As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. —John 9:1-7
And as Jesus passed by, He sees this particular blind man. And then one of the greatest miracles in all of the scriptures happens. He heals him. And that’s only the beginning. Because after healing his eyesight, He heals his soul. We shall see that in weeks to come. But I want you to see something beautiful here. You know that blind man couldn’t have seen Jesus. No way, couldn’t see Him. He wouldn’t have known if Jesus had walked right by him. Wouldn’t have had any idea about it. But sovereign grace isn’t like that. Sovereign grace dominates this whole miracle. It isn’t this man running to Jesus saying, “Oh! Oh! Oh! Heal me, heal me!” No, Jesus saw him, and see that’s the way sovereign grace is, isn’t it? It’s Christ seeking us. We could not see Him except He saw us. We are blind, we’re absolutely blind. We have no capacity to see God. We have no capacity to see Jesus Christ. We are incapacitated, we are stone blind, spiritually speaking. We can’t see.
Second Corinthians, chapter 4, Paul says the God of this age has blinded the minds of them that believe not, less the glorious light of the gospel should shine unto them. And then Paul says, “But we preach Jesus, who comes and opens blind eyes.” You see the blind man can’t find anything. He couldn’t recognize Jesus if Jesus was standing in front…He has no capacity. So it is with the sinner. So it is with the man apart from God. He has no capacity to see God. He has no capacity to see Jesus Christ. He has no ability to recognize Him if He’s right in front of him.
And you know, I think this story is as good an illustration of sin as there is anywhere in the New Testament. Because it’s that character of blindness that makes total incapacity to see that so aptly describes spiritual blindness. We cannot recognize God; we cannot recognize truth; we cannot recognize Christ. We are blind to spiritual reality.
The Bible makes an issue out of blindness, both physical and spiritual. In fact, of all the kinds of miracles that Jesus did, once in the Bible He healed a deaf and dumb, once He healed a person with a fever, once He healed somebody with a, in the Gospels, once He healed somebody with the palsy. I think two times He healed groups of lepers, three times He dealt with raising the dead, but five times Jesus, by His power, healed blind people. And blindness has always been a picture of spiritual darkness. And just like this man who was at the mercy of Christ, who saw him, so the sinner is at the mercy of Jesus Christ who comes over and lovingly and graciously says, “I’ll touch your eyes and make you see.”
We did not seek Him. He sought us. We had no capacity to even behold His glory. He had to reveal it to us by His own touch. That’s how grace works. Lost man, blind, sees no God, sees no Christ, sees no truth, sees no love, sees no anything and Jesus comes along and looks at that blind man with compassion in His heart, with love in His heart, comes over, offers grace and spiritual life and light to that man and that’s sovereign grace. He must give sight for we could not see Him in our sinfulness. Sin is a blinding thing…a blinding thing.
So we see the problem, a blind man. You know, it’s kind of beautiful thought, too, that Jesus had time for this blind man, isn’t it? Do you get the circumstance? He’s running for His life, Jesus is. Running to get away from being stoned. But He’s never too busy to stop, to gather up a blind sinner, and bring him along.