How can you say “no” to that?!?

I will often say those words (or something similar) when I’m talking about the offer of life in Jesus because of His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection.  When I consider the offer of God through Jesus, how can anyone say “no” to that?

When you couple the Good News of Jesus with the changed life of someone, it blows my mind that anyone wouldn’t run to that.

For a few weeks, we’ve been working through John 9 and the story of Jesus healing a man who was born blind.  Interestingly, the healing itself only took a few verses, but seeing all the responses comprises the vast majority of the chapter.

As we continue seeing the response, we pick it up in John 9:24-34.

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.”

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!”

Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

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?”

Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses!  We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.  We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

John 9:24-34
New International Version

They summon this man who was born blind a second time.  The Pharisees’ problem was real: if Jesus was sent from God then He was a challenge to the power and prestige they enjoyed.  If He wasn’t from God, then how did He do what He was reported to have done?

As they interrogate him a second time, their arrogance drips from the words: “Give glory to God by telling the truth…We know this man is a sinner” (verse 24).

The first question you might ask is why the Pharisees said they knew Jesus was a sinner.  The answer?  Because He healed this man on the Sabbath.  Since their narrow, hyper-literal interpretation of God’s Law called that “work”, there is no way (in their minds) that Jesus could’ve been from God.

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But the response of the man who had been born blind is an inspiration, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know.  One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (verse 25).

With these simple words, he gives glory to Jesus.  He provides a witness to the life-changing power of the Gospel.

When he didn’t cooperate, they simply accused him of being one of Jesus’ disciples and therefore, part of this smokescreen by Jesus.  Their arrogance continued to blind them to the truth in front of their eyes.  He followed Jesus, they claimed, while they followed Moses.

So what did they do?

They kicked him out of the community of faith—in our terms, they “excommunicated” him.  In his celebration of the power of the Messiah released into his life, they were unwilling to listen.  In spite of being another “satisfied customer” of the Almighty, the religious people were not interested in hearing the wisdom of this common man. 

Instead of choosing to enjoy their own freedom available in Christ, they chose the bondage of their sin.  They would rather be slaves to their sin than enjoy the celebration of freedom in Christ.

It doesn’t make much sense to us who have tasted the goodness of God’s grace in Jesus.  But the release of the power of the Living God in someone’s life produces curiosity for some, criticism or cowering in others; at the same time, there is also the reaction of celebration.

At the end of the day, we’re called to be like the man who was born blind.  We are to give our story and what He was done for us.  That’s our answer.  That’s our story.  That’s how He has changed us.

Maybe you don’t have all the answers (and probably don’t—I certainly don’t), but you can tell what Jesus has done for you.  The celebration of your story will make a difference.