David Megaw - The Man Born Blind - Glencoe, South Australia, Australia - 1986

About sixty years ago, my parents left the other side of the world to come and live on this side of the world. They were religious and were quietly living in a little country district, but unbeknowns to them, a few miles away, two sister Workers had come and purposed to hold meetings. There was a very religious man who would not allow them to use the local hall and he had a certain amount of authority. Two Brothers later on secured that hall and that same religious man was living there.


They began to have meetings and this religious man came one night with a big Bible in his hands and sat in the back seat. There must have been something that appealed to him because he continued to come and brought his family, too. While that mission was in progress, he got other work and this found him living next door to my parents. This man asked my father if he would care to come to the meetings he was attending. My father and mother went along to one of those meetings they were invited to. Mother said, going out the door, “This gospel will do me.” There was something about the Ministry and message that she listened to and it had a ring of truth that appealed to her heart. It was some time before the Workers found out where my parents came from, but then they got a hall nearer and my parents listened until they all began in the way of God. Most of them have died in the faith now.


One lady, a connection of that religious man, who had asked her to come, was seventy-four years of age and she also decided and lived another ten years after that. She was always glad to say, “The last years of my life have been the best.” We were just children when the Gospel came, and we had the privilege of growing up in a home where the influence of God was and one by one, most of us came to the place where we chose to follow Jesus, and I am thankful that it was my privilege to be brought up in such a home, because when one thinks of one’s life, one realizes how easy it would have been to have missed it all.


Today I like to think about the chapter John 9. It tells us in the end of the previous chapter about the Jews taking up stones to cast at Jesus, because of what He had been telling them that they didn’t agree with. He hid Himself and passed by. Then it says, “As Jesus passed by he saw a man who had been blind from his birth.” I was thinking about those people taking up stones to cast at Jesus. He was the One we heard about who was the Prince of the kings of the earth. They took up stones to cast at Him because of the things He was telling them. It was not agreeing with them, with how they thought or felt.


Passing by, He saw this man who was blind from his birth. He noticed this man. The Lord had an eye for those needing help. He came to seek for souls He might be able to help. This man was blind from his birth. It was so often the unlikely person who presented the Lord with the opportunity to show His power and ability. He was a grown man and his parents said he was able to speak for himself. He sat and begged. That was all he could do. He was a man very limited in life. Unless we have had the experience of being blind from birth, we would not be able to appreciate or understand that kind of experience. It would have to be a sad life for this man, not being able to enjoy what others were enjoying. People would try and tell him about different things but how hard to try to describe colours. He could get an idea of the shape of a person’s face by running his fingers around it but there would be lots he could not imagine. That man was missing a great deal in life.


I heard once of a couple who had a son born blind. The doctors said that given enough time, they could operate and give him his sight. For a few years, he lived in darkness. No doubt his parents had told him many things about what was in the world, but there is a limit to what a person blind can be told. After the operation and when some of the bandages were removed, he could see for the first time. His mother took him over to the window. He said, “Mother, why didn’t you tell me it was so nice?” She was limited as to what she could tell him, and he was limited as to how much he could understand and grasp. When he could see for himself, it was a wonderful sight.


The disciples asked Jesus whose fault it was that this man was born blind. Jesus said that it wasn’t anybody’s fault but that the works of God could be made manifest in him. Verse 4, “I must work. Jesus was taking up the challenge of seeking to help a man who, to the rest of the world would be an impossible case. “I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day, for the night cometh when no man can work.” There is a time in every person’s experience when life’s day draws to a close and nobody is able to work or make choices any more, choices that are going to benefit them for eternity, or change their course, or lay up treasure for eternity any more. The night comes when no man can work. Jesus was taking every opportunity afforded Him when He found somebody He could help. “No man. It was not even one man who could work when the night came.


In Revelation 3:7, writing to the church in Philadelphia, the Lord was telling them about the door He opens and no man can shut it, an open door. When the Gospel comes to us, surely God is setting before us an open door. He set an open door before these people that they might be able to overcome and be fully prepared for eternity. The Gospel opens to us the most glorious door of all, that can be opened to an eternal future and give us the faith and courage to take steps where God will lead us through. In John 10:29, we read, “My Father is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” That means no man on earth. Those who will commit their lives into His hands, He can keep them, and no man can remove them.


Verse 5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Then in verse 6, ...anointed the eyes of the blind man with clay.” This blind man would be listening to all that would be said. He would be hearing things he had never heard before, things that concerned himself. A man like that, a lot of people would not have very much time for. It would not mean very much to them. They would consider him a worthless person, so limited in life.


Jesus spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed his eyes. It does not take very much of a little spot to get in our eye to irritate us. Jesus, anointing that man’s eyes with that clay, would do it very carefully and tenderly. If the man had a choice to have his eyes opened, he would not have chosen that course, but something that would be easier on him. We sit and listen to God’s servants and sometimes it is not easy for us to listen because we know, “That affects me, and it is not so easy for me to accept it. Some other way might be better.” That man submitted to what Jesus applied to him because he was anxious to be able to see. He knew he was missing a lot in life. Life was going by and he was a grown man now.


Jesus said, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” I wonder whether the man went on his own or whether he had some company to go with him. It could be possible that the man went on his own. What Jesus was saying and doing that day probably did not mean very much to anybody looking on that day. That man possibly had the ability to find his way around and go to the pool of Siloam. He did what Jesus asked him to do, and received his sight.


I have read that the pool of Siloam is down beside the king’s garden. If that is correct, when that man opened his eyes, that is what he would have seen first. A king’s garden would be well kept. There would be beauties there that would not be seen in other gardens. That could possibly have been in Jesus’ mind, thinking of what the man would be seeing for the first time. Jesus may have planned it that way, that he would see the beauties he would never forget in his life. I believe it is like that with the Gospel. When the Lord is able to reveal Himself, we begin to see for the first time, some of these things. When a person has that experience they remember it for the rest of their life. First, they begin to see and understand a little of the beauty that belongs to that great Kingdom. That man, many and many a time, would remember the first things he saw.

 

It says, “He came seeing.” The first people to notice it were the neighbours. They would say, “Isn’t this the man that was born blind?” That is how it would be when the Lord is able to help an individual. It is first noticed by the person who lives closest to that person. Something had taken place in the man’s life and they began to question, “How did it happen?” He gave a very simple testimony and one that was very true. He never added to it nor took away from it. They had to take him along to the Pharisees to see what they had to say, and then to the Jews. He just gave his testimony again and some of the things those Pharisees and Jews said to the man were not very nice. They spoke against Jesus but it didn’t alter the man who said, “One thing I know; whereas I was blind, now I can see.” They could tell him what they liked, but he knew he had had a very real experience in his life and no one could change his mind. They said, “This man is not of God but that didn’t alter his mind.

 

Nicodemus was just the opposite to those Pharisees. He said, “No man can do these miracles Thou doest, except God be with him.” His attitude was completely different. It is like what we have already heard, our attitude makes such a difference to these things. Nicodemus’s attitude was that he was wanting to know where he stood, and those Pharisees were confident in themselves, standing all right as they were. Later in the chapter, I was thinking about this man, what he was formerly and what he had latterly, very little when blind, but he had a lot of opportunity he never had before, when the Gospel came. Our scope is very limited but the Gospel brings a lot of liberty and opportunity.

 

In verse 35 it says, “Jesus heard that they had cast him out. That is what happened to that man as he sought to uphold Jesus. They cast him out and didn’t want to hear what he had to say. Jesus was waiting and when the man was cast out, He found him. I am sure Jesus was glad for how this man had passed those first tests as they tried to contend with him and persuade him otherwise. Verse 36, “Who is He, Lord, that I might believe?” Jesus said, “It is He that talketh with thee," and he worshipped Him.” That must have been a wonderful, confirming experience for him. With those newly opened eyes he could look upon the Son of God Himself and see Him as a lowly, humble man, full of grace and truth, and worship Him. Jesus was the One who had become the centre of his life, and would remain so, I am sure.

 

Verse 39, “Jesus said, 'For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and they which see might be made blind.'” That was the purpose of Jesus coming, for those who were blind, that He would be able to help them to see and also to help those who were blind to realize they were blind and that was the difficulty with those Pharisee people. They did not realize they were blind and Jesus found it very hard to help them. This man was blind and knew he was blind, and when the Lord was able to open his eyes, he knew, “Once I was blind, but now I can see.”

 
I like to think of the reality of this experience this man had, and I am glad the Lord can still be as real to men and women today, to open their eyes to see the beauty of eternity, and may this be our privilege as we listen to these things.