Amateur Theologians – John 9:25,30-33

blindbeggar“But I know this; I was blind, and now I can see!…He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.” (John 9:25,30-33, NLT).

As Jesus and His disciples are walking along they came across a man who was blind from birth and was also a beggar.

The disciples asked Jesus to provide a theological explanation for the man’s unfortunate condition and circumstances: “Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (vs 2).

Jesus explicitly answered the second question but gave an open-ended response to the first question: “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins, Jesus answered. This happened so the power of God could be seen in him” (vs. 3).

After the man was healed, the Pharisees questioned him at length because they were perturbed that Jesus had performed this healing on the Sabbath. The formerly blind beggar grew weary of their questions and exclaimed that he didn’t know all the answers to their “why” questions. He just knew that once he was blind and then he had an encounter with Jesus that removed both his physical and spiritual blindness and so now he sees.

Then the formerly blind man offered his own theological explanation for the deity of Jesus and the dispensation of God’s grace, which the Pharisees vehemently rejected: God hears and helps those who worship Him and do His will. He gave essentially the same theological explanation to the Pharisees as to why he was born blind and healed that Jesus gave to the disciples–“so the power of God could be seen in him”–except it was from the vantage of his own personal experience with Jesus.

The man’s brief encounter with Jesus had turned him into an amateur theologian! And the only response the Pharisees, the theological scholars, could give was an ad hominem argument–a personal attack: “‘You were born a total sinner!’ they answered. ‘Are you trying to teach us?’ And they threw him out of the synagogue” (vs. 34).

That we would all encounter God’s grace in such an amazing way that we become amateur theologians!

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saves a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind, but now I see.” (John Newton)

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