“Yes, Lord, I believe!”
So said the man, blind from birth, to Jesus, Who had given him sight.
“I came into the world,” Jesus told him, “to give judgment– to give sight to the blind, and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”This conversation was overheard by some Pharisees nearby. “Are you saying that we are blind?” they demanded of Jesus.
And He replied, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty. But, because you claim that you can see, your sin remains.”
This one simple statement reveals the heart of what Jesus found as he walked this earth. He had come for all, to save all. There were some who had needs– sickness, blindness, or desperate needs of the heart. And there were some who thought they were OK, that they did not need a Savior, that they could please God on their own. He came to save them all, for all have sinned, and all need a Savior. But only some would let Him, only some would believe.
We see this drama played out, time and time again. There was the woman who washed His feet with her tears, and the disapproving Pharisee who was Jesus’ host and saw this. There were Matthew and Zaccheus, the hated tax collectors, who saw Jesus and invited Him into their homes and their lives, and the Pharisees who stood outside in their self-righteousness, condemning Jesus as ‘a friend of sinners’. There was the publican who prayed “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” and went home justified, and the Pharisee whose prayer to God, a list of his own achievements, did not justify him.
For all have sinned. All have come short of God’s Glory. And Jesus is not willing that any would perish. But the fact remains that those who refuse Him. those who insist that they are not like the other sinners, and do not need a Savior, do, in fact, perish. He came to give sight to the blind, and to convince those who say they can see that they, too, are blind. This is perhaps the harder work, convincing good people that they are sinners and need a Savior. But thank God that this was a part of what Jesus came to do, and that there is hope even for good people! The church, right from its earliest days, did include some of the Pharisees who had dropped their insistence that they could see and received the sight Jesus has to offer!