind they would not be guilty of sin—but that was not the issue. The issue was that in their arrogance they claimed to see, but in truth they were blinded by their own pride.
May we never be guilty of the same! May we always maintain hearts open and willing to be corrected by the Word of God! May we always have enough humility to recognize when the Lord opens our blinded eyes to the Truth, and enough confidence to stand on that Truth even in the face of adversity. And most importantly, may we never allow ourselves to knowingly ignore the Truth in order to maintain our self-appointed positions as ‘special’, ‘elect’, ‘enlightened’, or ‘exalted’. We, like this once-blind man, are absolutely nothing without Jesus Christ. He is the reason we can rejoice—He is the reason we can see.
Let’s give Him all the glory and honor and praise for the countless blessings He has given to us!